This book, by Justice St. Rain of Baha’i Resources, is now available on Amazon. Click the book title for more information!
I’m Susan and I’m a workaholic and adrenaline junkie and my life has become unmanageable due to burnout and adrenal fatigue caused by drivenness, compulsive caretaking and approval seeking.
For the past several months, I’ve been attending five different 12 step programs over the phone (Workaholics Anonymous, Underearners Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics Anonymous and Survivors of Incest Anonymous ). I’ve got a sponsor and am actively working the 12 steps in Workaholics Anonymous.
As I completed Step 2, my sponsor asked me to identify the qualities of God I wanted to help me with my addictions and recovery. I thought this was a great idea, as I had already written 2 blog postings which could help:
I chose these 12 as my most important, and share them with you in case you’d like to do something similar in your own recovery:
- My only Hope
- The Healer
- The Helper
- The Forgiver
- The Loving
- The Inspirer
- The Unfolder, Unfastener and Uprooter
- The Comforter
- The Best Lover
- The Restorer
- The Satisfier
- The Bringer of Delight
Here’s how I elaborated on each one.
My only Hope:
I started with this one because it’s so true. It’s the basis of everything. God is the All-Knowing, the All-Seeing, the All-Wise and the Well-informed. He is a huge, immense, vast, large, abundant, boundless, enormous, omnipotent, unknowable God. He can do anything!
He has a greater vision of what’s going on with me than anyone else can, (including me), so He knows where and how to apply His healing remedy. I’ve tried everything I knew to try and I still had a problem with drivenness, perfectionism, compulsive caretaking, people pleasing and approval seeking.
It’s nice to know that God has no equal and is the best there is, so I can trust Him with my problems and my healing and stop looking for second class help. He’s become the security blanket I don’t want to let go of, the cord I cling to at all times and under all conditions. He’s the life force that keeps me going.
Of all the things I can remember, His absolute, unconditional love for me and His continual presence in my life is the greatest of them all. That’s why it’s so important for me to continually call Him to mind. I can trust Him to keep my issues confidential.
I can trust His advice and guidance. He is the most sympathetic, empathetic, gentle, kind-hearted listener I will ever find, the one who can get at the root of any of my problems and solve them. He has a quick grasp of reality, comprehends, perceives, understands and is able to figure out problems I can’t solve by myself. He has the cure, the medicine, the therapy and the treatment I need to recover, restore, refresh, regenerate, rebuild, repair and recuperate.
He’s all I need to restore me back to health. He is there to guard, shield, defend, protect and act as my bodyguard. He’s able to offer, provide and give generously whatever I need from His hidden storehouses. He’s concerned, sympathetic, empathetic, gentle, caring and considerate. He’s eager to be understanding and forgiving. In short, He’s got it all and He’s my only hope.
God is my Divine Physician and He has the remedy for all my ills. I trust Him to heal me. In WA, I’m learning that healing involves so much more than my puny mind can conceive. When I give my will over to the care of God, He can help me get at the root of my problems, where on my own I would just focus on the symptoms. His medicine is effective and quick acting, as long as I remember to listen for and apply His remedy.
This is the aspect of God who brings aid, assistance and comfort. He relieves the pain, supports and rescues me. He gives me a helping hand where one is needed. He steps in and takes care of the practical details. I almost always feel like I have to do everything myself. Sometimes it’s even easier that way.
Delegating can be exhausting and time consuming, so it’s nice to know I can ask the Helper to send the help I need. Sometimes I need practical help. Often I can’t even imagine what I need. Neighbors and friends often say: “if we can do anything to help . . .”, and they really mean it, but often I can’t think of anything and need “The Helper” to figure it out for me, and find the right person to deliver it in the right way, at the right time.
Although many people call on The Helper, He’s never too busy to help me too. He has no limits or boundaries. He’s free and unencumbered by anything or anyone. He’s not restricted or regulated. He is the one who can find solutions where none seem to exist. I can trust that whatever solutions He has in mind for me will help me beyond my wildest imagination.
He stands ready to forgive me for my unhealthy attachments and can help me forgive everyone behind my fear of abandonment. God is Merciful and not punishing. Nowhere in the Writings of any religion, do we see God referred to as the All-Punishing or the All-Condemning.
He’s the one I want to root out and extinguish all of my character defects and sins. We all do things that are not pleasing to God. We have all done things we think are unforgiveable, and yet, God shows everyone, including me, His mercy, favor, kindness and leniency. This is the aspect of God I most need to relieve me of my shame and humiliation. He grants His forgiveness, mercy, compassion, understanding, tolerance, pardon, pity and reconciliation to everyone who asks, so I know I can rely on His forgiveness and mercy.
God’s love for me brought me into being. He’s provided me with the foundation and basis for life. He’s the loving parent I need when life is falling apart. He has an endless supply of resources and knows where to find the help I need. He’s a loving friend who is with me “at all times and under all conditions”. He gives a helping hand where one is needed. He steps in and takes care of the practical details. He is the one I can count on when all others have gone home. He’s the one I want to curl up beside and share all of my woes, knowing He’s got a listening, non-judgmental and compassionate ear.
I know I can ask God for anything, but like any loving parent, sometimes He has to say no for reasons I may not understand till later. Sometimes He knows that the kind of healing I want isn’t what’s best for me right now. Sometimes it may seem that He’s withholding His help, especially if I’m expecting a certain outcome. His answer may come in ways I find hard to recognize. I can trust that He loves me so much that nothing is too much trouble and He always has time for me.
God has eagle-eye vision. He knows every aspect of my life and my place in the world. He notices things I may have long forgotten. He sees everything I’ve ever done or ever will do and He’s able to remind me of my strengths, and show me which path is best for me to go down at this time.
He is single, unattached and free to give me His full attention as He inspires, uplifts, moves me and helps me transcend my problems. All I have to do is listen for His guidance, so that I can align with His will. In the past, I’ve turned to everyone else for help, but God’s knowledge is infinitely higher. He can steer me to the right people when I remember to ask His advice. I’m learning that I’m not unique. My problems aren’t unsolvable. With God’s inspiration, I’ve got a limitless storehouse of solutions to draw on.
The Unfolder, Unfastener and Uprooter:
These are the aspects of God who seem to destroy, ruin and wreck things. God knows when things aren’t working anymore and need to be broken so something new can come in its place. He helps me burn away my satanic self in order to purify and cleanse me, in order to draw closer to Him.
These are my least favorite aspects of God, because I don’t like change. I frequently pray for healing so I can go back to life the way it was before starting into recovery, but when I ponder these attribute, I realize that maybe God has something better planned for me. He has to unfasten me from my old way of being, so I can be the person He created me to be.
In any given day and depending on my level of attachment to the old “me”, this can be as painful as ripping Velcro, or as easy as unzipping a coat. He knows when it’s time to move me from a shady spot to a sunnier one; from gravel to a loamy soil.
I don’t know what’s in my best interest, but the Uprooter does, and He’s not afraid to prune me and replant me somewhere better.
Every time the Unfastener has been at work in my life, it’s felt like Velcro ripping apart, or like a Band-Aid pulling hair out of my skin when it’s ripped off. It HURTS! The pain of each of these tests is excruciating, whether He’s been unfastening me from people I love, jobs I’m attached to, or locations I’ve been living in!
When I meditate on the meaning of the “Unfastener” as a name of God here for my healing, I realize God is helping me to let go of something or someone I thought I needed in my life and the best way to heal is to recognize I need to detach, forgive and move on to something better.
The “Unfolder” needs to be active in my life because I’ve folded myself up to protect against hurt or pain, and my muscles have atrophied from curling in on myself. I need to be unfolded, so I can heal and live the life God has in store for me.
This aspect of God is meek, mild, gentle, warm, soft – all comforting words. This is the aspect of God most likely to bring me a metaphysical cup of tea, exactly when I need it or gift me with someone whose kindness is quietly given at exactly the time I need it the most.
The Best Lover:
God has “unfastened” me, so that I could draw closer to Him and make Him my “Best Lover”. The actions I need to take include letting go of my excessive worry and self-pity, blame, hurt and self-hatred, trusting that He’s not going anywhere, and is everything I need and more.
Most of us look to our spouses to be our “best lover” and wonder where the love goes when it fades away. Humans were never meant to take this on. God wants me all to Himself. When I put Him as my Best Lover, calling on Him day and night; serving Him; mentioning His name, He’ll never leave me.
He’s with me always; permanent, steadfast, unshakable. He’s with me long after everyone else leaves. People have come and gone in my life. Sometimes it was the ones I most counted on who suddenly, abruptly and with no warning, disappeared from my life in times of crisis, but I’ve come to appreciate that God’s love and presence in my life has been constant, endless, unceasing, unbroken, steady and invariable, even when I thought He had abandoned me. I know I can count on Him even when I can’t count on anyone else.
God is the only one who can restore me to sanity. He’s is in my life for the long haul. He doesn’t leave when His shift is over. He works weekends and never takes holidays. He’s there to support and nourish and hold me up, even when my resolve is flagging and I’m exhausted. He’s the one who can give me the energy to carry on with the next right action. He’s all I need to nurse and restore me back to health.
I used to hope that God would restore me to the same level of health I enjoyed prior to my burnout and adrenal exhaustion but that may not be as quick and easy as I would like. I’ve noticed that there are 125 separate names or attributes of God embedded into the “Long Healing Prayer”. Now when I say it, I imagine each one as a separate entity, able to assist with a specific area of healing, so that by the time the prayer is finished, I’ve humbly asked God in all His manifest attribute to restore me to sanity so I can better serve His Cause and His servants.
I’m learning that nothing can satisfy me but God. He satisfies my thirst in ways my addictions never could. He is pleased and satisfied with me and wants to satisfy my every desire. I don’t have to do anything to earn His love. It’s unconditional.
I can trust Him with my problems more than anyone else because His love is never going to change. He is generous, giving, open-handed and makes sure I have plenty of what I need. He’s caring, sympathetic, gentle, thoughtful, compassionate, kind-hearted and humane.
He’ll see that things are handled well for everyone around me, so I can let go of any need to compulsively-caretake or people-please.
God can speed things up, accelerate solutions and help move things forward at a quicker pace. His “yes” might not look like the “yes” I was expecting, but I can always count on it to be the right “yes” for me, at this time and in this place.
When I call on the Satisfier, I’m asking God to heal not only me, but everyone dealing with disease, poverty, pain, distress, ordeals, tests, hardships, anguish, grief, mourning, worry, stress, trouble, danger, difficulties, misfortunes, burdens, regrets, disappointments and torments, knowing He can satisfy everyone in just the right way.
The Bringer of Delight:
It’s hard to imagine that in the middle of my darkness there can be any joy, but God wants to bring me joy, happiness, enjoyment, delight and pleasure in the little things, so I can live in the present and appreciate, relish, enjoy and savor each moment.
He wants me to be enthralled, captivated, mesmerized, hypnotized, entranced and delighted as He transports me to another place, high above my troubles.
He is the one who shows me everything beautiful in nature, to remind me that there is still beauty to be found, even in the midst of my pain.
He loves to give extravagant presents! His gifts are always over the top, lavish and plentiful. He can bring beauty into even the ugliest of settings, so this is the aspect of God I want when that dark cloud is following me and I want Him to cheer me up and brighten my day.
And I am grateful!
How do you define your “Higher Power” and how does this definition help with your recovery? Post your comments below.