Many of the principles and tools of addiction recovery are based around spiritual healing. Giving over your life to a Higher Power, forgiving others and yourself, and praying for strength are just a few of the things that any 12-step program will ask you to do, but it’s easier said than done. Even if you are willing to try these things in order to overcome addiction, that doesn’t mean you know how. Spirituality isn’t something that everyone is well versed in, and it will probably take some practice to strengthen your spiritual muscle.
Discovering Your Foundation
Believe it or not, you already have a foundation of spirituality you can build from. Even if you’ve never said a single prayer, there are tools at your disposal that can help you to get the ball rolling on spiritual healing. In order to discover what your spiritual foundation is, you need to explore your own core beliefs. Ask yourself what you already believe in. Do you believe in a Higher Power? Do you believe in karma? Discovering the things that you already know is a good start.
If you feel like you don’t have much of a start, or that you’re not really sure about anything at all, you can get help from others to help you build faith. Think about people in your life whom you admire most, and whom you’d like to pattern your life after. What are their values and beliefs like? What do they do to exercise their faith, and how can you incorporate these practices in your own life? The answers to these questions can become your foundation for spiritual growth.
As you develop spiritual strength, you will also begin recognizing weaknesses, or areas where you’d like to improve. When you identify an area that needs improvement, set a goal, and then take action to accomplish it. This process hinges largely on being able to take a personal moral inventory. Ask yourself who you are now, who you want to become, and what the differences are. What are your values like now, and how would you like them to change? Choose some ways that you can take action to make these changes. Some examples might be including meditation and prayer in your daily routine, serving others, and exploring different religions.
Testing Your Beliefs
The whole idea of building spiritual strength is that this will allow you to heal a portion of yourself that has been damaged by addiction. Just like physical healing, there are going to be successes and setbacks as you struggle to heal your spirit. If you allow every doubt or disbelief that comes along to put you back to square one, you’ll never be able to truly gain spirituality.
Instead, take the opportunity to test your faith when trials come along. If you feel overcome by doubt, pray for help and comfort. If you feel alone and like no one is listening, think back to times when you knew that you were receiving divine aid, and fall back on the knowledge you gained through that experience. As you struggle and receive help, you’ll feel your spirituality growing over time.