August 14, 2023
A spiritual awakening, within the context of the twelve steps of recovery, refers to a profound and transformative experience that shifts our perception, beliefs, and connection to a higher power or spiritual dimension. It is a deeply personal and subjective experience that often occurs as a result of working through the twelve steps.
"Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature." (1) Spirituality plays a significant role in the process of recovery. A spiritual awakening is seen as a vital part of the journey toward sobriety and personal growth.
Spiritual Awakening in the Twelve Steps
While the experience may differ for each of us, some common elements associated with a spiritual awakening in the twelve steps include:
Surrender: Recognizing and accepting one's powerlessness over addiction and the need for a higher power to restore sanity and provide guidance.
Step One: Admitting that one's life has become unmanageable due to addiction.
Higher Power: Developing a personal understanding and relationship with a higher power of one's own understanding, which can be God, the universe, nature, or any other spiritual concept.
Self-Reflection: Engaging in thorough self-examination to identify character defects, shortcomings, and patterns of behavior that have contributed to addiction.
Step Four: Making a fearless and moral inventory of oneself.
Willingness: Being open and ready to let go of negative patterns and behaviors and being willing to make amends and change.
Humility: Acknowledging one's shortcomings and limitations and being willing to seek guidance and support from a higher power and others.
Step Eight: Making a list of all persons harmed and being willing to make amends to them.
Making Amends: Taking responsibility for one's actions, making direct amends to those harmed (unless doing so would cause further harm), and striving to repair relationships.
Continued Self-Awareness: Engaging in ongoing self-reflection, taking personal inventory, and promptly admitting and correcting mistakes.
Spiritual Practice: Cultivating a daily practice of prayer, meditation, or other spiritual activities to deepen the connection with a higher power and seek guidance and serenity.
Service: Helping others in recovery and practicing principles of the twelve steps in all areas of life, thereby fostering personal growth and maintaining a spiritual awakening.
Overall, a spiritual awakening in the context of the twelve steps is a transformative experience that involves surrender, self-reflection, connection to a higher power, and the cultivation of spiritual principles in daily life. It is a process of personal growth, healing, and recovery that supports us in overcoming addiction and finding meaning, purpose, and serenity in our lives.
- What is spirituality? A personal exploration. Dr Maya Spencer, 2012