I moved to step three last week. I spent the summer at an eating disorder treatment center working on my first step with my sponsor. Which means I emailed her everyday and learned to act in ways that show I know I am powerless. If I am powerless, then I would be willing to take any suggestions that my sponsor makes regarding my recovery. So we emailed everyday, I had to surrender my food plan to the dietitian and I had to participate in everything, even the optional activities at the hospital.
When I came home I moved on to step two. This was really hard for me. I don't even remember doing step two the first time through the steps. I came in to the program having been all of the types detailed in the AA 12 & 12 Step Two chapter. Mostly when I came in I was the drifter and the intellectual self-sufficient. So I spent years trying to find a higher power that would work for me. I acted as if, I used love, I tried to use the connections within the group and each one could not stand up to my intellectual picking or any crisis. I always went back to food as my higher power. I had opened up during my stay in the hospital because so many people I was close to that had close relationships with their God that worked for them. I shared my experience with OA and they opened my heart to the possibility of finding a HP that worked for me.
I despaired of finding a god of my experience that I could have a relationship with. My sponsor, other people around me and all the literature says I need to have a relationship with my HP to recover. I could not go back to the God of my childhood; I tried to be willing but it just does not work for me. So I once again followed all my sponsor's suggestions. I did quiet time each day inviting a spiritual experience. I wrote a gratitude list every night and specifically thanked HP for whatever it was, even if I did not believe it (this got easier and really opened me up), I did writing about a certain relationship that I am obsessed with and really looked at what it is in that relationship that I was seeking and yearning for. That helped define the shape and depth of the hole I was trying to fill with things other than HP.
After two months of working on her assignments and talking about it in meetings and other OA and with my therapist (she also thought it was key for me to find my HP) I came to find the God of my experience. I'm not going to write it all out here. I did write it out, but I've only shared it with five people. My higher power is personal to my experiences and perspective of my life so far and therefore is different from anyone else's HP. A very simplified summary is that I find God in the magic moments and connections with other people where there is synergy. The extra element that I've always called magic can also be described as a spiritual experience. That was the beginning of my understanding. The gratitude lists I continue to write and pray are the tools that are helping me build a relationship. That and recognizing that I've had a relationship to this experience all along and just not recognized it as a HP. I guess one reason I keep it so private is that I'm not interested in debating it or over intellectualizing it. Even what I wrote out to share with select people is more lyrical than analytical. One person called it a poem; I like that.
So now that I've found the God of my experience I'm working on the hard part. Surrendering my will and life to a HP that I just met is so very difficult. I'm going through some really stressful stuff. Not drama that I've made up in my head, but real life struggles that must be dealt with like an adult. So I pray and try to do the next right thing. I'm powerless to do anything else.