My experience with my religion vs. 12-step program has been that they are one and the same program. I just subsititute the word "recovery" for the word "salvation" and it starts making an awful lot of sense.
In one group the leader says, "...God as we understand him or her" I think this is really enlightened thinking. I wish it could be phrased even more openly, simply because I've known so many who just couldn't get past the word "God". Maybe a "higher power of your understanding". I mean I know there's no way to win. but so many have issues with God. I have too, sometimes still do. so I understand their reluctance. it's sad really.
goodbye my almost lover, goodbye my hopeless dream, so long my luckless roamance, can't you just let me be?
Here are my feelings about how to get the most out if imagery . . .
The world we live in very tangible. We see it with our eyes. We feel it with our hands. Yet the God we believe in is invisible. So how are we able to relate to our creator? Mentally, we can do this by reading the stories in the Bible. But where does the passion for God come from? How do we know him in our heart? And how does God work miracles in our lives? How does he move mountains? The answer is simple—through the Holy Spirit. He (or she) is the metaphysical manifestation of God which came to us when the historical Christ left. He is the presence, here and now, of God and his son Jesus Christ. When touched in a mysterious way by the Holy Spirit we see God in all his glory. We know what before we only suspected. Then we feel God through our sixth sense. His love pours over us and our passion is aroused. Finally, we are the recipient of miracles and we know God lives. Surely, God has not forsaken us. He has sent us the Holy Spirit.
To understand the Holy Spirit more fully, we must embrace all the metaphors. They give form and substance to this reflection of Christ. They stir up emotions which lead to a profound intimate connection with God through the Holy Spirit. With each metaphor the reflection sharpens and reveals more about the nature of an invisible God. Here are examples of Biblical metaphors for the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called a Gatekeeper because He acts. We wait at the Gate. Christ is on the other side. We are afraid and then the Holy Spirit opens the gate and invites us to embrace the Lord.
The Holy Spirit is called a Comforter because He is the caretaker of our emotions. What we cannot see we can feel. When I met the Holy Spirit it felt like falling into the arms of a lover. The emotions He stirred up in me made his presence known in a profound way.
The Holy Spirit is called a Counselor because He helps us think proper thoughts. He helps identify our sins. He encourages us to set sin aside and grow into healthy, spiritual people.
The Holy Spirit is compared to the wind because He is invisible. But the wind is not inert. It can pick up a feather and blow it anywhere.
The Holy Spirit is compared to a flame because He acts like a crucible, melting away our sins and transforming us into new creatures
The Holy Spirit is called an Emissary because He represents the master. Everything the Holy Spirit does is courtesy of a God who loves us. First came this historical Christ (flesh and blood) then the Holy Spirit—the invisible footprint in the sand.
* * *
This is just a superficial list to give you some ideas of the power of metaphor. I encourage you to find your own manifestation of the Holy Spirit and draw closer to God through the power of imagery. My image is that of a woman, named Spirit, who comforts and guides me. No matter how awful my life gets, I turn to this image of the Holy Spirit and find the solace I need. Does this mean think the Holy Spirit is a woman? No. This means I draw close t the Holy Spirit through an comforting image that works for me. Try this yourself and see if you don’t get closer to an amazing God who wants to get personal and intimate with you in a way that defies description.
Last Edit: Jun 28, 2009 15:59:24 GMT -8 by Susan P.
Post by Rainbows Always on Jan 1, 2008 7:01:43 GMT -8
Its strange isnt it that we are all so different..? i was reading about it the other day, some people find "God" through the "holy Spirit", Buddhists find eternal peace and happiness through "nirvana" and that experience of enlightenment, others feel that "oneness with the Universe", others through Allah......but essentially the feeling we are chasing, that pure love, oneness,divine spirit, Holy spirit, Higher Power, Gods love, whatever we call it...they are all different words descibing the same omnipotent power.
Its just how we all get there that is different. We all choose a different path on a different spiritual journey , but essentially we are all on the same spiritual journey seeking the same thing!!
Post by Rainbows Always on Jan 1, 2008 7:03:07 GMT -8
In one group the leader says, & I quot;...God as we understand him or her"think this is really enlightened thinking. I wish it could be phrased even more openly, simply because I've known so many who just couldn't get past the word "God". Maybe a "higher power of your understanding". I mean I know there's no way to win. but so many have issues with God. I have too, sometimes still do. so I understand their reluctance. it's sad really.
At meetings I go to, there is one lady who WILL not say HIM, she says HER. To her, God is female. Another lady will NOT say the word GOD, she will only say Higher Power. So when reading from the book they change the words. Most of us, dont judge so it's cool . Whatever they need to do for their own recovery, is their business. But I do agree, at first it can be scarey.
When I first went to an OA meeting, I saw all the God stuff and freaked as I was an aethiest. I thought "it must be a cult in disguise". But I was too embarrssed to leave so I stayed for the hour. I Loved what I heard, identified straight away and "kept coming back". That was nearly 2 yrs ago now!! shaz
Hmmm...I have never heard of the word "dysfunctional" being associated with religion, and my intention was certainly not to be shaming, on any level...but I am sorry that my use of the word triggered you. If anyone else was upset or triggered by my post, I am certainly open to feedback.
Let me clarify at the risk of offending some of you.
Myself and many of my friends/clients were not raised in homes in which we were taught about how much God cherishes us. We were told how we are going to go to hell if we do not do what we are told, which is all summed up in the phrases, "now be a good little girl," or "stop being a bad little girl." I still choke on the phrase "good little girl." My granddaughter is not a good little girl or a bad little girl. She is a wonderful work in progress. (Actually, she is a sweet little princess sent to me by a loving God.)
The Catholic religion is famous for this point of view, as is pointed out in a book called "Recovering Catholics." I have heard stories of children being shamed by nuns and even abused by corporal punishment. I hope this is just in the past and not currently going on. This did not happen to me but God knows I was terrified of the dtoxic and going to hell if I did not do what I was told.
Some religions also teach us to hate other groups and shun them. I had to leave a church because they were homophobic. I thought Christ loved us but apparently not if I we are gay. My pastor put the words bad, gay and toxic all in the same sentence sometimes.
So religion can bring love and joy and peace, or it can be dysfunctional. I stand behind this word.
The word "toxic" has been used to shame people. My mother, who was raised a Catholic," told me once I was toxic because I did not clean my room.
Also, because of what my mother and the church taught me I am ashamed of my body and afraid to (well let's not even go there). It goes on and on in my opinion. This is why I have chosen spirituality over religion. In my little world there is no hell or Satan, and therefore no force that we can call toxic. Everything is sick or well or just a work in progress.
I hope you understand now why I was triggered by the word toxic and how some churches can be dysfunctional. You are free to believe that I am over-reacting and have become prejudice, but that is what the word trigger means. Some word or sound or scent or sight that releases a very emotional reaction about something that has been residing in your sub-conscious waiting for just the right moment to come out.
I will agree we can't avoid all triggers on this board, and that you are not responsible for my triggers, so if you want me to delete my post I will.
Should we start a new thread on this?
From Jacarandagirl . . .
I remember one of my exes told me that as a little boy his mother told him he was toxic, because he was so naughty, and he used to recite it to himself like a mantra. Now that's going to have an effect.
I don't believe in toxic. As a concept it makes for some pretty thrilling films, that's about it. Oh, and a whole lot of American (and other) politicians get a lot of mileage out of it. OK, and religious people have latched onto it big time as a way to control people. There's that. I agree with Susan that there are only degrees of sick and well and it's all an expression of how much we are connected to our hearts and minds.
Some religions also teach us to hate other groups and shun them. I had to leave a church because they were homophobic. I thought Christ loved us but apparently not if I we are gay.
So religion can bring love and joy and peace, or it can be dysfunctional.
I agree with you...
For me, homosexuals, 'straight', religious people, and non-religious are all the same before the God I believe in. No one is righteous in his/her own merit or more deserving than the other of God's love. We are all loved by him regardless of who we are. Actually, sometimes I have more respect towards a prostitute who recognized her true condition and asking for God's mercy than those self-righteous religious hypocrites. Cast the first stone. There is only One Judge and he already paid the price for our redemption.
In addition, each person has his/her own right and free will to choose whom he/she wants to believe in. Belief cannot be forced on anyone. It is a personal choice and encounter. To each his own.
PS: I am also for Spirituality and not for traditional religion.
Your recovery is worth the pain of your withdrawal. Remember that "the pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow." Fantasy-based relationship is a lie. Face your reality and stay well!Kind Regards to all LAA members here, - Codepnomore