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Grapevine : November 2011
Despite all of this, I found myself searching for more meaning in my God. For two years I tried many av- enues through my faith to rekindle the connection. I eventually became despondent and gave up. My new bible had become AA's Big Book and the Twelve Steps, and I was OK with that. I listened to Grapevine articles on CD. My favorite was a submis- sion titled "This Word God, or this Word Love." It brought me tremen- dous comfort that if an agnostic could find a Higher Power, I could find mine again too. During these two years, a subtle awakening had been taking place. I felt more comfortable learning about other religions, feeling free to ques- tion and learn what I could about other points of view. For the past five years, I have read up on religions and spiritual practices, including Protestantism, Mormonism, Juda- ism, Buddhism and Hinduism. I try to see beyond the rituals and obliga- tions, looking toward the principles, the same way I look at the principles of AA in my daily life. It has been in this pursuit that I have been given the priceless gift of reforming my concept of God. Each day, I try to extract all that is good from each of my many areas of study: Detaching from worldly things; exploring the symbiotic rela- tionship between prayer and action ... or how taking action is an act of prayerful love; working at the de- struction of unhealthy self-centered- ness, while preserving a proper-sized sense of self; remembering our re- sponsibility to help another person in need whenever possible; and, of course, acknowledging with absolute belief that I am an alcoholic and can- not drink safely. I still believe that religion has a place in this world and I do not frown upon any of them, especially not the Catholic faith of my child- hood. The rituals I grew up with can and do bring me solace and comfort at times, but I also have an inde- scribable freedom, thanks to AA, to discover solace and comfort wher- ever God leads me. Today, I know even less about "who" and "what" my God is. To me, it's simple: God is love, and love is God. Nicole K. Braintree, Mass. I remember being baffled, wondering what the heck God had to do with not drinking. I'm happy to say I stuck around long enough to find out. For more stories like this, visit aagrapevine.org /topic/spirituality 52 November 2011