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)

PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM “NEWS-DRAMA”

It’s pretty easy to get disturbed by what appears to be “the world falling apart.”
We can become obsessed by fear and judgment, especially if we often tune into our favorite cable news shows.

Here’s some really GOOD ADVICE from Richard Rohr, an American spiritual writer and Franciscan friar based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“If you will allow, I recommend for your spiritual practice for the next four months that you impose a moratorium on exactly how much news you are subject to—hopefully not more than an hour a day of television, social media, internet news, magazine and newspaper commentary, and/or political discussions. 

“It will only tear you apart and pull you into the dualistic world of opinion and counter-opinion, not Divine Truth, which is always found in a bigger place. 

“Instead, I suggest that you use this time for some form of public service, volunteerism, mystical reading from the masters, prayer—or, preferably, all of the above. 

“You have much to gain now and nothing to lose. Nothing at all. And the world—with you as a stable center—has nothing to lose. And everything to gain.”

When I follow Rohr’s advice, I’m far more peaceful and loving toward others because I’m not riled up by events I can’t control.

Give it a try and let me know how it works!

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 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 SW Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Worry Less Now Gigi Langer PhD

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews. Amazon rating: 4.8 stars. Order it for $10.75 per copy , free USA shipping & workbook HERE. Offer ends Jan 1., 2021

PTSD RECOVERY and GROWING THROUGH COVID: Two Fascinating Podcasts (and I’m on both of them!)

worry less now Gigi Langer

As you know by now, I’ve been a guest on several podcasts, and I love it!

Aside from connecting with such awesome folks, I can stay in my pajamas because there’s no video!. 

I think you’ll be fascinated by each of them.

How Are We Growing through COVID? “Meet Me in The Field” Podcast with Freddie Van Rensburg

I met Freddie on Twitter and we immediately hit it off in our first interview about our recovery and Worry Less Now (Listen to it here).

Recently, he talked with four of us about how our spiritual practices have helped us during the COVID epidemic. You’ll love listening to Frank’s Christ-centered approach, Raymond’s insights and speaking career, and how Brad was saved from a disastrous decision about his fitness business.

It’s a fascinating group, all led by Freddie’s infectious humor and wisdom. Thank you, Freddie for creating this wonderful podcast!  Learn more about Freddie’s fabulous books, blog, and addiction counseling at freddie.org.za/ Twitter: @RensburgFreddie

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE https://www.freddie.org.za/mmitf/2020/05/28/the-religious-view.html

Overcoming Anxiety and Childhood Trauma “PTSD And Beyond” Podcast with Dr. Deb Lindh

I loved getting to know Dr. Deb, as we discovered that we both were at Eastern Michigan University, but not at the same time! Then we shared about growing out of the childhood trauma.

In our one-on-one interview, we discussed the characteristics of adults from dysfunctional families, and how substance abuse, codependency, and sexual compulsions manifest in people with PTSD. Finally, we explored our favorite tools for healing old wounds so we can make healthier choices in our lives.

Much thanks to Deb for this great podcast! Learn more about Dr. Deb’s PTSD coaching, workshops, online support chats, and her bestselling book (with Brian Tracy) on healing stress at drdeblindh.com/ Twitter: @PTSDandBeyond

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE on podbean OR HERE on apple podcast

Gigi Langer security

Gigi Langer has been sober 34 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 Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.

Worry Less Now Cover

In Worry Less NowGigi shares her personal journey as a prisoner of fear, worry, and substance abuse, along with practical techniques anyone can use. Award-winner with rave reviews: Amazon 4.8 stars.

Get special offers on the paperback, e-book, and audiobook HERE.

BE THE LIGHT, Even When It’s Really Hard to Do!

Be The Light

“Be the Light: Feel the spirituality inside you and shine it on others.”

Recently I gave an open talk (about my alcoholism) for a large group of women, and I’m so grateful that RecoveredCast.com posted it on their site. You can find it by clicking here — Or copy this link: https://recoveredcast.com/uncategorized/gigi-open-talk-recovered-1044/

After listening to the recording, a woman in recovery sent me this wonderful message describing how consciously choosing to be a shining light helps her–and others–through many troubling situations. Here’s what she wrote:

“I love how in your open talk you refer to spirituality as ‘a light. A light inside us. A light for others to see.’ ♥️

 “I was so excited to be able to pass a drug test, and get a real job, benefits, good pay. But then the place turned out to be very toxic. Gossip, fighting, and plenty of non-recovering alcoholics. I became sucked in very quickly. 

“I was fairly new to recovery and hadn’t learned many tools. I would sit out in my car every morning and pray to go in there and ‘Be the Light.’ To shine bright and help the hurting souls in there. I prayed for God’s will and the strength to not get sucked into the drama. 

“Afterward, I would go to meetings and share my ‘pep talk’ about ‘Being the Light.’ How it was helping me at work, reminding me to be the change. To spread compassion and love to those who are still sick. How I had to remind myself over and over. For example, I would be in the middle of the bickering, and I’d whisper under my breath, ‘Be the light. Be the light.’ Then I’d put up my boundaries and walk away.

“Next thing you know, other people in the program were talking about it. How they would find themselves in situations and would pray for the light. The light to rise above. For the light inside themselves to shine bright. 

“What a gift to be heard and, in return, to help others. Feeling the spirituality inside us. Shining it on others. Helping others, which then helps ourselves. Such a gift!”

Isn’t that absolutely beautiful? Let’s all try to “be the light” for the people and situations around us. I would LOVE to hear how you have used this idea in your own life. Thanks!

Gigi Langer Worry Less Now

Gigi Langer, PhD.  Many years ago, I used alcohol, romance, and professional accomplishments to soothe my frayed nerves. Over time, I discovered effective tools from therapy, recovery pro­grams, scientific research, and a variety of philosophical and spiritual teachings. I share those techniques in my blog and book so you can find peace of mind and wisdom, no matter what is bothering you.

Worry Less Now Cover

My award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now, describes how I and others have defeated the faulty thinking leading to dysfunctional relationships, perfectionism, addiction, and worry about loved ones. Gain practical strategies, personal stories, and other helpful suggestions. Amazon: 4.8 stars (50 reviews) (Buy Paperback, e-book, OR audiobook HERE)

REVIEWS:  Karen Casey, best-selling author of Each Day a New Beginning (Hazelden) “Even though I have been in recovery for more than 4 decades, and didn’t think another self-help book would make it to my treasured list, I was wrong. This book is a winner.” Anonymous Reader: “Your Book certainly transformed my life!  All I can say is, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES OVER”