I believe spirituality is an essential part of recovery and well-being. When working on ourselves, it’s easy to think that we fully embody our problems – yet this is far from the truth! Spirituality can help us greatly in recognizing that we are much bigger than our struggles in life.
Addiction recovery eventually leads us into our pain and early wounding. We revisit difficult life experiences that have left us feeling less than and afraid. In my work with clients, I see again and again that where there is addiction, there is trauma.
Finding Spirituality Through Trauma
To state the obvious, trauma resolution work is not easy. As we revisit difficult experiences, we begin to feel how deep our pain actually is and how vulnerable it feels to feel this pain now as an adult. Digesting and healing early wounding takes dedication, courage, and a lot of patience.
Furthermore, as we leave behind addiction and continue our healing journey, some days can feel very challenging. Since we are no longer numbing ourselves now, we begin to feel everything (everything!) a lot more intensely – not only the joy but also the pain!
On top of all that, we are now more aware! We notice more readily now when someone is trying to overpower or manipulate us. There is more hurt when someone disrespects or betrays us. We are more open and unguarded than before while learning to navigate relationships better, which has its own challenges.
What is Spirituality?
This challenging journey of healing and growth will bring feelings of frustration, impatience, and hopelessness; it is normal to feel overwhelmed. In these moments, a larger perspective than “me and what I know” tends to be a life-saver.
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
– Viktor Frankl
Spirituality is an opening into what’s beyond what we know. It is a peek into the big picture of life itself, instead of “just my life.” Spirituality inspires and uplifts us regardless of how we connect with this expansive feeling of life.
For some, it’s going for a walk in nature. For others, it’s sitting quietly in a church. Some find a spiritual connection in family life, surrounded by loved ones. Others might get there through music, meditation, dancing, or gardening.
For me, this opening into what’s beyond “me and my life,” allows a deepening of “me and my life.” The more I can open myself beyond myself, the more I get to live my life deeply in the world. This is a paradox: Lose yourself to be yourself.
Being Spiritually Connected
When I feel spiritually connected, my life finds its rightful place within a vast existence I can never fully comprehend. A mysterious, magical universe fills my being and I both lose and find myself in its arms.
My connection to Life, the Universe, Spirit, God, we can call it what we want, takes away my problematic orientation to what is. I get to find relief from the pressures to get somewhere and be someone, which, paradoxically, allows me to express myself more effortlessly in my life.
Spirituality frees me to finally be who I truly am. My situation that day might still feel very difficult, but my spirit restores my faith in Life and in my own capacity to deal with what feels difficult. Moments of awe and wonder are reminders that we are part of something infinitely larger than what has happened to us.