Spirituality in recovery is a highly personal experience. One person’s higher power may be far different from another’s. Not everyone believes in God. Not everyone believes that there’s life after death. But, to recover from substance use disorder, it’s unnecessary to conform to a common omnipotent force. Your higher power is what you make of it. In general, that’s the definition of spirituality in recovery.
What Is Spirituality in Recovery?
Ask five people this same question, and you’ll get as many answers. However, the consensus is that spirituality is your awakening. It’s a highly personal experience that brings accountability to your life. Suddenly, you have a reason to recover.
Some refer to spirituality as your own set of opinions and beliefs. Some believe they have to live a certain way to enjoy a happy and satisfying afterlife. In contrast, others believe that this life is the only one, but that to receive good karma, they must do good in return.
Regardless of your exact beliefs, experts agree that spirituality is important in treatment for substance use disorder and that it should be embraced and encouraged.
How Does Spirituality Help Recovery?
Possibly, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous said it best in step two of their 12-step primer. This is where they specified that we realized we were powerless to control our addictions and that we needed the help of a higher power.
It’s not easy to admit defeat. But once you realize that you can’t go it alone in recovery, healing comes more quickly. By envisioning a great, benevolent force standing over us with arms outstretched and eyes kind, it’s easier to feel safe. And feeling safe is big in recovery.
Spirituality Brings Accountability
Accountability is important in recovery from substance use disorder as well. Those in recovery must learn to take responsibility for their actions. As a result, they may need to make restitution, or at least make amends, to the people that their addiction has hurt. They must move forward, understanding that the actions they take have consequences and repercussions, both for themselves and the people around them. Spirituality helps with this. In effect, your spirituality is your conscience. Do good things, and good things will happen to you. In contrast, create mischief, and you can expect bad karma in return.
Does Everyone Have a Spiritual Side?
This is an important distinction to make when discussing spirituality in recovery. While not everyone is religious, nearly everyone is spiritual. Your spirituality may not look like your neighbor’s spirituality, but that doesn’t mean that either of you is wrong. In general, spirituality is defined by the following characteristics:
- Being more concerned with inward thoughts and feelings than with material possessions
- Feeling a connection to something bigger than ourselves
- Trusting that things have a way of working out for the best
- Feeling a sense of love and respect for yourself and your fellow man
Spirituality, in a sense, is what makes us good people. It’s our conscience, our belief system, and the way we treat those around us. Whether the force at the center of all this looks the same to everybody is irrelevant. What’s important is that we feel bound to do good by it. Spirituality in recovery is important because it helps us define who we are and which values we hold dear.
Spirituality in Recovery at Integrative Life Center in Nashville
At Integrative Life Center in Nashville, TN, we encourage self-reflection and the pursuit of spirituality. Through the use of holistic and evidence-based practices, we help you find healing for mental health disorders and addiction.
When you’re ready to begin recovery for substance use disorder in Tennessee, call Integrative Life Center at 615.455.3903. We’ll help you make positive changes in your life beginning on day one.