Faith a belief outside of me

For recovery discussion

Faith a belief outside of me

Postby positrac » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:45 am

I had a discussion with my sister in law and it was about faith. Normally I believe people think of religion and or God first when faith is mentioned. But this word could mean my faith of having a job, my vehicle starts on those cold mornings, and or that coffee shop has fresh coffee at peak times.
So I said I had faith that I believed that something in the universe that has my back and I call it God because I never thought of another name. I guess I could call faith Rover, Skippy and or whatever as long as I used that mental belief for positive things in my growth as a person.
SiL thinks that organized religion is the problem because she was catholic, the Pope is all screwed up and the world is going into the toilet because of the Pope and Trump….. WTF is going on I said as she goes off the tracks into the woods! I said those things are your fault and you are making excuses for not changing as you use religion as a crutch to act out and or play atheist. Seriously? Religion is man-made and Faith is my inner feeling of the spiritual awakening (maybe) and or because I am at peace with me. You know Rover has my best interest. See we are like animals and we are pack driven of sorts. For example we are going to the bar, ball game ect.
I did go to the bar and sports events and normally I was by myself. But I wait in line and follow the leader aimlessly because my instinct tells me this is right? So for me and for the sake of debating my mental state I would request that we don’t and say we did ok…. :roll:
But having this discussion did remind me of where I came from before I got sober and how though faith how Rover changed my ways. I was on my way to prison and I tried to drink myself to death to prevent me having to be accountable for my actions. I had spent 6.5 years in a boy’s home and going to the joint was not an option and I was too big of a wussy to just put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger. I tried and the gun jammed each time I tried.
I don’t know how I was able to skip out of prison, except I was told that the evidence just kind of disappeared. I was able to keep my job and I did whatever they said even if it was cleaning the women’s bathroom! I hated that one most and I did it with a smile because faith (Rover-God-Spiderman) gave me hope.
In the rooms I get an earful of all of these ideas and anti-religious types and I often ask what they are doing to except what they can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference? I get mostly deer in the headlights looks and then some are these earthy types that reply. Mostly I just say that if they believe those things and if gives them hope and quality of sobriety then change will come in time as they grow and mature.
I needed to just write this out because as a onetime new-comer 3 or 4 times until it stuck I was scared of God (Good orderly Direction) and I thought for sure hell, fire, and brimstone was my calling! The people in the rooms told me they’d love me until I could love myself. Through that unconditional verbiage I was able to find faith via my sponsor. So hope is real and faith is too and no matter what you name it I say just use it.
Merry Christmas and Chanukah and no matter your faith and or beliefs because we all like opening presents and it is a time for reflection for a New Year and over eating and arguing with your not so favorite outlaw/in-laws. So smile and look at the good we have and think of the future of our sobriety and know it is not an inside job. :shock:
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Duke » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:57 am

Thanks for sharing positrac. My experience with faith has been similar.


I realized somewhere along the line, that the question is not whether I have faith or not, but rather, what I have faith in. Everyone has faith in something. It may be faith in chaos, fear, punishment etc., but we all believe in something. Why not believe in something positive and reassuring?


No, the question I have to ask every day is what will I have faith in today? What do I choose to believe? Am I screwed or am I saved? Beloved or unloveable? Safe or in danger?


It really seems simple. I have to believe something. Whatever I believe informs everything I do. I couldn't act without it. Yet for so long, I tried to pretend that what my psychological/emotional makeup, history, etc happened to dictate for me mentally and emotionally today, was just the way things are. What a strange idea.


For me, the role of faith is not to explain the inexplicable, but rather to allow me to accept it with a sense of hope. Today, I choose to believe there's a power greater than me that I can't explain because that idea works.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
User avatar
Duke
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3684
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:35 pm
Location: Kansas, USA

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby tblue818 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:17 am

positrac wrote in his last line: "So smile and look at the good we have and think of the future of our sobriety and know it is **not** an inside job." (emphasis mine).

Was the "not" a typo? It was definitely my experience that before my outsides changed, my insides had to change first. Changing the outsides caused the cycle of: I could get fixt, but I couldn't stay that way (it applied to many things, but also 'quitting drinking' for a spell, and then back to hell). In AA, I found new thinking that replaced "my best thinking got me here". :)


Duke wrote: "Yet for so long, I tried to pretend that what my psychological/emotional makeup, history, etc happened to dictate for me mentally and emotionally today, was just the way things are. What a strange idea."


I heard on Joyce Meyer something that clicked, for me. She said, "Yes, there are reasons that we are the way we are; but don't allow reasons to become excuses to remain unchanged."

Pamela
tblue818
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:17 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby positrac » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:38 am

tblue818 wrote:Was the "not" a typo? <------

I heard on Joyce Meyer something that clicked, for me. She said, "Yes, there are reasons that we are the way we are; but don't allow reasons to become excuses to remain unchanged."

Pamela

Well actually it is not a typo because with help of others in service we get better. Something's in AA are inside jobs and other are outside jobs. I can say that is sobriety was so easy----easy program it is the people who make it hard! If it was so easy everyone would be doing it.... :roll:

That quote from J. Meyers is good one to live by as this world is more opposite than ever and peer pressure drives a lot of folks into some kind of alter ego.

Be well
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Brock » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:41 am

...organized religion is the problem because she was catholic, the Pope is all screwed up and the world is going into the toilet because of the Pope and Trump….

I have heard very many people both in and out of AA, who have been turned off of God due to organized religion, the Catholic religion in particular. A couple of us here subscribe to the free daily e-mail 'meditations' from Fr. Richard Rohr, a great friend of AA who sometimes mentions us in his writing. He supports the new pope, and his ideas to get away from some of the 'old thinking' which put people like myself off. This pope openly says there is no place like hell with eternal suffering, because what kind of God would want that, Adam and Eve was a fairy story to make a point about good and bad, and similar things he just dismisses as fluff the church does not need. Unfortunately, those who have turned their back on the church aren't aware that they are trying to change some of the old thinking, and the older priests we encounter at the parish level probably won't endorse the new thinking anyway. Fr. Rohr figures that to keep themselves employed, many priests persist with the idea of come to church at least every Sunday, and put good money in the hat, or else your ass is grass when you die.

He laughs at the way the church used the idea of a God who will punish us, and how from very young we are warned of the consequences of doing 'bad' things. It's all an old fashioned way of keeping kids and the general population in line, like some Santa Claus, except if you are bad you won't just have a crappy Christmas, it's an eternity of crap for you when you die, it's all a load of crap!

So some of the newer 'prophets' like Tolle don't use the word God much at all, and explain that it's because of all the negative connotations which have been attached to it. Pamela mentioned a good lady Joyce Meyer that I used to follow, and who I quote when going off on one of my soap box speeches, regarding overuse of sponsors who members phone up for consultation on the slightest problem, Joyce says “go to the throne before the phone.”

As far as I see it, all real growth in AA comes from step 11, and practicing the principles of all steps helps improve our conscious contact with the God of our understanding. Improvement in this area equals improvement in faith, equals how much we can actually follow step 3, and equals how much less we can care about what other people think about us, finally equaling how contented serene and happy we are.

Sorry for the long winded opinion.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3174
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:29 am

So talking about Tolle, this is what he has to say when it comes to GOD:

By misuse, I mean that people who have never even glimpsed the realm of the sacred, the infinite vastness behind that word, use it with great conviction, as if they knew what they are talking about. Or they argue against it, as if they knew what it is that they are denying. This misuse gives rise to absurd beliefs, assertions, and egoic delusions, such as "My or our God is the only true God, and your God is false," or Nietzsche's famous statement "God is dead." The word God has become a closed concept.

Also like a guy who opened the CA meeting once with this: 7 Billion People, 7 Billion Perspective.

To me that sums it all up.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4646
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby PaigeB » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:14 am

AA as a Whole has certainly given me a Group Of Drunks and Good Orderly Direction and has indeed restored me to some semblance of sanity. Anywhere in this world, at anytime of the day, AA'a are gathered together for Good. I can always go to AA in prayer when my HP before AA was MyEgo.

How does that affect me when I need Faith? Well, if I didn't die then there is more for me to do. If I didn't die then there is Hope that whatever it was has a reason to be in my experience. Sometimes life & death suck. They suck BAD. I do not have to name that reason or have any entity tinkering with the results. I just have to believe that things are what they are and, in this moment, that they are perfect. Whatever my experience will be is whatever I need experience, with the purpose for going forward.

If I go backward and drink again, then MyEgo has been in control of me for a while. Before I drink I can interrupt MyEgo with any number of the AA Tools. I can even call an active drunk that is practicing drinking again... They will talk me out of it!

So in the holiday Spirit, from a Firm Atheist: Be Good for Goodness sake! :lol:
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 10395
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Layne » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:12 pm

I have faith that the twelve steps work.
Layne
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1518
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:20 am
Location: British Virgin Islands

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby tblue818 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:02 pm

[/quote]Well actually it is not a typo because with help of others in service we get better. Something's in AA are inside jobs and other are outside jobs. I can say that is sobriety was so easy----easy program it is the people who make it hard! If it was so easy everyone would be doing it.... :roll:

That quote from J. Meyers is good one to live by as this world is more opposite than ever and peer pressure drives a lot of folks into some kind of alter ego.

Be well[/quote]


Thanks, positrac, for clarifying for me what you meant by the statement I asked about.

All the best,

Pamela
tblue818
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:17 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Lali » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:05 pm

IMO sobriety and well-being ARE an inside job. A person can knock themselves out trying to help another, but if that person is not open minded and willing to change, it's not gonna happen. But that's just how I see it...
Lali
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 4869
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Tosh » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:26 am

Layne wrote:I have faith that the twelve steps work.


I'd say you started with faith, applied the 12 Steps to your life, and ended up with a belief that they work.

Apologies for splitting hairs with your own experience. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3651
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Tosh » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:36 am

positrac wrote:Normally I believe people think of religion and or God first when faith is mentioned.


My own thoughts is that faith or belief in a deity is irrelevant; I don't - I can't - force a belief. And my father was a 'believer', yet he still died a typical low-bottom alkies death (surrounded by filth and poverty; alone). I just don't rate beliefs.

What I do rate is ACTION. The 12 Steps is a pragmatic program of action. We take the actions, honestly, openly and willingly and things change.

I think it's a bit like getting fit. I take the actions; I lift weights, I run, I try to eat right. None of that stuff makes me fit, it just creates the potential for fitness to occur (the actual adaptation takes place during rest periods). I could say that I take the actions and God makes the fitness happen.

I think it's like that with our 12 Step program of action; we take the actions and God does the rest. A belief in God seems to be irrelevant.

I guess God isn't some ego that cares what our beliefs about Him/Her/It is?

Just recently I sat in a meeting where a guy shared about the kindness shown to him by his sponsor, who had taken him in, gave him a bed, and just loved the guy. He was two years sober now. His sponsor was in the room. Then another new guy shared that he'd been looked after by the guy who was two years sober; this guy had sat with him while he detoxed, had washed his soiled bedclothes, fed him and supported him and took him to A.A.; he loved him.

'God is love'; I can go with that concept of God.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3651
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Brock » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:20 am

Tosh wrote:'God is love'; I can go with that concept of God.

Many good men would agree with that concept, in speaking about the biblical writings credited to John, Fr. Rohr said this on Tuesday -
“Whoever loves is born of God and knows God.” Unfortunately, many Christians think, “If I read the Bible, I’m born of God; or if I go to church, I know God; or if I obey the commandments, I know God.” Yet John says it’s simply about loving. Note that the converse is true also. “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3174
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby Barbara D. » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:57 am

Great presentation of a multi-faceted topic, Posi! I'm so glad you lived long enough to make it to Recovery!

Throughout the shares, I kept wondering if faith and what I believe are the same thing. I got here atheist and knew that I consciously rejected religion as being a man-made control contraption. It never dawned on me that I could have a god of my understanding, probably because I played god in my own life. I used the Home Group as my HP so I could take the Steps. But that small change in my thinking led to changes in what I believed and then led the way for more changes towards spiritual principles. And then changes began to appear in my behavior.

For me, whether an external being is pulling my basic instinct strings or whether pain forced me to consider new parameters for understanding my insides and it's all an inside job is really irrelevant. I'm just so glad I know I'm not in charge!!!!

One day at a time into.....2017!!!!
User avatar
Barbara D.
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:21 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Faith a belief outside of me

Postby positrac » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:03 pm

Brock wrote:
...organized religion is the problem because she was catholic, the Pope is all screwed up and the world is going into the toilet because of the Pope and Trump….

I have heard very many people both in and out of AA, who have been turned off of God due to organized religion, the Catholic religion in particular. A couple of us here subscribe to the free daily e-mail 'meditations' from Fr. Richard Rohr, a great friend of AA who sometimes mentions us in his writing. He supports the new pope, and his ideas to get away from some of the 'old thinking' which put people like myself off. This pope openly says there is no place like hell with eternal suffering, because what kind of God would want that, Adam and Eve was a fairy story to make a point about good and bad, and similar things he just dismisses as fluff the church does not need. Unfortunately, those who have turned their back on the church aren't aware that they are trying to change some of the old thinking, and the older priests we encounter at the parish level probably won't endorse the new thinking anyway. Fr. Rohr figures that to keep themselves employed, many priests persist with the idea of come to church at least every Sunday, and put good money in the hat, or else your ass is grass when you die.

He laughs at the way the church used the idea of a God who will punish us, and how from very young we are warned of the consequences of doing 'bad' things. It's all an old fashioned way of keeping kids and the general population in line, like some Santa Claus, except if you are bad you won't just have a crappy Christmas, it's an eternity of crap for you when you die, it's all a load of crap!

So some of the newer 'prophets' like Tolle don't use the word God much at all, and explain that it's because of all the negative connotations which have been attached to it. Pamela mentioned a good lady Joyce Meyer that I used to follow, and who I quote when going off on one of my soap box speeches, regarding overuse of sponsors who members phone up for consultation on the slightest problem, Joyce says “go to the throne before the phone.”

As far as I see it, all real growth in AA comes from step 11, and practicing the principles of all steps helps improve our conscious contact with the God of our understanding. Improvement in this area equals improvement in faith, equals how much we can actually follow step 3, and equals how much less we can care about what other people think about us, finally equaling how contented serene and happy we are.

Sorry for the long winded opinion.


Brock,
Sometimes our thoughts written (mostly me) aren't embraced and that is ok. I liked what you said and my answer/opinion is that I have to work this faith deal and I know with out a doubt that something in the universe has protected me and you all to some extent. I've been in some very evil spots on this plant and I walk away unhurt and others weren't so lucky. So I ask was it my determination to live, and or was it faith and fear or a combination of it all? I am not sure if there is an answer to it all and really I like that part better as it is way less to worry about. We all work AA different and yet similar and the beauty is if we maintain sobriety then we are growing and living out our lives sober and this is a good thing.
You must live your life from beginning to end: No one else can do it for you.
Hopi Proverb
User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1137
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Next

Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests