If it don’t apply let it fly…
How Do I Know God Really Loves Me?
The only way for us to know that God Loves us…really know in our heart and soul is for God to show and tell us personally in whatever way we can really believe. People can tell me all day long that Jesus Loves me but unless Jesus introduces himself to me and shows me that He Loves me I won’t take anyone’s word for it past my own wishful thinking.
One of the most common reasons for people to run around telling others “Jesus Loves You” is because they themselves have truly been touched by God and are inspired to share or they have some kind of ulterior motive. Not all of them are delusional or doing it just for some financial gain. Many, many people have had spiritual experiences and spiritual awakenings which have changed their lives dramatically for the better. The question is how can I get a spiritual experience that will show me that God Loves me personally. And how do I find a Higher Power that will help me to stay sober. How can I attain the spiritual experience that will heal me both emotionally and physically? How can I receive a touch from the almighty God that will deliver me from anxiety and panic attacks?
Sound self-centered? Well we humans are self-centered by nature and that’s one reason why our race has survived. It’s OK to love ourselves enough to seek out salvation from death and relief from pain.
In Step three of AA it is suggested that we attain a higher power and start building a relationship with a God of our understanding.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
There are two things that will stop a person from getting and staying sober. One is shame in relation to people and two is shame in relation to God. Shame wants to isolate us, shame wants to always be alone. Unhealthy emotions were taught and hatched in us addicts at ages one through five the formative years. Addiction is but a symptom of core emotional issues. Unhealthy emotions are an inability to process and let out our intense feelings. We bottle feelings up until they make us sick and we verbally attack the ones we love because of the pain inside of us.
So whats the solution? Seeking God is the solution. Because if we seek and continue to seek we will find our own God. Men no matter how hard they try will never ever be able to connect us with their God. Believe me they will try and some will pretend that they can connect us to God. The first ingredient that urges us to seek God is usually desperation. Usually men have to become desperate before they will seek God by prayer with their whole heart. We should pray and meditate on a regular basis to find God.
Seek A Higher Power Where Other Humans Have Found God
Be willing to go out into the world to places where people openly praise and worship God. Go to the alter and confess to God and man those things of which you feel guilt. Doing a fourth step should include writing down the things we ourselves feel shame and guilt for. If we don’t write down the things we vehemently want no one to ever know our heart will not be cleansed and our step-work will not be a liberating act of truth. “The truth will set us free.”
Oh sure we can write most of the stuff down and hide our worst offenses and it will be better than nothing that is for sure. But to get the kind of relief that promotes a psychic change and relief from anxiety and depression we need to tell it all. And not just tell but express our feelings emotionally from wrongs we have suffered and wrongs we have done. We need to do some crying and even some screaming in our car, some beating the bed to find relief. What I am talking about is crying and screaming over things we should have been allowed to scream and cry over long ago. Or maybe we didn’t know that crying is a healthy emotion and we stifled our tears on many occasion. Maybe we were told it’s weak to cry and we are ashamed and apology when we cry.
Step four is about resentments right? Next step Five and Six are about finding “our part” in our list of resentments. “My part” means, where was I wrong. When I look at my wrongs I should feel guilty about them if I have the normal human make-up. We should be uncomfortable confessing our guilt and shame for our confession to give us an emotional relief. The Catholics have a good thing called a confessional. Other religions have alter calls where people confess to one another and receive prayer. In the 12 step program we confess to whoever we choose to listen to our fourth step at least in this part of the country that’s how it is done.
Some AA groups don’t believe in putting guilt and shame on their fourth step. Either their false pride will not permit it or they have no guilt which would make them sociopath. Or their guilt is buried so far inside of them it will take an act of God to bring it to the surface. We should be patient and pray for those who feel they have committed no wrongs. In the Big Book it says that “some are incapable of being honest with themselves, they are not at fault”. That doesn’t mean we have to live with a person who abuses us, that would be unhealthy on our part.
Some times our emotions are so twisted up we feel guilt over things that are not wrong and we don’t feel guilt over horrible things we have done. If we feel guilt we should express our deep feelings even if people tell us we did not wrong. The intensity of our feelings should be our guide to which emotions get shared and processed. Perfectionism is much like guilt. When we expect ourselves to be perfect and feel bad about making a mistake that could be ego and pride pushing us to be perfect which is something we will never be. Beating ourselves up for mistakes and for being human falls under our list of shortcomings.
Beating our own ass for being human is just another form of playing God. We have no right to condemn us or others apparently our creator wanted us to be imperfect, who are we to argue with that? And at the same time we should work to improve.
Doing the 12 steps is a blueprint for living clean and sober. It’s also a blueprint for living guilt free. However Bill and the gang missed the part about learning how to express deep emotional pain. Guttural sounds and groans are another way to get pain out. Some emotional pain is too strong for even tears. In some countries it is not a shame for a man or a woman to express deep emotion there are less suicides there I am sure. With the blue print of the fourth step we can figure out what it is we are feeling so much pain over. That is if we take our step eleven seriously.