Since the late 1930’s, the 12-Step recovery practices have consistently gained momentum for getting people that are addicted to drugs and alcohol to stay sober. One of the main suggestions for staying sober is to find your own conception of a Higher Power. To define a Higher Power for some is an arduous task because of past religious experiences, not being able to give up control, or not having been introduced to any type of spirituality before.
The thing to remember with a Higher Power is that it is personal. Your faith practices will look different than others. That’s ok. Recovery looks different by person too! You can create your own tradition starting today. Putting faith in a Higher Power can be difficult to accept because of the intangibility that it may encompass. An open mind and humility are all you need for this part of recovery. Think for a moment: all the tangible things are finite. An infinite God cannot be controlled or fully comprehended by the human mind. The deeper you dive into the spiritual reprieve you create for yourself, the more comfort you get from: gathering with others who share similar beliefs, prayer and contrary action. It’s hard to start new habits, asking your Higher Power for help is not just wise, but reminds you that you are never alone.
What is a Higher Power?
Spirituality is a vital aspect of any healing process, physical and/or emotional. If you feel alone when you drink, use other drugs or isolate in mental illness, look up. Substances and mental health disorders persuade us that there is no reason to exist. In fact, using mind-altering medications might have been an escape because you already felt that way. Your Creator can be a refuge, not a far off idea. But, the trust will build over time. Today, you can start practicing the skill of hope. That looks different depending on your story, but willingness is required. No one can force you into a new belief system. Spirituality is personal and can help heal the deepest wounds.
Spirituality Begins with Curiosity
Belief in a higher power aids us in discovering our mission and learning more about life’s biggest questions and meanings. Having confidence in something greater than ourselves is essential. Research shows that individuals heal faster when they pray, when they learn acceptance and when they practice the skill of hope.
Spirituality Begins with Consistency
Hope is a learned skill. It is not blind faith. But, how do we “get” hope. It starts with curiosity. Then, add realistic expectation. Rarely, again rarely, do things change overnight. Consistency means choosing to practice stress-reducing skills everyday so you increase a. your sense of self-awareness and b. your humility towards God. Miracles happen when someone surrenders and invites God in to do something new in their life. Consistency is hourly, daily, by minute, by month. If it starts with personal values, it is easier to meditate, pray, mindfully daydream, journal, plan goals, make subtle changes to achieve goals and invite others with a similar mind along for accountability and fresh air. Joy and peace come from hope. The more you are consistent, the easier it becomes to check in with yourself when things feel off or feelings start to take over.
Spirituality Begins with Honesty
If you are honest with yourself, you can see your limitations and human flaws. What do you have to lose to place hope in something Bigger, Kinder, Wiser and More Powerful than you? Some might say, “I risk disappointment.” But, that’s life. The disappointments roll in the more we attach our feelings to things looking the way we want or demand. Buddhist teachings point out that the root of suffering is attachment. In other words, the more we attach to things going “our way,” the more we are placing ourselves in harms way, exploited by emotion, self-centeredness or the recipe we want for joy and peace. Honesty starts with realizing what we can control and what we can’t control. There is not much we have to do in life. We can get by on the basics, like food, air, water. Or, we can thrive by acknowledging that we need to create safety, human connection, rest, creative release, etc.
Sit with yourself, recognize your strengths, your needs, your abilities, your preferences, your goals. A real self assessment usually requires professional help too. Whether you look to Pacific Solstice or another group of professionals, we will provide options and with time, your insight will improve. Hide and seek with God is not working. Honesty means true seeking, knowing deep within that surrender leads to abundance. Being trapped in the old, opposite belief has brought you to a place where today you can be honest with God about your fears and needs.
Spirituality Begins with Pause
Our lifestyle can further confuse this idea of Higher Power or God. Many times, we place ourselves or others at the center of the tapestry. But, that has not been rendering the results you need or want. Pause and notice the patterns. If you are expecting different results, start with different uses of your time and mental real estate. An others-first mindset can lead to codependency or a martyr + hero-complex pattern of intention setting. When we pause, and remove the distractions, God can take our broken heart and rebuild it around values and hope. A me-first mindset can narrow our lens and cut off healthy impulse control, closing us off to the healthy relationships we crave. Pause and ask God for a new start. Then, immediately take action on one or two of the ideas here.
Seek Help at Pacific Solstice
We assist individuals in all stages of recovery, addressing their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team can assist you in developing good habits and incorporating spirituality into your life so that you can live a healthy life and achieve long-term recovery. If you'd like to learn more about treatment, text or call us at (949) 200-7929. To help us get to know you better, you may also take this short assessment and verify your insurance.