How can we tap into our spiritual side in order to make better decisions in recovery?
My philosophy is that in early recovery, our intuition and decision-making skills are a bit rusty. When I was using drugs and alcohol, I was not trying to use my intuition or listen to subtle clues or connect with my higher power in any way.
In fact I was medicating myself as heavily as possible each and every day so that I did not have to feel anything. My ability to make intuitive decisions was practically nil. Because of this, I would suggest that in early recovery you rely more heavily on feedback from others when it comes time to make big decisions, rather than to rely on your spiritual connection.
Feedback from others
It makes sense to get feedback from others in recovery and use their help in guiding you during early recovery because at that point, you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s also likely that your intuition is out of tune so you can bounce ideas off of others for guidance in making decisions.
This doesn’t mean that you need to go get a sponsor who can then run your life. You are still in the drivers seat of course – don’t ever give that up. But it makes sense to seek advice in early recovery, because what you’ve been doing up to that point has not been working out very well.
As you progress in recovery on a path of holistic growth, you’ll start tapping into your spiritual intuition and start making better decisions on your own. But that comes later. That’s why the creative theory of recovery places an emphasis on networking in recovery during early recovery.
So how do we tap in to our spiritual intuition?
Increase your awareness
If you are on a holistic growth path in recovery then this will include spiritual growth. The idea with the creative theory is to live consciously. What am I going to create in my life? This involves purposeful living with deliberate action.
Now if you want to increase your awareness you could sit in a cave all day and meditate, but that’s not really what I’m getting at here. Instead, I’m talking about conscious living and pushing yourself to grow in meaningful ways. I’m talking about taking daily actions that produce real-world results.
For some people, prayer and meditation will be a part of this conscious growth. For others it might not. But the key is that you have an awareness of your own growth efforts and push yourself to grow holistically.
Here are some examples of how you might tap into your intuition in order to make good recovery decisions:
1) You notice that you feel an absence when it comes to connecting with others in recovery. So you look for opportunities in your life to reach out and connect with other recovering addicts. In doing so you discover someone in your life who has been struggling with addiction but is afraid to ask for help. So you connect with that person and try to help them. The spiritual intuition part of this is in becoming sensitive enough to notice your own need, and then becoming aware enough to discover the opportunity in your life. Neither of these might be obvious…thus the need to increase your awareness.
2) You finally become aware of how smoking is damaging your body physically in recovery. This too requires awareness. A lot of recovering addicts with a few years sobriety will say about quitting smoking “it’s time now.” Why now? Because they finally became aware of how it was damaging their body. Listen to your intuition. Tune in to it. Sometimes we have to get quiet or slow down for a bit to see how things in our lives are really affecting us.
So those are just some quick examples, there are lots of other ways to tap into your spiritual intuition and let it guide you. The key is to consciously tap in and strive for that heightened awareness. What is your body telling you? What are the other people in your life telling you? Sometimes it’s a subtle hint and other times it can be a big hammer over the head.
Learn to watch for the subtle hint and you might be able to avoid the hammer later on….
One of my good friends in recovery just wrote a piece about journaling in recovery and how it can help you tap into your spiritual intuition.