Spirituality and Recovery
“First of all we had to quit playing God.”1
Despair is the defining characteristic of alcoholics or addicts who have “hit bottom”. Their best intentions and efforts are insufficient in breaking the devastating grip in which their disease has them. This painful realization is a step forward in recovery if it shatters the often cherished illusion that they can recover by exercising their unaided willpower alone.
Spirituality is the means by which alcoholics or addicts find hope once again (or, in some cases, the very first time!). Discovering and practicing a spiritual way of life, recovering alcoholics and addicts build and enjoy relationships of trust and honesty with themselves, others, and if they choose a power greater than themselves of their own conception.
In fact early indications of spiritual recovery often start with a shift in our clients’ emotional vocabulary. Dunes counselors notice client fear, self-pity, depression, and anger start being replaced with compassion, forgiveness, patience and love. Through this vital transformation it is not uncommon for clients to start experiencing a spiritual awakening.
At The Dunes, clients are encouraged and supported by our spiritual counselor as they discover for themselves their own “higher power.” Clients are introduced to a range of classic spiritual practices including the repeating of affirmations, prayer, meditation, and yoga while being taught how to adopt attitudes and outlooks infused with gratitude and acceptance while letting go of self-pity, fears, resentments, and destructive self-will.
We know some clients may be questioning of a spiritual approach, The Dunes makes this proven recovery component available to interested clients. This way, clients who wish to partake get the added benefits with which a spiritual orientation can enhance their recoveries.
At the same time, we let uninterested clients side-step a spiritual approach as it can be a source of unproductive, recovery damaging, friction when forced. Recognizing client wishes relative to a spiritual approach gives all clients the ability to take the best path, as individuals.
“He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life;
that such a change could hardly have been brought about by himself alone.”2