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Articles discussing the Higher Power in 12 step programs.

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious?

Is Alcoholics Anonymous Religious?

While Alcoholics Anonymous does have some aspects that are based on religion, Alcoholics Anonymous as a group is not religious. Many alcoholics believe it is and that is one reason many decide not to go to A.A. meetings. However, Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t require anyone to believe in a certain religion or in certain religious beliefs. While Alcoholics Anonymous is endorsed by and approved by various religious leaders, the program in itself is not religious. People of all religions and people who aren’t religious at all can be a part of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Alcoholics Anonymous program is based upon accepting specific spiritually-based values. You are free to take these values and interpret them in any way that you would like. If you don’t agree with some of the values, you don’t have to follow them. It isn’t a specific program that you must follow in a set way.

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Nature as a Higher Power

The 12 Step Program “Higher Power”: What is it and how do you choose one?

The concept of having a Higher Power to guide us is an integral part of the 12-step vision of recovery. Indeed, six of the steps deal directly with the relationship between members and God. This concept serves a crucial purpose in the process. Recovery involves a realization that our own best judgment has derailed our lives and led us to an unmanageable state. To pursue a better path in the future, we humbly put our life path in the hands of greater power. This process is at the core of the first two-steps.

The program encourages not only belief in a Higher Power, but rather forming a spiritual relationship with that entity which is an integral part of our lives. Many of us fall into addiction and relapse because we feel powerless and lose our self-esteem. The cultivation of a daily relationship with our Higher Power can restore meaning to our lives. We do this through daily meditation and prayer. Prayer helps us talk to our Higher Power, while meditation helps us listen. This is the essence of step 11.

A deep spiritual connection with a Higher Power also helps alleviate some of the core causes of addiction: loneliness and isolation. The importance of this aspect of recovery cannot be stressed enough. Once the steps are completed, we know our place in the world and that our Higher Power cares for us. For many of us, knowing we are being watched over makes us feel part of something important. Knowing that we have a place in this world and that we aren’t alone can motivate us to quit drinking or using it. This can be a key part of recovery.

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