Connection is a fundamental need that all humans share. Unfortunately, when someone is in active addiction, it’s quite common to cut ties with others. We build barriers, isolate ourselves, disconnect from our peers, our family, and even abandon our faith beliefs. The only relationship that matters is the one we have with our substance of choice.
Now in recovery, we find that connection is absolutely essential. Being connected to a support network helps us remain accountable to our sobriety, which can help us avoid relapse. Staying connected to our loved ones offers us a solid source of emotional support.
But what role does our spiritual connection, or higher power, play in helping us along our recovery journey? How do we cultivate this critical spiritual connection?
To learn more about the importance of spirituality in recovery, read on.
What is a higher power?
Right from the beginning, the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous introduces us to the core role of spirituality in the recovery process. Step Two of the program declares our need for a higher power to assist us, and the journey culminates at Step 12 with our spiritual awakening.
The term “higher power” can denote any being or deity outside of ourselves that transcends humanity and inspires a deeper meaning and purpose for our lives. While working the steps, we develop a close bond with our higher power, having acknowledged the need for guidance and support.
Tips for spirituality in recovery
Once you have completed your treatment and have begun the recovery journey, you might find yourself with less time to nurture your relationship with the divine. The daily distractions of life can consume your time and energy, leaving little room to nourish the connection with your higher power.
By prioritizing spirituality as an important element for maintaining your sobriety, you can continue your spiritual growth in many ways. Spiritual practices can be as diverse as your higher power and will lead you into a deeper sense of understanding and gratitude for your sobriety. This results in us feeling a sense of purpose, hope, inner peace, and a positive outlook. These feelings can also help you along the recovery path.
To help maintain and grow your spiritual connections, consider these four tips:
- Continue Searching: It takes time to form a relationship with your higher power. During your spiritual journey, you will seek, learn, and discern different viewpoints and spiritual belief systems. Sift through them to find the elements that you resonate with and add them to your own view of a higher power. You may find a community that aligns with your beliefs, or you might travel solo on your path. Find your footing wherever it feels natural, rather than forcing yourself to fit with something that you can’t truly connect with.
- Practice Spiritual Principles: Behind each of the 12 Steps is a spiritual principle. These include things like honesty, courage, forgiveness, hope, humility and acceptance, just to name a few. Become familiar with the spiritual principles that the 12 Steps are based upon and make it a point to integrate and practice them in your daily life. When you apply these spiritual principles in your everyday life, you naturally strengthen your connection to your higher power.
- Carve Out Time to Pray or Meditate: Life is noisy and distracting, which can make it difficult to make time for our higher power. Spirituality needs to be a daily habit in order to grow. By setting aside some special time each day, even as little as fifteen minutes, it can provide the quiet solitude you need to deepen your connection with your higher power. Adding some spiritual reading or journaling can also add depth to this connection.
- Be of Service to Others: When we focus our attention and service on someone other than ourselves, we grow spiritually. This is because we now view others through the prism of a spiritual worldview. Each person we encounter has a soul. Volunteering your time to help others in need can be incredibly rewarding on many levels. By helping others, you put your spiritual principles into practice and grow your connection to your higher power at the same time.
Any efforts you make to remain connected to your higher power are never wasted. Your spiritual journey becomes woven into your recovery journey, with your higher power at the helm.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307