Why is there a Focus on Spirituality in Recovery?

When we enter into our journey of recovery, we begin to look at all the aspects of our life that propelled us into addiction. Our problems were not derived solely from our physical dependence, but from all aspects of our nature. Addiction can be seen as a threefold disease encompassing the mind, body, and spirit. When all three are treated, we begin to open the doors to a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom in our sobriety.
Rowland Hazard, a key character in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous, consulted many different doctors and entered many different programs in attempts to treat his alcoholism. Eventually, he spoke with Dr. Carl Jung, the celebrated psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, who informed Hazard that, in his experience, alcoholism is a fatal and progressive disease. There was, however one caveat, as Jung is described as explaining in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: “Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.” These spiritual experiences are not required to be religious in nature. They are also described as a “psychic change” or a “new design for living”. Since the time of Alcoholics Anonymous, many other recovery programs have incorporated this concept of treating the spiritual aspect in coordination with the mental and physical.
The spiritual component of recovery can be viewed as a way to address the internal unmanageability of our life. That is, the feelings of emptiness and hopelessness that drove us into, and exacerbated, our addictions. Eckhart Tolle, in his seminal work “Stillness Speaks”, explains that “spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought”. Our goal in recovery is to recognize that the thoughts driving our addiction do not define who we are as individuals, then we are able to “awaken” and move forward into our new sober lives as the people whom we were meant to be.

You have the power to change the story of who you are and build a new life in sobriety. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center in Orange County, California, is located in the heart of one of the strongest recovery communities in the world. Oceanfront offers individual and group therapy, inside and outside 12-step meetings, social events, and many other treatment methodologies, with sufficient time to relax against the beautiful backdrop of the Pacific. For more information about individualized treatment options, call today: (877) 279-1777