One of the main components of every 12-step method of addiction recovery is “coming to believe in a power greater than yourself.” Unfortunately, many men and women who could greatly benefit from a 12-step program allow this component to deter them entirely, generally because they believe this entails becoming religious or coming to believe in and put faith in a God. On the contrary, the phrase “higher power” encourages spirituality and the fostering of a spiritual connection – there is nothing religious about it. The step itself reads, “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This is the 2nd step of Alcoholics Anonymous, and it explores spirituality as well as the definition of insanity.
When you enter addiction recovery, you will begin to further understand the meaning of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. What better describes active addiction than this definition of insanity? Those who are inactive addiction will use their drug of choice over and over again despite negative consequences, repeatedly telling themselves, “This time will be different,” or, “I’ll be able to control my intake this time around, I just know it.” Of course, this is never the case.
Time and time again those who are struggling with active addiction will make the same mistake. How do they pull themselves out of that trite old rut and overcome addiction? Well, they certainly cannot do it without help – and this is what “higher power” means. It means understanding that left to your own devices you will not be able to overcome addiction; that you will require some outside help, whatever that may look like to your specific case.
How to Choose a Power Greater Than Yourself
How do you go about choosing a power greater than yourself? We have outlined several simple steps – take a look.
- First, do not put too much pressure on yourself. There is no “right way” to go about this. Over time you will begin to develop a clearer picture of what the phrase “higher power” means to you. In the meantime, choose something that you do not understand, like the ocean, or something that you know has helped you, like the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Practice prayer and meditation daily. This will further help you bolster your spiritual connection and will help you discover who or what your higher power is over time.
- Ask around. Ask other men and women who have years of sobriety under their belts who or what they look to when they think of a power greater than themselves. There is no shame in asking for advice or guidance.
- Choose something to work with initially, even if it seems silly to you. Many people will choose a doorknob as their higher power as a sort of placeholder until they can further explore their spirituality. The most important thing is that you recognize that addiction is out of your control and that your life has become unmanageable.
Recreate Life Counseling and the Twelve Steps
At Recreate Life Counseling, we passionately believe that spirituality is a fundamental component of every successful long-term recovery program. We also believe that working through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous is an important part of every aftercare program; those who work through the 12 steps are far more likely to maintain long-term sobriety after treatment. Recreate Life Counseling offers an individualized and comprehensive treatment program for individuals who are suffering at the hands of substance abuse disorders of all types and severities. To learn more about our program of recovery, give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.