Many people who start on the path to recovery find that a lot of their life feels broken. Body, mind, and spirit can feel ravaged by addiction. Yet when you get sober, you’re often acting on hope. You’re ready to try something new, but you’re not sure what the path ahead entails. This willingness to try something new can sometimes be a spiritual awakening for newcomers. Throughout your recovery journey, you’ll find yourself learning from others. Tales of their experience, strength, and hope will help you plow forward even when your spirit feels broken. Willingness is a building block for spirituality later in your journey.
Spirituality vs. Religion
For many people who grew up with a specific religion, spirituality may be a little challenging to grasp. Religion is organized with a lot of rules and rituals in more cases. Some people find their spirituality is deeply connected to their religious beliefs. Still, other people in recovery it’s more of a personal search for meaning or feeling connected to others as well as the universe.
The idea of spirit is often associated with religion. However, in recovery, you don’t have to join any religion or worship a specific god. The idea of spirituality is what you make of it. You may feel your spirit lifted when you’re meditating on the beach, hiking on a mountain, or painting a work of art. These are the experiences you can hold close if you’re struggling with the idea of spirituality.
Spirituality Is Also Goodness
Regardless of what makes your spirit connected to people and places outside of yourself, the idea of being spiritual also means to want to live a life that has love, compassion, strength, and forgiveness.
Being a good person is an intrinsic part of feeling and acting spiritually. People in recovery strive to be a better person through the twelve steps and twelve principles (also sometimes called “virtues”). These may be difficult topics to latch onto at first. If you’re having trouble thinking about spirituality versus religion, it can help to think back on good deeds that made you feel good. Also, think of beautiful places that make you feel connected to what is good in the world.
Spirituality Connects You To The World
Many people are drawn to California because of the beaches, the oceans filled with wonder, beautiful sunsets, and fantastic breezy weather. If any of these things help lift your spirit, you can build your spirituality by starting there.
Spirituality is a journey that you’ll continue making in recovery as your view of the world and experiences help shape your beliefs. Nobody can force you to believe in one religion or another, and it’s never required as a part of your recovery.
Newcomers should focus on nurturing their experience and doing good deeds that make them feel like they’re having a positive effect in the world. No more than a mustard seed’s worth of hope or faith is required to get started on your journey. (And you can get that amount by listening to people who have been sober for years longer than you!)
You have plenty of time to form your beliefs. So take what you need and leave the rest. This journey to recovery is something you’ll tackle just one day at a time.
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