THE GOD IDEA: A DEAL-BREAKER FOR RECOVERY?

Light as the God idea.

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t stand the Christian-sounding language (the “God idea”) at my first 12-step meetings.

But, with few other options for getting sober in 1986, I kept coming back. Most important, I held on to the flexibility offered by the words, “as we understood God.”  

In those first months, I began to wonder if this mysterious “higher power” had something to do with the joy and freedom of my new sober friends. Also, I tried not to judge any language that smacked of organized religion. After all, who was I to condemn this God idea, when I had screwed up my own life so royally?

Something Greater than Myself

Then I read this passage:  “Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. . . For faith in a power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.”
(p. 55, Alcoholics Anonymous)

Up to this point, I had put my faith in the power of high grades and romance to make me happy. But nothing had worked. In fact, I was facing my third divorce! Perhaps something greater than myself could help me out of my misery.

The most user-friendly name I can give the God idea is “positive power;” but we each find many different ways to experience it.

Positive Power as Mother, Master Mind, Love, and Light

After a year of meetings, working the steps, and therapy, I figured something was helping me stay sober. My new friends called it “God.” But, at that point, I couldn’t imagine love coming from a traditional male God. Instead, I felt most comforted by the caring “mother-power” of the women at the meetings. 

But that was only my initial image. Soon, I went to a Unity church in Warren MI led by Jack Boland, a minister in recovery who led a group that referred to the God idea as the “Master Mind.” Using his eight-step process we each made requests, and each day we affirmed them for one another.

After several weekly sessions, I could not believe the “miraculous demonstrations” I witnessed! For one, I had met a man who was healthy and fun, and instead of instantly merging my life with his, I was living alone (for the first time ever!) and taking it really slowly. (Today we’ve been married 32 years! Now, that’s some positive power, aye?)

Soon after this, my sponsor began a Course in Miracles group for sober women. As we studied the lessons, I saw the God idea expressed as love, peace, and connection. But the image I found most convincing was of a “light” within each of us:

“The light is in [you] now. .  .It is the only thing you bring with you from your. . .Source. The light cannot be lost. [It] is shining in you now, and from your heart extends around the world. . .The light within you is sufficient.” (Lesson 188, A Course in Miracles)  

As I discovered this light within myself, I began to see it in others. For example, when a woman walks into a 12-step meeting, I can instantly see the her shining light leading her to a happy, healthy life.

What’s Your Image of Positive Power (a God Idea)?


My images and experiences of positive power continue to evolve, and I’m relieved that I don’t need to define it or understand exactly how it works. I just know that when I let this power into my mind and heart, amazing things happen!

Perhaps you, too, have found a power that works for you, even if it doesn’t conform to a religious standard. ** I’D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT! ** (Click HERE or email me at glanger2202@gmail.com; or comment on this post in FB, TW, or Instagram.

As we share our experiences, I hope fewer people reject the 12 steps because of their use of the God idea. May we each find a positive power that works for our recovery and happiness!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

Gigi’s award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now describes how to reject the negative thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

TRUST THE PERFECT ORDER OF GROWTH!

As you may remember, I’ve stopped my weekly blog because I’m currently facilitating a “Worry Less Now” Study Group. It’s been wonderful joining with 8 beautiful women to work with affirmations, vision boards, master minding, and other tools from my book. Surprisingly, however, some of us are finding that change doesn’t come as quickly as we’d like. We may wonder, “Is it all really in perfect order?”

I thought you might enjoy reading the note I sent to the study group members about that dilemma.

Dear “Worry Less Now” Study Group Women

Since you’ve been working on improving your life, I hope you’re noticing some positive changes. If not, don’t worry!

Quite often, after declaring an intention to grow, we get into a situation that makes us so uncomfortable (for SO long) that we finally give up on trying to fix it all by ourselves. At this point, we’re usually quite willing to use more tools to stream loving power into our situation. Eventually (not on our timetable), we find peace of mind & intuitive guidance; and suddenly, it’s no longer a “problem.”

In short, sometimes things seem to get worse before they get better. My mantra for such times is,

“EVERYTHING IS IN PERFECT ORDER, even though I can’t see it.”

This past 2 weeks, I was laid up, so I read historical novels & kept in close contact with my docs. I was so tempted to believe the whispered lie: “My sickness will keep me from living the life I want.” Thank God, I was patient and kept affirming: “I am not my body; I am spirit, and all is well.” Today (finally) I feel like myself again—yay! Perhaps the “perfect order” here was that I needed to slow down and rest. More will be revealed!

Keep An Eye out for the Next “Worry Less Now” Study Group!

I hope you’re doing well these days, and that your growth-path is full of patience and miracles! Stay tuned for my next 5-week “Worry Less Now” study group. I hope you’ll join!

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

Find A Power Greater Than Your Fears

How many of us wish, “If only I had the power to make things turn out the way I want them to!

Let’s take a minute to look closely at these illusions of will and power. How well has trying to control others worked for you? Do you believe you can impose the changes you’d like to see on the world? Perhaps you’ve even struggled unsuccessfully to change your own fears and habits.

When you can admit that your unaided efforts to improve your own and others’ lives almost always fail, a wondrous alternative appears: You can trust a positive power to help you find peace and courage, no matter what’s going on in your life.

What Is Positive Power?

If you’re skeptical about what many call a “higher power,” let me assure you: You don’t need to worship a particular spiritual entity, religion, dogma, or philosophy. You’ll be defining this source in a way that works for you. You can be as unconventional or traditional as you want–as long as you tap into something greater than your fears.

How you come to understand this power is highly personal and your business only. You may find it in your mind, spirit, energy, or in the universe. Perhaps you’ll discover it through the hope and strength of supportive, healthy people. (However, consider carefully what they say and how they live their lives. Then take what works for you and leave the rest behind.)

How Can A Positive Power Help Me?

How can you put your positive power to work in your life? By making one single decision again and again: Reject your fear-filled thoughts and connect with your source of power. As you continue making this choice, you’ll discover a happy outlook and intuitive guidance for your problems.

Studies reported by Stephanie Castillo reveal that believers in such a power are happier than those who don’t believe. Cultivating loving thoughts, good feelings, and positive experiences reprograms your persistent, negative thinking. In the words of author Emmet Fox, “You cannot think one thing and produce another.”

Try it now

Memorize a prayer or affirmation and say it often, mindfully savor the beauty around you, try guided meditation, listen to inspiring speakers, join with positive people for fun and growth, say a kind word to a stranger or friend, list five things you’re grateful for each day, write in a journal, pray for those you resent, and/or practice loving self-compassion.

A Few Reminders about A “Higher Power”

  • You don’t need to intellectually understand a positive power for it to work for you
  • Fear and judgment keep you upset and alone; a loving power overcomes your fear and connects you with others.
  • With consistent practice and pleasing results, you’ll come to trust your positive power to bring you peace and happiness, no matter what is going on in your life.
Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer

Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now which describes how to reject the faulty thinking leading to addiction, dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, and worry about loved ones. Check out the practical directions, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (Buy Discounted Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

WATCH US ON “BIZZY LIVING SOBER”

This is such a cool video podcast for recovering people! It’s a lot of fun and so helpful to anyone struggling with substance abuse.

Thanks to Bizzy for our conversation about how to stay sober in spite of our STINKIN thinkin!

📣 Here it is! Click on the link, not the photo 😘

http://busylivingsober.com/podcasts/2020/7/9/episode-183-author-gigi-langer

Elizabeth L. “Bizzy” Chance, CRS, is the founder and owner of Busy Living SoberTM, a network dedicated to bringing addiction out of the shadows and educating society that addiction is a disease, not who you are. She is a leading expert in the field of recovery management, widely known for her work as a consultant, family coach, and her social media presence. 

Elizabeth earned her certification as a Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) from the state of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of George Washington University with a degree in communications, and her work experience includes time at QVC and CBS Television. 

Elizabeth is in long-term recovery herself over a decade. Hence, she feels able to form a compassionate and meaningful bond with addicts. She has always gravitated towards anyone new to recovery because of her own personal story,  which gives her an innate sense for helping them achieve and maintain recovery. 

Busy Living SoberTM is to eliminate the shame of addiction through open and honest communication. 

Elizabeth currently resides in Wayne, Pennsylvania with her husband and three teenage children. 

“The definition of addiction is the inability to control one’s use over a substance.”