What is the importance of spirituality in recovery?

There are many people who get into recovery and struggle with spirituality due to various reasons. They may simply not believe in a higher power or they may have had a bad experience with religion. Regardless of the reason, the idea of spirituality can challenge them.
Religion is not the same as spirituality
It’s essential to realize that there are differences between religion and spirituality. Many people group the two terms as one, but they are quite separate. Most define religion as a set of beliefs and practices surrounding a particular God or gods that they worship.  On the other hand, spirituality has more to do with a personal endeavor to find the meaning and purpose of life. It doesn’t require going to church or believing in a god. 
It might help to think of religion as a certain set of beliefs and rules that a number of people agree upon and practice. Spirituality is centered more on one’s own unique experience of life and connection with oneself and others. 
What makes spirituality helpful in recovery?
Alcoholism and addiction cuts us off from ourselves spiritually. We get disconnected from ourselves, others, and a higher power, oftentimes centering our lives around drinking or using.  In recovery from addiction, spirituality can be helpful because as we move forward without addiction as our primary focus, we can begin reconnecting with our true selves, a higher power if we choose, and searching for meaning and purpose in life beyond addiction. 
It’s simply a way to help fill the void that we all have to contend with in our lives.  
How do we practice spirituality?
When you enter recovery from addiction, usually you’re beaten down pretty good. You may be at rock bottom, feeling empty, alone, and hopeless. Embarking on a spiritual journey may be just what you need to begin growing and changing. What does a spiritual journey look like? First, it’s an inner journey and it’s unique to you. Your journey won’t necessarily look like someone else’s and it doesn’t have to. My spiritual journey began with me spending some time alone and meditating. I had to get some control over my thought life and I wanted to connect with myself and life in a deeper way. I also practiced gratitude, offering thanks for everything in my life and for the beauty of life itself. 
For those of you who aren’t sure about spirituality in or out of a program, keep in mind that your spiritual journey is solely yours and doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. There’s no right or wrong in that sense. Should you choose to embrace spirituality, begin your own inner journey toward peace, joy, and love as you continue on the road of recovery. Discover your own sense of spirituality and rediscover yourself in a magical and empowering way. 
  • 9 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Great information here. I agree that there is no right or wrong....Each path is unique to self.

    For me, I found my way out of addiction via a spiritual path and continue on that path today. When I really got it that I was powerless over my addiction and a higher power could help me, it really helped. 

    Part of the reason we all came to the earth was to evolve and grow. We really are spiritual beings in an earthly body. 

    I hope that others will embark on a new journey too. A self-discovery and higher power discovery type of journey. Freedom feels so amazing...so do whatever it takes to get there.
  • Great information here. But for me I get recover of addiction via a spiritual path and advice of center for network Therapy.  When i feel that i get powerless i wil take help of spiritual 
  • Thanks for the information. It's very helpful.

    I had to re-discover myself during recovery if that makes any sense.  

  • @morganm makes a lot of sense. I had to do the same during a really rough patch.
  • @morganm... I think we all have to rediscover ourselves from time to time, based on what's going on in our world. So your comment makes perfect sense. :)
  • A great post, and some great comments, to which I will add my own. You don't have to worry about how to interface with spirituality, or how to get on the spiritual path because guess what? Your already on it! The Buddha said: "our circumstances are the path." 
    It is important to realize that we are all here to evolve and grow, as @dominica stated, but it's also important to know that when you are suffering inside and feel disconnected - this is also part of growth and evolution. There is no God, or Goddess, Universe, or other sort of deity that favors us when we are connected and feeling good about it, and disfavors us when we are not. We are love. We must cultivate love and compassion for everyone including ourselves and even our enemies, and we need to drift from that selfish consciousness of ego and into a more enlightened consciousness to do that. And that process is defined as a spiritual journey. We look to discover who we really are, because when in ego, our self image is askew. And as we become more mindful, we realize that we have always lived in that ego delusion- we have always not  known who we really were. That pure, loving, amazing, flawless, innocent, magnificent being that gives impetus to your very heartbeat and animates your earthly body with it's indestructible energy? With most addicts, it's likely that we've never even met that being until we start doing the conscious spiritual work. Yes! We can grow on the spirit path and be unconscious of it, but we can then also gain consciousness and fashion our intent, and so enliven the spiritual journey. This often- and very well should- happen in and because of recovery. And so becoming acquainted with the pure love energy that we really are often comes to us addicts for the first time later in life, and as a great surprise. We change nothing of ourselves. We work only to remove the curtain of delusion from our minds to reveal the wonder which lies beneath. Chuck C. said, "...what ya came here lookin' for, ya came with..."This is the impetus for all spiritual progress, no matter which religion or non-religion, or modality, you interface with. 
    If you are so new and have been generally adverse, to the idea of spirituality, it's often said to find something greater than yourself, define that things will as being all good, caring, loving, forgiving, inclusive, etc., and align your will up with all those qualities. But even if you have doubt, I can say from my personal experience consciously living and growing spiritually, that you don't even necessarily need to believe in a higher power. You just need to go from ego consciousness to enlightened consciousness. Again, personally, I use meditation extensively to do this, and so have billions of people over the last three thousand years or more. I really don't see how I could have got anywhere without it, and it is now a part of my instinctual habit. I also connect with people at support groups, or in fact, anywhere. We connect to others through love and compassion. We disconnect with others through selfishness, self-centeredness. Don't disconnect, connect! Connecting with others is like connecting with yourself. You can feel yourself through them and their connection with you!
    Lastly, don't be hard on yourself. Don't wish for anything other than what you have right in front of you. Love yourself, and when you do, you wont even have to think about loving others, it will just happen. Focus not on the receipt of love or affections, but on the giving of those things. We do not really need to love and be loved, in life, as the saying goes, we actually only need to love :--)))
  • @spiritedaway thank you for your insightful post. i know it can encourage many who read it... we are all on journey's for sure!!! 
  • Great post, @spiritedaway. Thanks for taking the time to share with us. :)
  • I used to be an atheist before I started recovery.
Sign In or Register to comment.