Reclaiming My Spirit

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The AA Agnostica article, “Spiritual, Not Religious” The Hollow Claim of Alcoholics Anonymous”,  and a conversation with an agnostic friend in AA about higher powers, brought something together that I’ve been contemplating – whether I need ‘a’ higher power.

I have begun to think that I don’t. Sadly, in many groups, that would be perceived as the height of arrogance. Yet, what my experience tells me is that, I draw upon many and varied resources, internal and external. Sometimes strength comes from within. Sometimes it comes from other people, animals, places, events. The same goes for awareness, clarity and courage. What moves me, as the author says, is many things at different times.

Honestly when I first began considering that maybe I neither had, nor needed a higher power, it felt arrogant and also a bit scary. What’s ultimately been important is that I am connected, not alone and a part of something(s) that helps me tap inner resources and external resources. Letting go of ‘a’ conscious/subconscious higher power has encouraged me to reclaim for my own, words like; sacred, divine, holy, soul, spirit, (dare I say) even prayer.


I sought the sacred oracle

For wisdom and truth

I search still throughout my days

Feeling closer and never quite there

Believing that truth lies beyond

Suspecting truth may be within


I heard the murmur among the trees there in the sacred wood

Just a quiet rustle of new leaves nourished by morning light

Dancing with a breeze whirling and twirling to an ancient song


There is a peace

Tender and sweet

In the stillness

And the quiet

Before dawn

A healing refuge

For my heart

Sometimes weary

And worn

From too much

Here I find peace

Waiting patiently

Where it’s always been


Earth Mother hear my prayer

My prayer for you my prayer for me

Thank you for the grace of cranes

And the wisdom of crows

The soulful howl of a wolf

A silent swoosh of an owl

The lusty glee of a cardinal

Singing an evensong

And too I bow in thanks

To pasque flowers here and gone

Bloodroot its bud yet wrapped

In a tender curled leaf

Among a sea of trout lillies

Buds bursting brightly on a birch

Burr oaks standing stoically in a field

Seemingly older than time

Earth mother hear my prayer

I give thanks for all that was

All that is and all that will be


I hear the call of the roaring stream

The roaring stream where

Calamity and calm abide

Each in the only way it can

Here above the din

Of raging water tumbling boulders

In the still and the quiet

Of a deep pool where even sand

Need not stir for a time

Many have waded into these waters

And many will yet again

Many have hesitated

And turned away

Which will I be

Which will I be today

About the Author

Robert B. is sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. norm langille

    Like that particular one–thanks Norm

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