One of my blog readers insisted that this was a must read, and since I listen carefully to ya’ll, I read it. I actually personally know and like this author; I have always meant to read more of her books, but I didn’t even know about this one. Anyway, I’m glad I read it.
This slim volume would be especially helpful for people to read if substance abuse of any kind has ever been an issue in their lives. Fortunately, there has been no history of alcoholism in my family, but the ideas discussed here still rang relevant to me on many other levels.
This book talks about how to reverse codependency with a spiritual dependency on God. And codependency is defined more widely than I thought of it before, to the point where it includes most of us at least in some way or degree. So it actually is written for all of us, as well as those church people who need to be useful on the receiving and helping end for codependent people searching for a God they can believe in.
Here are some bits from the Part I of book:
- Codependent is a word used to describe a person or state of mind comfortable with artifice and delusion, denial and the repression of individuality.
- Threaded through the Bible is the theme of finding spiritual self-reliance.
- I realized I had spent years as a codependent woman by thinking that I had done something wrong. I was codependent on Eve.
- Codependency is not a peaceful, close relationship to a vital, living, practical, ever-present God– but God dependency is.
- The practice of God dependency is not confined to participation in a group. It requires no consensus.
- God dependency can and often does, begin with desperation. Most people find that they are only willing to trust God when all other methods have failed.
- Getting to know God as your best friend is essential in God dependency.
- The next step in God dependency is to examine yourself and see how much of your life is spent thinking about yourself and see how much is spent thinking about this God that you have just turned yourself over to.
- Forgiveness is a hallmark of God-dependency. Forgiving of the self, of others, has been proven over and over to be part of the discovery of God’s relationship to daily life.
- God dependency involves revising what you think you are.
- God dependency ushers in an appreciation that the spiritual evidence is that God needs you, loves you, cares for you, saves you, feeds you, helps you, visits you when you sleep and sends you messages when you are awake.
- God dependency is an active process that replaces the dialogue of the codependent self with the very words of God.
- The biblical story of Mary and Martha is the story – in codependency terms– of a classic codependent and her God dependent sister.
- To live in a state of mind in which you are not the center of the universe is a step toward sobriety.
- We must discover God for ourselves if we want to discover spiritual self-reliance.
- Millions of people in Alcoholics Anonymous have found that the way out of the specific hell of alcohol addiction is a process characterized by the following [12 step] approach:
- 1) acknowledge powerlessness over alcohol
- 2)admit to something more powerful than yourself
- 3) turn life over to God as you understand Him
- 4) examine yourself
- 5) be honest with yourself and at least one other person
- 6) be willing to have God remove your shortcomings
- 7) be humble
- 8) see forgiveness
- 9) make amends
- 10) pray continually to do only the will of God
- 11) put into practice what you learn
- 12) spread the word
- The first step of the program is an admission –in the words of Jesus– that ‘I of mine own self can do nothing’.
- Codependents are letting someone else define –or be– God for them.
- Those who have found churches that stimulate their thought, increase their ability to heal, serve their brother and sister and neighbor; churches that strengthen the position of women and children and the helpless of society are rare. Those who have found churches that reflect the beauty and originality and harmony and order of Soul, that nourish the individual sense of walking with the ever-present love of the Holy Spirit are rarer still. This is the kind of church that most people want, long for, search for. It is a non-addictive church.
- Women might as well believe the earth is flat as believe that the Bible supports male domination.
- Hope and forgiveness –expectancy of good, under whatever name, is a foundation stone of spiritual reliance. Forgiveness is central to Christianity and to the Twelve Step programs. Forgiveness is the path to healing codependency and addiction to wherever they are found.
- It is time for a truly democratic vision of the heavenly, ever-present Father/Mother God to unite all of us, to inspire and lift us as a nation and a people beyond sociology, beyond biology, beyond the limitations of the day and into newness of life. It is time to witness the joys of Creation and to leave behind us the codependent past.
- …a trusting exploration of the Higher Power… is the happiest of all endings and the only story worth telling and worth listening for.
After Part I, I was giving this book four stars. But Part 2 is five star fabulous and worth getting the book for.
Here are a few bits from Part 2 to give you the gist:
- I am the one that needs the pleasure of accomplishment of my true purpose.
- You, the Creator, alone create. I cannot create anything unlike you. I cannot create fear. I cannot create hate. I cannot create codependency. I am too busy…seeking and enjoying Creation that there is not enough time for inactivity, not enough time for dread, not enough time for sorrow.
- I am related to I Am. I will know my identity. I think about my I Amness. I claim my right to be one with I Am.
- I understand myself as I look to You, my Creator.
- I’m right if I am relating to my Higher Power. I am wrong when I am not relating to my Higher Power.
- Ask yourself– Can I listen to God for one minute? Two?
- I will not give power to anyone else when power belongs to God. Spiritual strength is my right.
- The One I Am, Life, Truth, is the only voice that I can hear, the only impulse for my actions. I am not the slave of another’s thoughts. The only impulsion for my actions is the One I Am.
- I refuse to make many gods by constantly talking about others.
- Identities are not found, but lost in continually taking care of those who are old enough to take care of themselves.
- Because an all-good, all-powerful God is in control, I control only my thoughts and actions. I am not interested in controlling others.
- Love is not stagnant. Love is ever active. Love cuts through self-doubt, possessiveness and fear.
- This moment is one in a day of moments. Each moment is a reflection of all the Good that I can assimilate at this time.
- Be grateful and accept good.
- I know that God will reveal to me what I need to know.
- I do not let another define God for me. I define God for myself.
- We are not helpless victims of our past.
- The point is not to blame– but to seek God for yourself.
- God, acknowledged and sought, is a source of strength to the individual, a very present help in trouble, and in the end, all there is.
- The only requirement for church membership is a desire to be healed.
This book printed in 1992, is now more relevant than ever. You or someone you know may need to read and think through it.