A Real Higher Power

Last summer we got a cute and very lovable puppy. Not more than a few days after bringing her home, she started to have some health problems. Despite her problems she captured my heart with her playful nature, wagging tail, and multitude of wet kisses. Needless to say I felt enormously sad when I learned her health problems were so severe that we would have to put her to sleep.
The intensity of my feelings began to overwhelm me. At the time, I did not realize that I had tried to avoid the feelings by getting angry with my husband. I wanted him to fix things. I slipped into my old behavior and blamed him for not doing enough.
After he left the house to do some yard work, I found myself feeling angry and alone. All of a sudden, it was as if a small miracle happened: I realized I was being very willful. I wanted things my way. I had tried to make things go my way and when they did not, I wanted my husband to do what I could not do, which was to make it work out my way. I could see how I had tried to turn him into my Higher Power! In doing so, I had hurt him and myself, and had not really turned it over to a Higher Power. I knew then that the anger was easier for me to face than the intense feelings of sadness, but to not feel the sadness was to not be honest with myself.

So, right then and there, I spoke to my Higher Power and acknowledged my willful, self-seeking ways. I totally, and without reservation turned it over to God, to do with it what He willed. Then I apologized to my husband. I shared the peace and serenity I felt in knowing that I had done all that I could and whatever was to be would according to God’s will, not mine. I had been draining myself of energy that could be spent in a healthier and more productive way.

Through letting go, I found, with God’s help, I could face the sad feelings. We were then blessed by being able to get another puppy. He has brought all of his warm puppy love into our hearts and home – that unconditional love that puppies know so well how to give.

Reprinted from the Fall 1992 issue of S-Anews©.

Trusting in a Higher Power First…

I’m beginning to see that trusting my Higher Power underlies learning to trust in all areas of my life. I’m learning that turning it over to my Higher Power and surrendering my will, allows me to be open to finding the solution. This is particularly true when I’m struggling in my relationship with my partner. It has never failed that after surrendering, within a short period of time there seems to be something changing. I often don’t know whether the change is in me or my partner or both of us, but changes happen, and then healing starts. Surrendering to my Higher Power is working for me. Turning my will and my life over to my Higher Power is the only tool I know that has saved me at times when I was at my lowest and didn’t know where to turn next.

Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 61.

Giving the Outcome to God

I remember reading Step three and thinking “I can do this!” Making a decision felt comfortable; that is, a decision is an action, something to do. I’m much better at doing than not doing something. So I “did” Step three; I “decided” every day, every hour, every minute, but I found no relief.

Then it was suggested that once I made the decision, I needed to let go — to surrender. “How does one let go?” I asked myself. I pictured myself holding my husband as he was dangling over the edge of a cliff. Surely letting go would not be caring or loving! To me the word “surrender” implied being forced to do something against my will. Would God force me to do something against my will? Would He expect me to abandon the one I loved? I couldn’t make sense of this, and I prayed and prayed about it.
Then in a meeting, a woman shared about her “God Jar” and about how her life had become peaceful. I had seen a change in her over the months, so I asked her after the meeting to explain her “God Jar.” The idea was to write down on a piece of paper exactly what I wanted to give to God, then drop it (let go of it) into the jar. Taking the thought out of my mind and putting it on paper, then putting the piece of paper into the jar (God’s hands) seemed like a helpful, visual, concrete action to me. Driving home, I began to dismiss the whole idea. When that familiar sinking sensation returned as I drove in my driveway, I decided to try the God Jar anyway. If it didn’t work, I just wouldn’t tell anyone. I found a large jar in a cabinet and wrote down the obsessive thoughts that were spinning in my mind about my husband’s sexaholism and our marriage. I decided to let God have the situation, and I let the note fall into the jar.

I didn’t expect much, but by the next morning I was pleasantly surprised by a sense of peace that I had not known before. I sat down and wrote lots of little notes to add to the jar. On New Year’s Eve, seven months after I began using the God Jar, I opened the jar and read each little note. I could see that almost all my requests had been granted, but not necessarily in the way I had pictured in my mind. Rather, they had been answered completely and beautifully, in surprising and unforeseen ways. Thank God my Higher power is bigger than my imagination!

It has been over three years since I surrendered my husband’s sexaholism and surrendered our marriage to God. I didn’t understand how my husband could choose to continue to act out and not seek recovery, but I had the courage and the strength to let the marriage go when it became time. Today, I am grateful to God for the gifts of that relationship, the changes that have occurred in my life, my rich relationship with my Higher Power and more people who really love me than I could ever have imagined.

Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, pages 33-34.

Plan A? Plan B? Or Plan C?

Here is my experience with a great sharing I heard at a meeting. It went something like this:

– Sharing: You know, I always come to God with ‘Plan A’ – what I really want.

– My experience: God, I would really like the sexaholic to show me affection the way I think she should.

– Sharing: But I know that God may have something else in mind, so I come prepared with ‘Plan B’ too.

– My experience: OK, God, if I can’t have the affection I want from my wife, could you at least get her to spend more time with me?

– Sharing: What I forget is that God has a much broader point of view than I do, and generally has a ‘Plan C’ – a wonderful plan I could never have dreamed of – tucked away in his back pocket.

– My experience: So what happened was…I got out of my wife’s way, called my S-Anon sponsor and went to a lot more meetings. I stopped being so demanding.

I was able to Let Go and Let God. A few weeks later my wife left me a note saying, “Went to my meeting. Be back soon. I would like to have some time with you. I made a special dinner, please provide the flowers.”

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 291.