Spiritual Experience in Recovery: Spirituality is defined as “the quality or state of being concerned with religion or religious matters; the quality or state of being spiritual” Although the definition of spirituality mentions religion, today spirituality is seen more as an alternative to religion. Free from ancient dogmatic beliefs, spirituality is more open to the interpretation of the believer. Without a specified God, deity, text, or practice, one is able to develop their beliefs on their own. Being spiritual is a matter of being connected to a power greater than yourself and having beliefs about that power, and the world as a whole.
Spiritual Experience: How Do I Achieve This?
Much of recovery involves the discussion of spirituality. You’ll find that each person defines their personal spirituality differently. You’ll notice that they speak about it very fondly. Your relationship with your spirituality is incredibly intimate. Since your spirituality belongs just to you, it becomes a special part of you. In good times and in bad, your spiritual beliefs guide you along the way. People may seem so connected to something that you have difficulty believing that you could ever believe in something else that way. Inspired, but intimidated, you set forth to develop your own spirituality.
Some come to their spirituality through spiritual experiences. A spiritual experience can happen all at once (called a ‘burning bush moment’) or it can happen subtly over time. Spiritual experiences are not always like lightning bolts plummeting from the sky, shocking us into sudden spiritual awakening. Instead, spiritual experiences can occur in everyday situations. Perhaps, while driving down a familiar road, listening to a favourite song, you’re suddenly struck with a realization you never realized before. The world seems different and your eyes have been opened. On another occasion you may identify with a portion of text in a book and the meaning of that text inspires you to reconsider your thoughts about almost everything you know. Spiritual experiences can come from tragedy, joy, sadness, and celebration. There is no one way of knowing what a spiritual experience looks like, but you will know it when it happens to you. It will happen to you.
Developing a spirituality can begin with investigating various religions and beliefs. Read different books and research the beliefs of others. Meditation and prayer are excellent ways of communicating with a power greater than yourself, even if you aren’t sure what that is yet. A trick for newcomers feeling shut off from spiritual energy is this: ask for the willingness to be willing to have a spiritual experience.