If you are like me, and millions of other recovering alcoholics and addicts, you are of the variety that struggled with finding a Higher Power. We hear that the only way to stay sober is to have one, but what the heck is it?
According to any 12-step program, those of us who suffer from an addiction of any kind, are not actually victims of the substance we use. In fact, we are actually suffering from a sort of spiritual disease, or malady, that results in us being powerless over our obsessive mind and allergic bodies.
So what is spirituality, what is a higher power, and how do you get it?
First of All, this is awesome if you are reading this, you are on a super cool journey!
You don’t have to know what your Higher Power is in order to get clean and sober!
- A lot of people are under the impression that if they don’t already have a solid comprehension of their Higher Power by the time they are on Step 3, they are going to fail, or at least I did.
- The coolest thing about getting sober and having an HP is that our conception of that power is going to constantly be growing and evolving! So don’t worry about having that solid conception quite yet
A little trust goes a long way
- This goes along with the first one, all you need is just a willingness to believe in a power greater than yourself. A Willingness to Believe. AKA, I admit that I am not all-powerful, and BAM! You’re on your way.
- The trust here doesn’t usually come because we are 100% invested in the idea of an HP, it comes from other people in the rooms, seeing that their belief in their HP has gotten them to the place they are at today. AKA, I TRUST, that whatever these people did to get sober, worked for them.
Practice that conscious contact!
- They say that we can do any of the steps that start with number 1 at any point in our step work, my favorite is step 11.
- This step can be broken down into three main chunks, Sought, Improve, Conscious.
- I am always going to continually be SEEKING my Higher Power, through prayer, an open mind, and meditation
- Through that seeking, I am going to IMPROVE that flow of communication and sense of trust that I have in my HP.
- Through all of that seeking and improving, I am going to feel more CONSCIOUS of the sense of my Higher Power in my life, and thus, have more trust, pray, even more, the cycle continues. It’s wonderful!
Let’s talk a little bit about some of the ways that you can harness all of your badass energies and channel them into seeking and improving that conscious contact! Some people feel uncomfortable with praying for a while when they first get sober, so while that is definitely a method, I wanted to throw out a few more that can help get the ball rolling!
Not just for the monks and priests and nuns! Start out as small as you want, go for thirty seconds for all I care. Focus on your breathing for thirty seconds. Put your phone down for thirty seconds and try to feel your heartbeat. If that freaks you out, try to imagine breathing into your toes. There are so many different ways to meditate, and if you’re stuck, Youtube has thousands of different guided videos for you to try out.
Not something we alcoholics and addicts are wired to do naturally, but living that spiritual life means undergoing a complete psychic change. That psychic change for many of us is being willing to stop being selfish. By volunteering, being a sober support, doing random acts of kindness, or just being a good friend, we can often feel that sense of gratitude and hope that is similar to that feeling of comfort and faith that a Higher Power can bring.
Took me a while to be willing to do this, but once I did, everything changed. If you struggle with it too, don’t get caught up on if you are wording it right, or if you are humble enough, or what you are doing with your hands. Focus more on just the fact that you are ASKING FOR HELP from something other than yourself. Praying is less of a request session on HP, and more of just a simple acknowledgment that you are not the Alpha and the Omega.
What’s the Endgame Here?
First of all, the entire benefit of having a Higher Power is the comfort of knowing that you do not, cannot, and will never be in control of anything in the universe, except yourself, and even then, we can sometimes need a lot of help.
Another cool result of finding OUR OWN Higher Power is that it is literally whatever we want it to be. If your HP is the grandmother tree from Pocahontas, awesome. If your HP is the moon, right on. If your HP is time, that is definitely something that you will never have control over. Whatever you choose to make it, it’s yours. It is not what we were forced to believe as children, it is not what society wants it to be. It is what works FOR US. No one is going to keep us sober except our own HP, so make it a good one, and take your time!
Change your mind, let it evolve with the day. If you are being cranky in the morning, and you need your HP to be forgiving, let it be that, and if you end up praying and have the best day of your life, and want your HP to know it, shout it on the rooftops (or maybe just quietly in your room so you don’t get locked up for hallucinations or something)!
We need a higher power, and we benefit from having one, because sometimes, well to be honest a lot of the times, humans can fail us. We put expectations on them, and they fail us. However, our Higher Power is something that will never fail us, as long as we understand that everything that happens is out of our control, and more than likely, there is a dang good reason for it, even if you don’t see it right now!
Getting Sober With Restore
At the end of the day, some of us require a bit of additional help before comfortably moving into any type of sober residence. Addiction will show up at your door with both barrels blazing and it’s up to us as the alcoholics we are to know how to handle it appropriately. Nobody wants to be victim of this disease. It’s on us to get clean while the getting is good. If you or your loved one is ready to leave substance dependency behind and start a new way of life, please call 1-800-982-5530 or visit www.restoredtx.wpengine.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to explore your options with a drug detox center.