So, how did she deal with her anger at the Almighty?
“I have been teaching for 18 years that when you are angry, you must feel the emotion, take an action and do a forgiveness process not just for you but for whoever you perceive as the victimizer as well. So in the case of my anger against God, I wrote a letter to God, feeling so powerless and weak, having felt like I held up my end of the deal. After writing the letter, which really gave the spirit within a strong reprimand, I was able to start looking for the divine order in what I was going to go through.
“I looked for the gifts of this experience.
“And of course as soon as I remembered that I had to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I could, I realized that my work right now was to raise my own consciousness so I could share my experience with others.
“Then instead of feeling victimized by God, I felt blessed by God.”
Is she reconciled now with God?
“I am,” she says simply.
More Debbie Ford books
A deeply spiritual woman, she has experienced Him before, she says:
“I write poignantly about my experience in my book The 21-Day
Here’s an excerpt:
“I was in my fourth drug-treatment center, and it was day ten of a twenty-eight- day program. By this time, I had suffered for over fifteen years with drug addiction and the underlying insecurities and self- loathing that birthed this painful pattern of behavior.
“I had been in and out of treatment centers before and could never seem to make it all the way through. It was always around the ten-day mark that I began to feel strong, willful, and convinced that I “had it.” I don’t know what I thought I had, but the ache that led me into the treatment center would fade away and be replaced by a desperate desire to get the hell out of there.
“But on this particular day, I was keenly aware of where my urge to escape would take me. It was no mystery, because it had happened so many times before. I would finagle my way out of the treatment-center door, claiming I was healed, had found enlightenment, and was now freed from my addiction. And then either hours, days, or weeks later I would be back in the same vicious cycle of filling my small body with drugs, chasing a feel-good moment, and then sinking back down into the depths of hell and hopelessness.
“On this particular morning I was finally able to see where the path of running away would lead me. And I knew without the shadow of a doubt that I couldn’t do it one more time. I knew that if I ran away, I would either find myself back in the same place I was in or, worse, never make it back here alive. But even with this awareness, the urge to escape continued to well up inside of me, and the voices in my head became louder and louder: ‘Run, Debbie, run! Get out of here! You’re not one of them. You don’t need this. You don’t need these people. You can do it alone! You’re better than them.’
“I excused myself from the group-therapy session I was attending and proceeded down the dark, dingy corridor that led to the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom and was appalled by the smell of dried urine. The bathroom was a disgusting place.
Debbie Ford today
“The stench was almost more than I could bear. The tiled floor and the grout that held the tiles together, which probably started out gray,
were now black with mold. And even though I’m a bit of a clean freak, I forced myself into the room because at this point I was so filled with toxic emotions and so desperate for help that I decided to do the unthinkable: I got down on the floor on my hands and knees in a prayer position and began to pray.
“I asked God — or my higher power, as they called it — to come to me, to help me, to rescue me from my pain and my own self-destruction. My body was trembling, and tears were rolling down my cheeks. I was desperate for help, for understanding, and for salvation. And although I had attended synagogue all my life, attended many 12-Step meetings, and heard all types of people talk about God, for me God was nothing more than a man in the sky, a concept in my mind that brought me neither comfort, peace of mind, nor faith. The actual experience of God, spirit, or divine consciousness did not exist for me.
“So for a few minutes, I listened to the ranting in my head about how stupid this was, how disgusted I was to be here, and how embarrassed I felt begging some power I didn’t even believe in to help me. I felt angry at God, at my parents, and at all those who had hurt me, believing that if it weren’t for all of them I wouldn’t be here, literally experiencing an all-time low.