My Highest Power


 December 30, 2019

To my delight, in the process of pursing this spiritual journey, I have discovered that this God, whom I am growing increasingly attached to, is even more than my Higher Power. He is my Highest Power! What is the difference between the two? This seemingly minor distinction has been life-changing for me!

I like visual imagery. Here are type analogies to describe my idea of Higher versus Highest. My Higher Power is like an expansive, strong umbrella — one so reliable that I know it will never tear at the edges or get whipped inside out, even in the nastiest wind! It’s comforting to picture my vulnerable self being safely sheltered when I’m caught in the rain.

My Highest Power is like a strikingly robust, weather-savvy figure that appears in the midst of the rain. To my surprise and relief, He leads me with a strong, confident arm to an inviting lodge that is warm and dry. A fire is glowing in the hearth. A hot drink is waiting for me next to an afghan-bedecked chair. I see a bountiful pile of logs being carried in by strong arms, each piece waiting its turn to kindle the fire that reassures me of my safety. My intuition tells me that this Host is trustworthy. He looks me honestly in the eye when we talk, but he is not over-bearing. I notice that He is gracious and considerate but not care-taking! He is sizable, but not the least bit threatening. His protection and strength fill me with a sense of serenity, and I cannot help but feel safe and secure.

The distinction is perhaps not so subtle. My image of my Higher Power was a good start for me… but it has grown into a much deeper, more personal relationship — one that I am grateful to say has become the most meaningful relationship in my life. I have been led out of the storm and into a protective, nurturing refuge — the home of the Highest Power in the cosmos.

Reprinted from the Winter 2009 issue of S-Anews©.

Coming to Believe


 December 16, 2019

In Step One we finally accepted that we could not recover alone. But who could help us out of the emptiness created when we admitted our own powerlessness over sexaholism? At this point, some of us were tempted to fill the void with people, activities or even substances, but we found only a real Higher Power could truly help us. We were relieved to discover that Step Two suggested only that we admit that we were not the greatest power in the universe. That recognition laid the foundation for “coming to believe” — a process of becoming aware of the presence of a Higher Power in our lives.

Some of us had preconceived ideas about God that stood in our way, particularly if we had been hurt by people whose religious attitudes were controlling or punishing. Others were uneasy about the differing spiritual views of group members. However, if our old ideas about God, religion or spirituality had not worked well for us in the past, we were encouraged to begin a new relationship with the Higher Power of our own understanding. In this regard it helped some of us to recognize that we had allowed our spiritual lives to stagnate in the turmoil of trying to deal with sexaholism, so it was not surprising that our understanding of God had not kept up with our growth in other areas of our lives. The wisdom of the ages seems to agree that it is not only all right, but necessary to develop and maintain a concept of God that meets our changing understanding of ourselves and our world, as long as it is a power greater than ourselves. Through our growing trust in this Higher Power, sanity is restored in our lives, and we move toward peace, serenity, and useful lives.

Those of us who resisted the idea that we needed to be “restored to sanity” were encouraged to return to our First Step writing and remind ourselves of the many ways in which our lives had become unmanageable. Many of us even found that after weeks or months of listening to the experience of others in meetings, we became aware at a deeper level of our own powerlessness over sexaholism and the need for a Higher Power to restore us.

Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, pages 23-24.

God Provides for Me – Just in Time


 December 2, 2019

There is a concept in business called “Just In Time” manufacturing. The idea is to save money and increase efficiency by receiving raw materials “just in time” to be manufactured, rather than expensively storing them at the factory until they are needed.

It occurred to me one day that my experience with God is quite similar to this “just in time” concept. I used to face challenging situations feeling empty-handed and unequipped. Through working the Steps and practicing using the many tools of the program, I have come to see that when it is the right time to act, my Higher Power supplies just what I need in each situation. This happens when I ask for clarity to make healthy decisions, when I need an answer or an opportunity to be revealed, when I stay open to new ideas for help regarding my finances, and when I am in need of a program phone call. Sometimes the provision of what I need comes without me even realizing I needed it. God provides for me “just in time.”

Through many years of having these “just in time” experiences, I have learned that I can trust my Higher Power to supply whatever I truly need when the time is right. Today I don’t have to see the resources up front to know that they will be there “just in time.”

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 350.

Recovery Through Conventions


 November 18, 2019

S-Anon International conventions have become a wonderful life-line for me. When I actively participate at a convention, I get a boost in my own recovery by being with other S-Anon members.  Conventions are where I hear other stories like my personal story. I am reminded that I am not alone.  These gatherings have been a very healing experience and have helped me grow spiritually in all my relationships: Higher Power, spouse, family, and friends. The International S-Anon conventions have become so important to me that I plan my vacations around them.

Reprinted from Working the S-Anon Program, 2nd Edition, page 5.

 

Note The next S-Anon International Convention is January 17-19, 2020, in Nashville, TN.  We invite you to join the S-Anon International Family Groups as we share our experience, strength and hope with one another through our Sounds of Healing weekend convention!  This convention is for members of S-Anon and S-Ateen only (i.e., those who have been affected by another person’s sexaholism).

 

It Works if you Work It


 November 4, 2019

A slogan that I’d like to write about is “It works if you work it.” I love this slogan today but I used to find it abrasive! When I first entered S-Anon, I had difficulty with the hand-holding circle at the close of the meeting and chanting “It works if you work it, and you’re worth it!” It felt like an implied requirement for “elite” membership and it was wrapped in a touchy-feely sentiment. Since I had not experienced much safe touch in my life, I certainly didn’t want to be touched by strangers. It was part of my isolation…

I needed something pragmatic to hold onto, I needed answers to questions like, “What did/does it mean to “work it?” What does it mean for me to be “worth it?” “Working it,” for me, means (I should let you know up front that I didn’t do all of this at once) that I show up to the meetings every time it is possible and that I share what worked for me with those who are still suffering. I read the Keys to S-Anon Recovery and The S-Anon Problem and study them. I buy the S-Anon literature and I read it as a part of my daily gift to myself. I cooperate with the standards the Traditions set for my group behavior (begrudgingly at first; with great admiration and respect today). I follow the meeting guidelines. I came out of isolation by calling people from the local meetings and in other cities and by attending fellowship activities. I have sought out sponsorship and committed to being open to guidance. I give back by doing service for the fellowship. I started and completed the Steps several times — most powerfully in a Step study with others from my group. My need for this work is profound and ongoing. I started and completed a Tradition study, and I study a Tradition every month. I started and completed a Concept of Service study, and I study one Concept a month. I attend conventions when I can afford them. When I am triggered I practice exquisite self-care and make restorative phone calls. I got a God Box and I use it. I fired myself as my own Higher Power and experimented with a real one. That experimentation led to a deep relationship with the God of my understanding that can and does restore me to sanity when I reach for it. I reach for it. Reaching for it means I prayerfully spend time in the world of my Higher Power — in parks, on walks, with God’s other creatures, and with my face to the wind and the sun. It means I practice gratitude. It means I surrender having to be right. It means I show up, suit up, and take guidance. It means I put effort into something I believe in. It took me time to believe in it, but because it worked (almost immediately), I grew in belief. Now I enjoy spending time, every day, spiritually centering and surrendering my will. I actively listen for God in the world, the literature, and the people around me.

Reprinted from the Fall 2010 issue of S-Anews©.

Trusting a Higher Power of My Understanding


 October 21, 2019

I once thought my marriage was a failure, and that I could never again trust my husband to remain faithful to me. For years, I had believed my husband’s primary goal should be to please me. Now, with some years of S-Anon recovery behind me, I pray that my husband works to please his Higher Power.

While my husband is sexually sober today, the reality is he is still a sexaholic and he could choose his sexaholism over recovery. That used to cause me a lot of fear, but S-Anon has shown me that I don’t have to be fearful as long as I place my trust in my Higher Power rather than my husband. My experience has shown me that I can trust God to give me what I need to face each day with serenity, courage, and wisdom.

God stands at the door and waits for me. If I am willing to ask for help, He will give it perfectly. I don’t need to check up on God or evaluate His plan. I simply trust in God’s wisdom, and I experience the serenity that comes from His love.

Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 225.

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