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Big-Picture Thinking

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As I was trying to figure out this whole “Higher Power” thing, I found myself trying to reconcile the many different religious beliefs in the world, wondering who was right.

As I pondered, the image came to me of very large jigsaw puzzle of “God.” Each of us holds a piece of that puzzle. I might look at my piece and say that HP is about trees. My friend from South Dakota might say HP is about mountains. Another person might say oceans. This puzzle image gives me peace because it helps me allow for many varying beliefs, including my own, about a Higher Power or God.

I also think our Fellowship is much like that jigsaw puzzle. We are all part of the worldwide OA Fellowship. We count among us many who are recovering and can tell you exactly how long they’ve been in recovery. We also count members who only measure abstinence “just for today.” We count members in relapse and members who are still looking for their miracle.

The programs we work are varied and can depend particularly upon the type of meeting we attend or program format we use. We all have different concepts of our Higher Power, but we’re all on a spectrum, including people who use one of many organized religions as well as people who, like myself, speak of “God as I don’t understand him, her, or it.”

We certainly sponsor in many different ways. For example, the July 7 reading in For Today includes, “Am I helping those I sponsor find what works best for them?” (p. 189). Compare that to a perspective from the other end of the spectrum in the April 28 reading in Voices of Recovery: “I sponsor in a very structured and precise way that has a spiritual principle connected with each Step” (p. 119).

Consideration of our puzzle would not be complete without mentioning the many ways we eat compulsively—including, but not limited to, grazing, bingeing, purging, restricting, under-eating, or simply having constant food thoughts.

The variations go on and on, but we do have two things in common: the problem of powerlessness over our relationship with food and the solution of our Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Yes, we are all a piece of this magnificent puzzle called “Our OA Fellowship.” From where I stand, it looks amazing!

— Annette P.

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