Most people would agree that spirituality is the foundation of recovery. Even those who initially struggle with the idea of a Higher Power usually discover a spiritual hunger within themselves.
Fortunately, twelve-step programs urge us to find our own definition of God. I believe the primary reason New Thought harmonizes with Alcoholic Anonymous so beautifully is that neither approach attempts to tell us what to think; rather, each offers an effective model for how to think. For those of us who adhere to both philosophies, this is a match made in heaven.
Occasionally, however, we may struggle with particular concepts, especially when the two philosophies seem to be at odds. Take humility, for example. On the one hand, AA encourages us to cultivate humility. On the other hand, New Thought teaches us that we are God in expression, and all its Power resides within us. How, then, could we ever be humble?
In gratitude, harmony, and support,
Why Is There So Much Spirituality In Recovery?
Faith, in any way, can create meaning in one’s life. Most addicts and alcoholics in recovery are lacking in meaning in their lives. Drugs and alcohol literally create the meaning and the purpose for living in the brain. Once the drugs and alcohol are removed, or sometimes in order for the drugs and alcohol to be removed, those coming to recovery have to believe there is something else, something more. Spirituality, be it through religion or just personal exploration, connects addicts and alcoholics in recovery to greater ideas and beliefs. Creating new neural pathways in the brain, spirituality helps open the mind to wonder and awe.
Humility Is Transformative
Addiction and alcoholism can put things into a different perspective. For many people, drugs and alcohol become a higher power, or addiction and alcoholism as a whole become a higher power. Without believing in a power greater than themselves or the drugs and alcohol upon which they are reliant, they lose sight of what is possible outside of their own realm of possibilities. The breakthrough realization of humility often comes in the second an addict or alcoholic is suddenly able to stop choosing drugs and alcohol, reaching out for help. Many feel they couldn’t have accomplished this on their own after trying for so many years.
Humility means having a modest or low view of one’s own importance. Often, humility is sparked by realizing one isn’t so important as to be forgotten about by a higher power but specifically recognized and cared for. Often their own thoughts and ideas about what might be possible for their life is multiplied infinitely, which is often a humbling experience. To be humbled in recovery often means to be brought to a place of learning or being “teachable.”
When there is an air of importance, there is often one of knowing everything- for example, knowing that addiction is all there is in life, only to learn recovery is possible. As a metaphor in recovery, humbleness and humility is a practice for helping addicts and alcoholics slow down, not make assumptions, and allow life to happen naturally. By letting go of control and letting possibilities occur naturally there is less emotional and spiritual pain.