What does God look like? – An open talk

In this talk, Bob asks and gives his answer to the question “What does God look like?” I think you will like his answer. He explores his experience of what life is like when he follows God's will for him, and how much better it has been than when he listens to the lies his mind tells him. Bob is an alcoholic, but I identified strongly with most of what he had to say. The audio quality is not good, but stay with it. It's worth it. I think this talk is from the 1970s, because he talks about “when they started this thing 40 years ago.”


leaving – a guest meditation by Hillery


“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?  Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”


Dr. Seuss, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

I have been considering whether or not I should leave my husband. We’ve been together for 12 years, with a three year split in the middle, in which I’d broken off contact with him because he was emotionally, mentally and sexually harassing me (he still does). My family, on the other hand, were convinced that my husband and I were perfect for each other. So, to make them happy, I got back together with him.

A year after that, my father passed away from alcoholism. I felt alone. I had never had very much success in dating, either. So, when my husband asked if I would be his girlfriend again, I said ‘yes,’ even though I really wanted to say ‘no.’ I would do this again when we got married.

I had become so accustomed to letting other people make my decisions for me, and so used to trying to make everyone else happy, that I vowed to spend the rest of my life with someone I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with.

For the past two years I’ve wanted divorce, but was too scared of the unknown – a job, a new life, a new place to live – how would I take care of myself? I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I waited. I waited for the strength to go ahead and take care of myself, against the wishes of others, to be able to set boundaries for myself (albeit small ones) and I waited for a sign that it was the right time to move on.

Finally, I feel like I’ve been getting those signs, it seems ridiculous: A song which gave me encouragement, tears, hope; a text from my brother asking me to get a place with him; and my husband asking me to get a job. BINGO! I prayed the other day for guidance to this divorce issue. I’ve never truly prayed before, but I realized that I can’t do this without my higher power guiding me. I heard “compassion” – for my husband, for myself, and for my children, because it will be a long and hard road ahead.

It will be one day at a time, but I feel like I’m starting to feel that I can be free.

A meditation for August 6, 2013.

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change – a meditation


Sometimes what you're most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.

Robert Tew

I do not like change. I know exactly why – it is because I grew up with the idea that the devil I know is better than the devil I don't. But being in recovery, I no longer look for the devil around every corner. I see, instead, my Higher Power everywhere. Whether I deem it as “good” or “bad”, for me, it's all the act and will of my Higher Power. There aren't any devils in my life. There is my Higher Power reaching out to me in ways that can help me see and help me grow.

Still, I find myself fearing change from time to time because I am afraid that the change will bring me more pain. So, I find myself clinging to things or ideas or people that I think will prevent me from suffering. At times like these, I make a gratitude list to cover all the things that I love in my life right now. Then I look back over the entire course of my life and think about all the things that I had to lose to get here. And I remember how much I clung to those things. If I had known then that letting go of those things would have brought me here, I would not have hesitated to do so.

Today, I realize that when I fear change, I again find myself in that position of clinging to certain things. But when I look at this change in perspective over the course of my life, I can trust my Higher Power and let go. My Higher Power took care of me, kept me safe, and brought me here. I know that my Higher Power will continue to do so. Whatever my Higher Power removes from my life, is removed to make room for something better. Now I know that in order to accept change, I don't need to trust the devil I don't know. I just need to trust my Higher Power.

A meditation for July 22, 2013.

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patience – a meditation


A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.

Henri J.M. Nouwen

I am not a patient person and I want formulas for everything. The truth is I just want a guarantee that my needs will be met and met right now because I'm scared they won't be and I'm scared that if my needs aren't met right now, they never will be. My 12 Step recovery program guides me to a connection with a power greater than myself of my own understanding. This second part is very important. It must be of own understanding or else, how can I trust it? How else can I turn my will and my life over to this Higher (as it states in Step 3) if it is not a power that I understand or is what I need?

Having this connection with my Higher Power, I am able to trust it and trust my life to it. My Higher Power loves me and takes care of me and never leads me where it will not protect me. I am always taken care of even when I am scared, even when I am uncomfortable, even when I am sad, and even when I am not in control. I am always taken care of. So, I can trust. I can trust my Higher Power to meet my needs when they are meant to be met. With this thought in mind, I am able to grasp the concept of patience and trust. When I am able to be patient, I am able to realize that a lot of my “needs” are really just habits I picked up in order to feel in control. I don't need my family to be a certain way for me to be OK. I don't need to be rich in order to be serene. I don't need to be perfect to be happy. My Higher Power taught me that by meeting needs I didn't know I had by not meeting “needs” that I thought I did have.

In my wildest dreams, I would never have been able to come with a life as beautiful as mine is right now. And I didn't have to think it up. My Higher Power took care of it as it takes care of me every day.

A meditation for July 16, 2013.

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