Addiction recovery often focuses on three broad areas of self-development and health: physical, mental, and spiritual. Where physical and mental health might be the “how?” of recovery, spirituality is the “why?” What keeps us going on our journey? What keeps us connected along our paths?
What is this all really about?
Spirituality is, by nature, a somewhat abstract concept. Religions, theologians, and philosophers around the world have attempted to define this concept throughout history. In many 12-step recovery programs, seeking help from a “higher power” is a cornerstone for recovery. At Safety Net Recovery of Atlanta, Georgia, we believe that everyone in recovery can live with a spiritual significance, a core value we refer to as “grace.” However, you get to define spirituality in your own way.
What Is a “Higher Power” in Addiction Recovery?
A “higher power” in addiction recovery and 12-step programs refers to a power that is greater than ourselves. Belief in a higher power of some kind is one of the critical aspects of spirituality. Ultimately, we are looking for something bigger than any one person. When we live with grace, we live a life that carries significance. We choose to live a life of purpose with “all of our might.” Choosing a spiritual path in recovery means recognizing that your life can contribute to something beyond yourself.
No matter what you do in your life, you will have an impact on others. You get to decide what kind of impact you have. You can choose to have a meaningful impact on the world around you. When you choose recovery and seek a higher power in sobriety, you decide to live a life of spiritual significance. Spirituality is most often defined in the value that we contribute to helping the lives of others and connecting with the world around us.
How Can I Discover My Spiritual Significance?
Discovering spirituality is a highly personal path many of us take during our lives. Some of us find it in religion, while others may find their higher power in nature. Spirituality comes from the things that you do that may include:
Letting Go of Our Stubbornness or Desire to Fix Problems Without the Help of Others
While we often think of spiritual people being those who help others, sometimes, we need the help of others.
Spirituality means having the faith to seek help from others and letting go of our need to “not burden or bother others.”
Spirituality is about building a sense of community within the world among others, by both giving help and receiving it.
Having Respect for Ourselves and Others
When we take care of our mental and physical health, we contribute to our spiritual well-being by showing respect to our bodies and minds.
Recognizing a higher power can mean that we realize that there is something greater beyond each and every one of us; no person’s life means more than anyone else’s.
Following our Morals and Principles
When we have guiding principles and morals, we connect to a code that is greater than ourselves and our desires.
We can define our spirituality by the morals which guide our interactions with the lives of others.
Spirituality: Finding Your Path
first comes from taking care of and respecting ourselves. If we are not healthy and don’t have mental clarity, we will not have the ability to support others along our journeys. The first step is realizing that we need the help and support of others first. We can do things like:
Respect Ourselves by Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Reach Out for Support
12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are a great place to start
We can also try other groups, like SMART Recovery.
Talking to family and friends about our issues. We might need to let go of any pride or shame that gets in the way of recovery.
As we begin to commit ourselves to a healthy and sober lifestyle, we can start supporting others and serving the world. This is where our spiritual significance shines. Just as we are getting help, we can give back by helping others.
We might consider being a sponsor to those in our support groups.
We can volunteer in our community to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
We can lead a support group or speak during a group session about our experiences.
No matter how you decide to define your spirituality, you can incorporate your interpretation in recovery by caring for yourself and caring for others.
Many 12-step and other recovery programs include a “higher power” in their literature and as part of the process of success in sober living. Most of us have our own definition of spirituality and can define “higher power” in many different ways. In recovery, many programs focus on three broad areas of health and wellness: physical, mental, and spiritual. All of these areas are interconnected. When you live a spiritual life, you show respect for your life and the lives of others. This journey begins with you and living with a spiritual significance contributes to your trust in recovery. At Safety Net Recovery of Atlanta, we believe that building a supportive community is crucial in your recovery. We are here to help you find your support so that you can live a life of purpose and meaning. Although recovery is the net, you might need help holding it! Call us today at (770) 432-9774.