The process of developing spiritually in recovery can be summarized by these two ideas:
1) Moving from self-centeredness towards an interest in others
2) A continuously strengthening relationship with a higher power
Those are the guiding principles, the umbrella under which all spiritual processes might fall. For example, one recovering addict might go through the process of learning to pray and meditate on a daily basis, after having not done so for years in active addiction. Making the transition to daily prayer and meditation is a process.
Photo by Santa rosa
Others might take a different approach. Someone who is less “prayer-oriented” might reconnect with their higher power in other ways (such as a Native American who connects with nature). The point is in the overall direction towards a more spiritual life in general.
So how do we move towards spiritual development?
As always in the creative process, it helps to start with a vision of what you want your life to look like. If you picture yourself being calm and serene, helping others on a daily basis, and meditating and praying every day when you wake up, then you have a specific plan to achieve your own spiritual growth. The processes you go through to achieve that vision might be:
1) Become willing to change
2) Start daily habit of prayer and meditation
3) Start reaching out to others and helping them in your own way (for some, this might be attending 12 step meetings and working with newcomers. There are other ways to reach out though).
4) A conscious push for personal growth
But remember, with a bit of willingness, these processes become less important. If you have a strong vision for what you want your life to be, then the process will take care of itself.
In other words: find your own vision of what a “spiritual life” is, and then achieve it!
Keep in mind the idea that you can make progress toward the goal of personal improvement on a daily basis. Ask yourself: “Am I a better person today based on the actions I took? Am I improving myself or my life based on my actions today?” If the answer is “no,” then you need to adjust things and take a new course.
If you can consistently answer that question with a “yes” then it matters little in what you actually do to improve your life. Just keep working at it, explore new areas of growth, and your life will just keep getting better and better.