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Exploring New Avenues of Spirituality

12-Step recovery fellowships are founded in the belief that sobriety can be achieved by having and maintaining a spiritual experience. The idea of a higher power and spirituality is open-ended and can be individualized to each person’s specific beliefs. It may be helpful for some to explore their spirituality through different avenues as a way to strengthen their recovery and conscious contact with their higher power.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “The terms ‘spiritual experience’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms.” Dr. Carl Jung, as quoted in the Big Book, explains that these vital spiritual experiences “appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one site, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.” Maintaining these new set of motivations, with a focus on helping others, allows us to also maintain our sobriety. However, upon having a spiritual experience, we may find it helpful to explore our newfound spirituality.

One of the great things about 12-Step recovery is its openness and inclusiveness of all spiritual beliefs. We do not have to subscribe to any one concept of spirituality and are therefore free to explore the spiritual life on a personal level. According to the Big Book, “Clergyman of practically every denomination have given A.A. their blessing.” The Episcopal magazine, The Living Church, is quoted in the Big Book as saying, “The basis of the technique of Alcoholics Anonymous is the truly Christian Principle that a man cannot help himself except by helping others.” One the other hand, Buddhism fits in just as well with the spiritual program of 12-Step Recovery; 12 Step Buddhist explains, “Many people in recovery discover and investigate Buddhism as a spiritual path because the 11th Step advises us to meditate, and the various Buddhist traditions, over the last 2,500 years, have developed many comprehensive and sophisticated systems of meditation. Another reason Buddhism appeals to a broad range of people in recovery is because it is an experiential spiritual practice that empowers us to improve our conscious contact with a Greater Power of our understanding through rational investigation, contemplation, and profound insight, rather than a religion that requires blind faith of its followers.” We may also choose to keep our spirituality in a form completely personal to us. Using our spiritual experience as a catalyst for exploring our beliefs and practices can be a deeply rewarding journey and strengthen our commitment to recovery.

Recovery is possible. Once we concede to the fact that our addiction is a problem and we require help to overcome it, we can begin the rewarding journey of recovery. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients develop all the necessary tools to achieve a fulfilling life in sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431