Through engaging in a 12-Step recovery program, we begin to feel a connection to a power greater than ourselves for the first time. This can alternately be described as a “psychic change”—our thoughts and behaviors have shifted to a point where we no longer feel the need to use drugs or alcohol. This “spiritual experience” or “spiritual awakening”, however, can be fleeting. We must continually grow spiritually and continue incorporating our recovery program into our daily lives if we wish to stay sober.The spiritual experience can be a “white light” moment or a gradual change in our thought-patterns that culminate in a spiritual awakening at some point in the process of working the 12 steps. The only way we have found that we are able to maintain the strength of this experience is by practicing the principles of the 12 steps in our daily lives. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous offers a warning of letting up on spiritual growth: “It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingence on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.” Therefore, we continue taking personal inventory and promptly admitting when we are wrong, we pray and meditate to improve our conscious contact with our higher power, and we carry the message of recovery from alcoholism to those who still suffer. Selfishness and self-centeredness are the roots of our problem and are a major threat to our spiritual connection with our higher power and, consequently, our sobriety. Practicing the principles of 12-Step recovery allow us to get outside of our own negative thought patterns and keep us from running on the same sort of self-will that failed us so many times before in our active addiction and alcoholism. Many people refer to the initial spiritual awakening and resulting positive thoughts about sobriety as being on a “pink cloud”, and imply that it eventually dissipated. These feelings, however, do not have to end. If we can nurture our spiritual awakening, we find that we are continually growing as individuals and spiritual beings, constantly improving our ability to stay connected with our higher power and live with less and less selfishness and fear.
The spiritual experience is available to everyone and can easily become a part of your story. You can recover from the hopeless state of body and mind of addiction and alcoholism by seeking help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is dedicated to providing you all the tools needed to make a full recovery and begin building a happy, sober future. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777