GIVE UP: STEP 12
Handing Our Life Over To
A Higher Power
The Program Of Miracles is not a religious program; it is a
spiritual program. We don’t all share the same religious beliefs.
However, we do share the commonality of needing a power
greater than us to find the miracles of life as well as a desire
to heal both emotionally and spiritually.
Let’s begin the life-changing undertaking of turning our lives over
to the care of a Higher Power. For much of our lives we’ve tried to
get others to turn their lives over to us. Alternatively, we’ve
spent the other part of our lives attempting to hand our lives
over to other people. Now we learn to surrender to the will of our
We have very confused ideas about what a Higher Power is.
Many of us believe a Higher Power to be punishing, to expect
us to do more, be more, give more and receive nothing in return.
We were told that to be selfless was the way to Heaven. We became fearful of trusting anyone or anything and believed that nothing or no one could help us.
Now we discover what a Higher Power means to us. It is our divine right to choose how we see this power rather than what we have been taught. We can look at what feels right to us, taking into account the complement of teachings we’ve absorbed through our childhood and beyond.
We may want to use the label of ‘God’, but there maybe other labels that seem more appropriate like: divinity, natural law, Guru Dev, all knowing, universal life, holiness, Allah, Jesus, soul start, divine spirit, life force or another label that comes to your mind when you think of a higher power. Whatever your name is for this power that is greater than us, make a decision to turn your will (ego) and your life over to this greater power every day.
Some of us struggle with God because of the situation we find ourselves in. We ask ‘How could you do this to me? If you were really on my side you wouldn’t have let this happen!’ However, once we see that surrendering isn’t failure and that things always work out (no matter how much disbelief we had to begin with), the Miracles begin.
We start by turning over the things that we cannot manage alone. Anxiety, worry about the future, other people’s problems and other people’s reactions to us. We turn over anything that is beyond our control. Once we see that we can believe in hope and that our prayers are answered, we build up to turning over more and more of our life problems. Our trust grows as we pray and step back and see the changes happening in front of our eyes.
This approach helps us see that our mind racing (when we go over and over things in our mind) and compulsive behavior is not a ‘mental health’ issue but a spiritual barrier. Our mind racing is borne from being raised in a dysfunctional family in which we needed to develop survival strategies to help us cope.
The remedy is spiritual. We have tried and failed many things to make ourselves feel different but now we can seek the understanding and love of Higher Power. We begin to believe that our Higher Power understands our plight and knows it is the result of our childhood. We come to realize that the healing we seek begins with our relationship with this Higher Power.
How Do We Turn Our Life Over To A Higher Power?
If we have hit rock bottom, we have been running our life on our own willpower. We have hit the limits of our own willpower and have either burned out or suffered desperate disappointments. Many of us felt very powerful as a child due to the inappropriate autonomy given to us as children.
We were told things like 'If it wasn’t for you, my life would be great'. Perhaps we thought we could change our parents and make them love us more. We thought we could stop them from neglecting us or hitting our siblings. When we found we couldn’t, we thought we had failed. With the help of a Higher Power we can let go of the need to control our parents and hand over the reins of power to this loving source. We can relax, knowing we are safe.
Many of us have discovered the power of prayer. Prayer is the way we communicate with our Higher Power. Pray three times daily for one week and at least once a day thereafter.
Like we eat, drink and sleep - we make it part of our moment-to-moment life
As if we’re talking to a friend
When we need help
When we feel like life is out of control
First thing in the morning
Last thing at night
Anytime during the day
When we’re stuck
When we have no answer
When we feel helpless
When we feel hopeless
When we’re depressed and don’t know why
When we can’t make a decision
When we're worried about others
When we’re sorry
When need forgiveness
All other times when we are unsure about our next step
Here is a suggested prayer to help turn your will and your life over to your Higher Power. Say this daily:
Dear Higher Power, today I offer my will and my life to you. Please relieve me of the fears that keep me in bondage and the desires that hold no place in my life any more. I ask you to show me your will for me and give me the power to carry it out one day at a time. Amen