Addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, the internet (Facebook, games, pornography, etc.) is so powerful that many find that seeking a spiritual source of strength can enhance other measures such as therapy and counseling. We are, of course, speaking here of spirituality that can be found in organized religion but often is found outside of religions.

The 12 Step Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, Gamblers Anonymous, to name a few, wisely refer to a source of spiritual strength, as God (as you understand God), a Higher Power, or a power greater than myself; so that each individual can approach spirituality in his or her own way.

Rather than trying to figure out the what, who, how of a Higher Power, my suggestion is to avoid definitions and to just go ahead with a leap of faith and begin reaching out to a spiritual source of strength. The motivation for this leap of faith usually comes from pain and suffering caused by addiction and repeatedly failed efforts to stop alcohol or other drug use or other addictive behavior through will power, therapy and/or counseling. Attendance of 12 Step meetings can also provide a demonstration of spiritual strength evidenced by members of these programs who have stopped their addictive behaviors for significant periods of time.

Spiritual disciplines, as defined here, along with abstinence and attendance of 12 Step meetings, can, over time, result in the individual coming to believe in their efficacy. So, consider setting aside a quiet time every morning to focus on the fact that you are in recovery and to make a conscious commitment to yourself each morning to be abstinent from drug or alcohol use, or other addictive behavior, for that day. If appropriate for you, add a request (prayer) to your source of spiritual strength for the ability to be clean and sober that day.

At night before retiring for the day, take a few minutes for some quiet time to review the day. If you have not picked up an alcoholic drink or a drug, or engaged in other addictive behaviors, you can be grateful for that miracle regardless of whatever negative or positive events that have occurred. It is indeed a miracle for an addict or alcoholic to get through a day without using. Again, if appropriate, add a thanks to your source of spiritual strength for a day of abstinence.

These daily disciplines on awakening and before sleeping can become basic recovery tools for you and form the basis for a spiritual awakening and evidence to you of the power of spiritual disciplines. As always, comments are invited.

As always, comments are invited. Jan Edward Williams., 11/14/2015


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