What Is A Spiritual Shift In Addiction Recovery?
What Is A “Spiritual Shift?”
A spiritual shift is about the quality or state of being one. What that means is that we are all connected. The spiritual shift changes the way you see the world, your life, and everything else. And you won’t notice it until you do and after that happens, you see things differently than you did before. The life you used to know is changing and the change brings highs and lows at the same time.
5 Signs You’re Experiencing A Spiritual Shift
Awakening spiritually isn’t an easy process. If you can relate to the following ideas, you might be experiencing a shift to a higher vibration.
Heavy emotions are coming to the surface
A spiritual transformation isn’t sudden. A spiritual journey involves constant fluctuations as you work to rid your energy body of a negative past and lower energies. Wounds from your childhood, past relationships, and past lives need attention and healing before you can move forward.
The world around you doesn’t make sense anymore
When you go out you may feel differently in a world that might have felt familiar before. You have lost interest in material items and doing the normal things people do. You may be exploring your creativity and finding comfort and meaning in nature.
You want to let go of harmful habits
By this time, you have begun to realize that you can’t become your best self with toxic substances, people, and habits weighing on you. You’ll find that drugs, alcohol, junk food, abusive relationships, and too much time with technology will drain your energy. You will want to stay away from negative people and eat nutrient-rich foods.
You want to spend more time alone
As you get older, you might find that you enjoy your own company more than before. Your time has value and being around some people really drains your energy. It is a normal part of a spiritual shift if you find that you want to be off on your own more.
You are experiencing more synchronicities (coincidences)
During a spiritual awakening, coincidences are referred to as synchronicities. If you see repeating numbers frequently, such as 2:22, 12:34, etc, it’s your spirit guides telling you that you’re on the right path. If you’re thinking of a song and then hear it immediately afterward, you are experiencing synchronicity.
People often think “surrender” is an act of weakness, of giving up. Nothing could be further from the truth. To surrender is to admit that you are who you are. So often, we hide our true selves, or attempt to become someone else, because we think that people will like us more, love us more, or find us more interesting or “fun.”
To surrender is to accept that each of us is unique, and worthy of love, in our ways. When a person lets go of all the outside forces pushing in on him and accept that he is who he is – flaws, rough edges and all – only then can he start to build honest relationships with others.
When an addict surrenders to this new understanding of himself, the spiritual shift occurs. Instead of being defensive about his actions, and ashamed and afraid of who he is, he is empowered to laugh, to cry, and to have hope. Many addicts suffer from depression, either as a root cause of why they started using drugs or alcohol or as a result of the despondency that addiction causes.
The Path Ahead
When they acknowledge their actions and their sense of self, they see a light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps for the first time in their lives. They can see a path ahead, and a way to make it down that path.
In the end, the spiritual shift – the switch from “I” to “We” – is what puts an addict in control of his recovery and future. It emboldens him to be himself. It allows him to admit when he is wrong, apologize for what he has done, and not feel as though he must apologize for who he is. This, in turn, allows the addict to build honest, healthy relationships built on mutual trust and respect, and to learn how to love others, and to be loved by them in return.
Although a feeling of spiritual emptiness is an experience that’s familiar to many people, it’s very common for individuals who struggle with addiction. Even though a lack of spirituality doesn’t cause addiction in any way, it is generally believed that addiction has a spiritual element. This confirmation led to the inclusion of spirituality as an important part of the recovery process. It provides an important crossroad between western psychology and psychotherapy and 12-step recovery.
One of the most influential psychologists of all time, Carl Jung, saw addiction as a spiritual illness and addicts as frustrated spiritual seekers. He thought the desire for altered states of consciousness was a sign of a spiritual wish for wholeness. Furthermore, only those who have a spiritual awakening could successfully defeat addiction. His position was eventually adopted into 12-step recovery.
How Does Spirituality Relate To Recovery?
In recent years, there has been a steady stream of criticism of the 12-step program of recovery from addiction. Despite more than 20 years of scientific research on the 12-step model that proves its effectiveness. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Office issued this statement: “Well supported scientific evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of 12-step mutual aid groups focused on alcohol and 12-step facilitation interventions.”
Researchers have been able to impartially define spirituality and then study its relation to recovery from addiction. Dr. Stephanie Carroll of the California School of Professional Psychology defined these features of spirituality:
- Reading spiritual material
- Spending time in nature (hiking, camping)
- Interacting with art (painting, drawing, going to a museum)
- Go to a religious service
- Greet a newcomer at an AA meeting
- Taking part in AA service activities
- Taking part in non-AA service activities
- Volunteer to be a sponsor or a temporary sponsor
After following 100 AA members, Dr. Carroll discovered that activities such as meditation, prayer, reading spiritual material, and experiencing art or nature were significantly associated with length of recovery.
Why Is the Spiritual Shift Critical To The Recovery Process?
People recovering from addiction often name spirituality as a helpful influence. Studies of outpatients were conducted to examine beliefs about the role of spirituality in recovery and whether it is appropriate in formal treatment. Analysis suggested that spirituality and religious practices suffered in complicated ways during active addiction but went hand-in-hand in recovery.
Despite the lack of research, spirituality is a substantial and independent predictor of recovery or improvement in the outcome of treatment. It is believed that the coping skills learned through religion and spirituality might be an underused treatment resource.
Alcohol And Drug Addiction Treatment Services In Pennsylvania
One of the guiding principles of the 12-Step Model is the “spiritual shift:” a deeply personal, internal paradigm shift that occurs when an addict shifts from putting himself before others. It is, without a doubt, the greatest mitigating factor in an individual’s long-term recovery. Without the shift, one can never truly know one’s self, or others, in a meaningful and loving way.
Here at Little Creek Lodge, we help young men in recovery find their paths to this spiritual shift. Our residents are empowered to make good decisions, to be vulnerable, and to open themselves up to a world where they have value: both to themselves and others. Here, we work on the mind, body, and soul, and help our residents take the next crucial steps to their recovery.
Discover Yourself And Your Value In This World
At Little Creek Lodge in Pennsylvania, we believe the addiction treatment process should be about growth and discovery. Our residential program allows young men to learn who they are, in a safe and sober environment. Please contact us today to learn more about our services.