The term “Higher Power” can be confusing for newcomers to 12-Step recovery. Upon first hearing the term, it is easy to equate it with “God” and religion. The concept of a Higher Power, however, is far removed from and religious associations. A Higher Power simply means finding belief in something greater than yourself—it can be entirely of your own conception and of your own understanding. Developing and cultivating a spiritual connection is the goal of 12-Step recovery. Through the spiritual experience we come to rely on a power greater than ourselves to keep us in fit spiritual condition and free from the need to use drugs or alcohol. 12-Step recovery is designed to elicit a spiritual awakening in the recovering individual. At some point while working through the 12 Steps, we have a spiritual experience and entire psychic change. Our ideas, emotions, and attitudes completely change and intoxication is not longer a motivating factor in our lives. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous recognizes that this may seem far-fetched to those who do not believe in some form of Higher Power: “To one who feels he is an atheist or agnostic such an experience seems impossible, but to continue as he is means disaster, especially if he is an alcoholic of the hopeless variety. To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live in a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face.” The spiritual experience and faith in a Higher Power are vital to the 12-Step program of recovery simply because we recognize that we are powerless over drugs and alcohol. If we are to overcome our addiction and alcoholism, we must seek out power from something greater than ourselves. Many of us came into the rooms of 12-Step recovery fellowships hopeful until we heard words like “God” and “Higher Power.” However, we came to realize the distinction between religious ideas and our own personal spiritual beliefs. Once we can get past our pride and admit that maybe we are not the most powerful thing in the universe—that there may be something greater—we open ourselves up to developing a spiritual connection that we can rely on to change our lives for the better.
Your story can become one of hope, faith, and courage in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin the first step on the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of treatment techniques, including inside and outside 12-Step meetings, as part of the Residential Treatment program. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777