How Does One Communicate with Their Higher Power in AA?
There are several steps in AA that focus on communicating with or being open to one’s higher power. Step seven asks members to “humbly ask” their higher power “to remove their shortcomings,” something that can seem odd before you join the program and learn what it is to communicate with this power (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
Below are some tips to make this dialogue and connection easier and to create the kind of communication that reflects a strong connection between one’s self and one’s higher power.
Choosing Your Higher Power
You will want to choose a power, a concept, a deity, etc. that you feel comfortable with and that you will be able to imagine giving yourself over to. If you are not a religious individual, you do not need to think of your higher power as a god but rather as a force of energy, as the universe as a whole, or as your respect for nature, humanity, or another important source of strength for you. Once you choose the higher power that feels right to you, communication will be easier and will make sense.
Prayer and Meditation
Both these concepts are mentioned in the 12 steps as ways “to improve [one’s] conscious contact with God as [they understand] Him,” to find knowledge of that higher power’s will, and to find the strength in one’s self to “carry that out.” These two practices are used often in AA to help people create the kind of dialogue with their higher power they will need to find the path they need to follow.
Prayer and meditation aren’t only ways to communicate with your higher power. They have both been proven to improve issues with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other health and psychological problems often associated with recovery (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health). These practices will also help you become more open to your higher power and its concept of what is right for you. Ways to improve your practice of meditation, prayer, or both include:
- Using soothing music to set a mood
- Practicing the same time every day, setting aside time where you will focus on your relationship with your higher power and then turning to your other responsibilities when this time has ended
- Talking to your sponsor about more ways you can be open to your higher power, even asking them how they achieved communication with their own
- Creating a comfortable space in your home where meditation or prayer is your main goal
Another way to feel in touch with your higher power is to help others. Whether you do this through AA by talking to new members or you decide to volunteer your time to those in need, reaching out to others can be another way of communicating with your higher power, especially if that concept for you includes humanity as a whole. It is a way to be in tune with the part of you that wants to see a change in yourself and in the world, leaving you open for the possibility of communication.
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