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  • Writer's pictureDr. Stacey Lamar

What is a "Higher Power"

I have been working with a family member for several weeks that is an alcoholic. He is not a young man and he comes from many generations of alcoholics in his family. He attends regular AA meetings and in these meetings they speak of calling on your "Higher Power" to help through the sobriety process. This gentleman, raised a Roman Catholic, asked me to clarify the meaning of "Higher Power". Despite my best attempts he remains resistant to accept this phrase because it seems to violate his religious beliefs as he learned them many years ago.

When I hear "Higher Power" it brings forth an appreciation for something greater than myself while respecting that my interpretation may be different than the person next to me. Perhaps politically correct or religiosity neutral, the term higher power allows the opportunity for each individual to define based on their own spiritual belief's. It is surprising to me that this term offends this gentleman as I was also raised Roman Catholic, albeit generations later. I would think that any religious or spiritual person would take no offense to this term although it may not be the preferred choice.

God, Allah, Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus, The Creator, The Divine, Yahweh... the list goes on are all under the umbrella of Higher Power. Are they not?

As a nurse, my earliest training included respect of personal choice for all humans in matters of health and faith. There is no judgement to be made for believing in a higher power or not. As a spiritual lifecoach, the same rules apply. My role is to help each client connect with their "personal power" which often includes working within the framework of a higher power, but not always.

Take a few moments to consider what a higher power means to you. It is becoming a more common term and yet it is greatly diverse in interpretation. Are you a person that identifies with a religious group or do you feel more comfortable with a broader spiritual view? Are you questioning the validity of a higher power and believe in a more humanistic philosophy? Regardless of your answers, it is empowering to do a periodic self review. What defines you at this moment may not be what defined you in the past. Dare I say, I hope it doesn't. We all should be growing and changing and learning and considering different approaches to how we see ourselves within the world. Just like we should be open to trying different foods from time to time, we should not turn our nose to new world views or experiences.

Honor yourself by taking some time to review how you have changed over the decades. Take out some of those old photographs and smile at the changes you have made. Love yourself more. Thank whatever "Higher Power" that aligns with you for all you have learned and what lessons the future will bring. ~ NAMASTE ~

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