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  • Writer's pictureOutside Lit

Three: When You Want To Talk About Your Higher Power, Zip It.

A lot of newcomers (and not so newcomers) throughout the “Anonymous” communities often balk at the idea of a Higher Power.  It’s understandable.  If there was a God, why does He let bad things happen to so many people?  Why doesn’t He help more?  Why does He let people starve?  The list of grievances can be miles long.  And while you sit there mad at a God that may or may not exist, some asshole in a meeting gets up and starts sharing about “God Shots” they observed and that their Higher Power really exists.  It sounds so trite!  And you know what?  You’re absolutely right.  It is.  Words can only express so much.  By placing words onto something that is beyond words makes it finite, confined, cheap, and rather small.  I have almost 9 years of abstinence in my Anonymous fellowship, and I still get uncomfortable when people try and talk about their Higher Power.  There is a popular saying in the program; “God is in the pause.” I believe that.  When you pause, you’re not talking.  You’re not doing anything except (hopefully) listening.  If God is in the pause, then I’d wish they’d shut up so the rest of us can try to hear.  Someone trying to convince us of the wonders of THEIR Higher Power may seem like they are trying to get you to “drink the Kool-Aid.”  But, don’t worry, it’s far less nefarious than that.   

There is an adage about three blind men who were brought in front of an elephant and asked to describe the animal.  The first blind man touched the powerful leg of the elephant and described an elephant as being much like a tree trunk but softer and with large toenails.  The second blind man, who touched the tail, said that an elephant was like a long, thick piece of rope that had a feather duster on the end of it.  And the third blind man who touched the elephant’s ear described an elephant as being large, flat and relatively triangular in nature.  Albeit incomplete, all of them were correct in their descriptions.  It’s the same with a Higher Power.  What one person may describe may not be someone else’s experience at all, but it is not wrong.  The fact is, whatever part of your Higher Power that you end up touching, you will be certain of its existence and have one hell of a time trying to describe it to the rest of us blind men who have had completely different (but no less valid) experiences.   

So the next time you are in a meeting and someone shares about their Higher Power, fret not.  Just remind yourself that they’ve just grabbed a different part of the elephant than you did. 

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