Many substance use recovery programs encourage those seeking help to find a higher power. Having a higher power in recovery is valuable as it helps people feel supported and cared about. It also helps them practice acceptance, an important concept in recovery. Belief in a higher power can also provide a person with a moral compass, or a sense of what is right and wrong.
For some people, believing in a higher power is an easy task. They may already have a higher power associated with their religion or have a strong sense of spirituality. However, for others, finding a higher power is a real struggle that causes them to lose hope in their ability to get or stay sober. To better understand this struggle, we need to take a closer look at the differences between religion and spirituality.
What is Religion
Religion is defined as “a personalized set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.” These systems can include Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, to name a few. These religions all have their own set of beliefs. They also identify a god or multiple gods as their higher power. Some people have trouble aligning themselves with a religion and may not agree with many or all of the beliefs. These people may feel that practicing spirituality, as opposed to joining an organized religion, is a better fit for them.
What is Spirituality
Spirituality is defined as “the deepest morals and values by which people live.” Being spiritual does not necessarily mean that a person subscribes to a particular religion or that religion’s beliefs. It means that they have a set of morals and values that guide their thoughts, beliefs, and actions. People who are spiritual may believe in some type of a higher power that influences their morals and values. However, their higher power does not have to be a god or multiple gods. It can be the earth, the universe, nature, or many other things.
Higher Power in Recovery
For recovery purposes, a higher power just must be something bigger than oneself. For people who struggle to believe in something they cannot see, this can be your family or your twelve step home group. If you are struggling with developing a sense of spirituality or identifying a higher power, contact Rehab After Work today. A counselor can help you process your feelings towards these concepts, and support you in your journey to finding a new way of life.
Article Written by Shaylyn Forte, LPC, CAADC