When I was a child, I was told that god saw all, was everywhere and knew everything. Since I believed god was an old man in heaven, up in the clouds somewhere, I knew that he couldn't be everywhere at one time. I believed that god looked in on me for a couple of seconds every month or two; there were just too many people for him to be concerned about me. But I had to watch my thoughts and my actions just in case he was looking: God as Super Spy.

When I started smoking pot at age 15, I quit going to church and drifted further and further from any sense of god. I thought pot was spiritual, and I had delusions of meditating on pot.

I even bought a meditation bench a few years before I quit pot, though I never used it. I'd get stoned and just space out.

When I first came to 12 Step meetings, I was scared by the "god talk." I thought this was a cult, and I felt very defensive. But I kept coming back because I wanted to quit pot. I could see at my second meeting that this was a fellowship and that we did it together.

I wanted the peace I saw in the people in the meetings, and decided to try this higher power thing. I pulled out the meditation bench I'd never used, sat on it, and "acted as if" I believed in some kind of power. I prayed to the wall, reciting the first three steps and the Serenity Prayer. It felt silly. I have no idea how long it took, but I started to get a sense of a presence that cared for me. This was very different from believing god was outside me and didn't have time for me.

It was a thrilling experience to start a relationship with a higher power that I felt cared for me. I spent the first four years of my recovery trying to figure out what higher power is. I first imagined my higher power to be two oak trees holding up a hammock. I would lay in the hammock, being held.

Finally I gave up trying to figure out my higher power. What's been more important for me is coming to believe that higher power is everywhere, in everything, in all of life, in my life. I believe that we are all part of the higher power, that in each of us it is the spark of the divine.

More simply, I believe higher power is the sense I have when I feel connected to other people, to the earth, to all of life. I am deeply grateful that Marijuana Anonymous meetings exist, because this is where I feel most connected. I hear my higher power through people. I thank all of you potheads in recovery for being willing to heal and to recover your life. I can't do it alone. I need you.

-- Susan
May, 1997

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Marijuana Anonymous - 25th Anniversary Commemorative Coin

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