Asking 100 people to define spirituality will produce 100 different answers, yet most agree it is a needed component in addiction recovery.
How can you define your spirituality?
A great way to uncover your spirituality is to start asking some questions that will lead to self-discovery. Sometimes simply asking the questions will be more important than getting the 'right' answer.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to discover what experiences and values define you:
What are your important relationships? Where have you found comfort? What gives you hope? What brings you joy? What if you have survived losses in your life, how have you done so? What do you believe will happen to you when your physical life ends, and how do you feel about that? Describe a time when you felt comfortable and everything in your life was just as you wanted it.
Think of a time when your life was filled with a sense of purpose, meaning, or there was a sense of awesomeness in it.
Answering questions like these will help you identify the most important people, moments and experiences in your life. Armed with this information, you can focus your search for spirituality on the relationships and activities in life that have proved to have real meaning for you in the past. These helped define you as a person and will continue to inspire your personal growth.
Spirituality gives our life texture and color, but at its core spirituality helps to give our lives a sense of purpose or context, if you will. It gives our life meaning. It comes from your connection with yourself and with those around you, as well as the development of your own system of personal values, and the search for meaning in life.
Spirituality can act as the connector from the sense of being alone and isolated as we have been with addiction, to a sense of connection that occurs in recovery.
How can spirituality help you in addiction recovery?
Hmmm...Let me count the ways. It can help you:
1. Focus on personal goals. Cultivating your spirituality may help uncover what's most meaningful in your life. By clarifying what's important to you, you can eliminate stress by focusing less on the unimportant things that can sometimes seem to consume you.
2. Connect to the world. The more you feel you have a purpose in the world, the less solitary you feel even when you're alone. This can lead to an inner peace during difficult times.
3. Release control. When you feel part of a greater whole, you realize that you aren't responsible for everything that happens in life. You can share the burden of tough times as well as the joys of life's blessings with those around you.
4. Expand your support network. Whether you find spirituality in a church, mosque or synagogue, in your family, or in walks with a friend through nature, this sharing of spiritual expression can help build relationships.
5. Lead a healthier life. Some research seems to indicate that people who consider themselves spiritual are often better able to cope with stress and heal from illness or addiction.
Cultivating your spirituality
Spirituality begins with your relationship with yourself, is nurtured by your relationships with others and culminates in a sense of purpose in life. Realizing this, two of the best ways to cultivate your spirituality are to improve your self-esteem and to foster relationships with those who are important to you. This can lead to a deepened sense of your place in life and in the greater good.