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Why Is A Spiritual Experience Important To Recovery?

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In the second appendix of Alcoholics Anonymous, titled “Spiritual Experience”, the authors explain that a spiritual experience is often thought to be a sudden and tremendous experience. Problematically, people are lead to believe that only such a kind of change will help liberate them from the imprisonment of alcoholism. The authors explain that a spiritual experience is more than “finding God”, but is an inspiration for change because of the feeling of “more”. “A profound alteration in..reaction to life.” According to the authors, the experience amongst most individuals seeking recovery, is that this spiritual encounter which leads to a psychic change could not have happened alone. Finding a higher power is what takes them there. “What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self discipline,” the authors write. “With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.”

Spiritual experiences look different for everyone. As the authors emphasize, a spiritual experience does not have to be a “burning bush moment” but a moment profound enough to inspire a psychic change. Some people experience spirituality through church and organized religion while others find their spirituality in nature, activities, or in the arts. Paramount to a higher power is the belief that the entity itself, whatever it is, has greater control or ability than you yourself.

Why A Higher Power Matters

Living in active addiction and/or alcoholism is living powerlessly. We give our power to the substances we choose because we choose to give our substances our power. We live powerlessly over the lies we tell, the promises we break, and the laws we break as well. Substances take all of the power in our lives and act as our one and only guiding power. Left to the devices we’ve created for ourselves, we live in a bit of a mess. Once we surrender to the fact that our powerlessness is not, in fact, power, we begin to be empowered. By way of a spiritual experience, we are reminded permanently of our size and our place in the world. We cannot control our drinking or drug use once we start. Our spiritual experiences and our higher power help us stay stopped, stay centered, and stay sober.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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