Arrowhead-Lodge-Recovery-viewRecovery from addiction is more than abstinence from a substance. It is a lifestyle that incorporates all aspects of one’s life – body, mind and spirit, or, one’s physiological, mental and spiritual condition.

But what exactly do we mean when we use the word “spirituality” in recovery? Does “spirituality” mean that recovery is a religious matter?

At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, we do not promote a religion; we do emphasize the need for spiritual awareness in the recovery process. We leave it to the individual to discover his spiritual path and if one is already practicing a particular faith, we encourage them to continue to do so.

Our focus is on Core Issues related to men that impact recovery. This includes: self-identification, family and family roles, sexuality, emotional and psychiatric issues and spirituality.

What Does ‘Spirituality’ Mean?

Spirituality is a catchall word for matters that we don’t quite comprehend or are unable to measure through observation or otherwise define in a material way. Here’s a simple exercise to demonstrate the point. Close your eyes and think of someone you love very much. As you see this person mentally, feel how deeply you love them.

As you feel your love for this person, imagine sending your love to them and then notice how that feels. Then imagine that person sending their love to you, and notice how that feels. Now open your eyes. Was that feeling real? Is your love for that person real? Is the love they send to you real? If you answer “yes” to these questions, then I would ask that you prove it, similarly to proving something scientifically.

The point is this: Love is very real, yet there is no way to prove it in a laboratory or in some valid quantifiable form that proves the love. Love therefore is of a spiritual nature that creates an emotion and often is the impetus for a physical expression, i.e. a hug.

Spirituality is Not the Same as Religion

Spirituality is not the same as religion. Think of it like this: Science is to nature what religion is to spirituality. In other words, science is the human observation and study of nature, which existed before humans. Likewise, religion is a human observation and study of spirit, which existed before humans. Spirituality is often part of religion, but not always. Religion is often a set of beliefs and rituals that may or may not have a spiritual basis.

When use the term “spirituality” in recovery, we are not inferring something religious, we are simply referring to something we cannot always define, measure or explain.

Here is a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: “The terms ‘spiritual experience’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ are used may time in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms.”

Recovery = Change

Changes in perception, thinking and attitude are vital for recovery. Such changes are considered spiritual in nature, even though they affect one’s mental processes. The change occurs because the alcoholic has had an experience that brought about the change rather than simply increasing his/her self-knowledge. While self-knowledge is important, it does not always result in change. Change comes from experience.

Experiential Spirituality for Lasting Recovery: Resolving Core Issues

So when one practices the principles of recovery and therefore takes a different action, or sees something from a different point of view, that individual has an experience that results in something good, or better than what may have occurred by following their old way of acting or their old way of perceiving. The experience is spiritual in nature and results in a change in their personality. And that is the key to lasting recovery: Changes in personality that result in freedom from the addiction.

At Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, we do not promote a religion; we do emphasize the need for spiritual awareness in the recovery process. We leave it to the individual to discover his spiritual path and if one is already practicing a particular faith, we encourage them to continue to do so.

Our focus is on Core Issues related to men that impact recovery. This includes: self-identification, family and family roles, sexuality, emotional and psychiatric issues and spirituality.

In today’s world it is imperative that men understand what their old ideas are around being male and how those old ideas result in behavior that support their addiction. Once one becomes aware of how old ideas result in addictive behavior, one is then able to apply a new way of thinking and a new way of behaving that supports a life free from addiction. We do this through twelve-step work, evidence-based clinical therapy and experiential methods. This typically results in profound changes that are spiritual in nature, yet practical to living a clean and sober life.

Dr. Kenneth Chance: Director, Arrowhead Lodge Recovery: Spirituality in Recovery
Original article >>  ATCPCC Testimonial – Kenneth Chance