Working with addiction in a 12 step philosophy, the concept of a higher power is a constant theme. I get to share the struggle of our patients to come to terms with this as something intrinsic to their recovery. Often the starting point is “I don’t do God!”, moving on towards “well, if I did believe in something, what would it look like?” to, hopefully, some way of understanding life, that is bigger than the individual, from which they can draw faith in recovery.
Doing this work has led me to ponder, what would my higher power be? I come back each time to the idea that we, as people, are more good than we are bad; that there is more love within us than hate. It is not always easy to carry this belief and violent attacks such as the bombing in Manchester seem to defy it.
But, not really.
The kindness and caring of the people who instinctively did what they could to help those affected, is I believe, the true nature of what it means to be human. We are bound more by our similarities of love, care, sorrow and happiness, than the differences whipped up by bigotry and fanaticism. Right now it seems so important to remember this, to recognise and embody it. From the acts of selflessness and heroism to the daily acts of kindness to the person we pass in the street, I still have faith in people and the good within us.