Today’s blog entry is from Bobbie Malatesta. Bobbie has been a member of Café RE since February 2020. Bobbie just celebrated 4 years alcohol free and is a big source of support to her Café RE UP group!
How I Cured My Atheism
By: Bobbie Malatesta (Café RE UP)
Recently, someone shared a beautiful acronym that I wish I had earlier in my spirituality journey. Before I get into that, please allow me to explain a little of my history in this department.
In my family, we had the Italian and Polish grandparents that were traditionally Catholic. My parents didn’t make us be Catholic except for when we went to weddings and funerals of course. I was given the option to choose what religion I wanted to be.
At age 10, I decided to get baptized a Baptist. I was to stand in a sunken tub in the church and get dunked by the clergy and that would be that, right? Well, not exactly. I begged the man baptizing me to hold my nose when he dunked me. Guess what? He didn’t!!
And so began my atheism. How could I trust this God if his person couldn’t even help me with my minor little request? Staying true to my disbelief and anger was easy as my life unfolded. Trauma, tragedy, death after death, abandonment, and all the other bull-oney that life has to offer seemed to start and never stop in my life. How could there possibly be a “”God” if all these bad things kept happening to me?
And so my life went.
Once I joined 12 Step and had to memorize the Serenity Prayer, it got a bit more challenging. Any time my GA crew wanted me to kick off the prayer, they expected me to say that “G” word but I didn’t want to talk to him. I still didn’t believe in him. On account of my big mouth and the fact that one of the principles in the program is that you don’t have to believe in the G word per seh, we found a compromise. Whenever I started the prayer, I addressed the Universe. Eventually, some of my fellows would start with Universe too, in support of me.
Things were going along just great until I got to Step 11. “ Sought through prayer and mediation…. conscious contact with GOD….” Oh Sugar! It was time to revisit this whole God concept for me. Long story short, I started going to church, meditating and doing the work so I could “graduate” Step 11.
One of my favorite parts of doing this “work” was being in recovery communities like Café RE. Working on Recovery Dharma, Sober travel trips with beautiful peers, learning from Patrick and appreciating the landscape of Bozeman all contributed to what is defined as spirituality to me now. I can see God now in the essence of people, sunsets and sunrises and music. The key is it doesn’t have to be labeled as god, universe or any other word in particular.
The end result was that for me, I now believed in a God, and I still choose to call her or him, Universe.
Now, I have embraced and want to share GUS!
GUS was there all along and I heard about him when I was supposed to, recently at a conference.
GUS stands for:
I am believer that there is no one right way for anything, including our own spirituality. This is not meant an insult to anyone’s faith or choices, but to offer a solution to anyone who might be stuck on this premise like I was.
Either way, GUS got us, no matter what you call her/ him/ it.
Thanks for letting me share!
With Love & gratitude,