What's All This Talk About a Higher Power in Addiction Recovery?

What’s All This Talk About a Higher Power in Addiction Recovery?

Wellness Retreat on December 7, 2017

If you are in addiction recovery, chances are you have heard a lot of talk about a higher power. You may have even heard about it in treatment. If you aren’t a religious person, the idea of a higher power might be a foreign thing for you, or you may not feel open to the idea, thinking it has something to do with religion. Well, the truth is it does not have to be religious if you don’t want it to be, it only has to be something you believe in.

What is a Higher Power?

Many people immediately associate a higher power with God. And, to many people that is what it is. However, your higher power in addiction recovery can be anything you want it to be. If you don’t identify with a specific religion, you can choose your higher power to be the sun or the moon, nature in general, the ocean, or anywhere, anything, or anyone that you deem sacred. As long as it is special to you, it means something.

A higher power becomes something you believe in that is ultimately controlling the universe on some level. It is the belief in a power greater than yourself. Belief in a higher power is also the second step of 12-step programs.
When you pray or send thoughts to this higher power, you are focusing your subconscious thoughts and putting the intention out there that helps you to move towards your goals. In recovery, clearly the goal is to stay sober, so having a higher power can help you stay on the right path.

The Benefits of having a Higher Power in Addiction Recovery

Addiction robs you of many things, and one of those things is your spirituality. Part of getting grounded and being able to let go of your past addiction is believing that something greater exists. Again, it is important to understand that this by no means has to be religious. One person’s higher power is usually completely different from another.

When you look at the wonders of nature, the power of storms, and the strength of the ocean, it is easy to remember that you are part of something much much bigger than yourself. Harnessing this energy into something you can have faith in can help to guide your thoughts. In many studies, it is shown that people who have faith – not necessarily religion – but faith, are less likely to be depressed, and they have an overall healthier outlook on life. As a person in addiction recovery, having a higher power can help assist you through the dark times and give you something to be grateful for when things are going well.

How to Find Your Own Higher Power

Perhaps you have never been religious. Or, maybe your addiction lead you away from your own faith and belief system for a number of years. In addiction recovery, it is time to recognize once again that you are part of something bigger. Again, always remember that spirituality and religion are two completely different things. Spirituality gives meaning to your life and is entirely personal. It is not dictated by someone else, but by you only. Therefore, you can make it whatever you want it to be.

Start small and think about your favorite things. Do you feel a connection with the moon and sun? Perhaps the woods make you feel at peace, or the beach is your happy place. Maybe an activity like yoga or running makes you feel completely alive and refreshed. Any of these can become your higher power. Whatever you choose to make it. It doesn’t even need a face, a name, or a particular place, it just has to be something you can envision and recognize as energetically stronger than you and able to control more things that you can.

The best thing you can do to find your higher power in addiction recovery is looking inward at what is important to you. After that, everything else will fall into place.