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#313006 - 12/04/09 11:04 PM Spirituality and Recovery
MADcHATTER Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Tennessee
My recovery from alcohol and drugs was an integral part of my recovery from my abuses. You see, I become an alcoholic/addict to keep from feeling & dealing with my abuses. And in the end, I was abusing myself even further. I cannot differentiate the difference between the two. I couldnt get sober without examining what made me drink and drug in the first place.

Totally against the tenets of AA I know. I have often been at odds with those members who think the Big Book is all there is. You cannot examine what made you drink, just dont drink for today. Thats not a recovery plan I can just follow. I needed to examine the why's. As for the spirituality aspect...I dont know that I have attained anything of a personal spiritual awakening in sobriety or my abuse recovery! But my sponsor pointed out something to me once. Allow me to elaborate...

We were coming back from a 12th step meeting (Step 12, having had a spiritual awakening etc etc). And he asked me "What do you want out of your life?" My sponsor Wade knew my history. And while i'm sure he meant in my healing, my sobriety, my job etc...I told him I was looking forward to my lifes eventual End (Hear me out).

I told him how I'd always been fascinated by the concept of a persons life flashing before their eyes just before they die...and I said "If in that last, brief, defining moment of existance I can look back on something of a life worthy of reflection...I would be content!"

He pulled the car over right then, looked me in the eyes and told me that was probably the most Spiritual thing he'd ever heard!



Edited by MADcHATTER (12/04/09 11:08 PM)
_________________________
“Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell...Spirituality is for those of us who've already been there”

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#317325 - 01/01/10 08:34 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: MADcHATTER]
MADcHATTER Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Tennessee
SO I guess the question is...

What is spirituality to you? Is it acceptance? Being accepted for who we are? Finding the ability to forgive or be forgiven?

What is Spirituality to you? Do you find it in the pages of a book? In the music of a song? In the looks you get from your children? In the simple warmth of a ray of sunshine?

For me Spirituality is all these things and more. It will never be in the understanding or belief in a God or a supreme being. I cannot place my hopes in that empty vessel or any construct of man. Spirituality is in finding our natural way in an unnatural world. To be comfortable in our own skins despite the horrors we've been through. To realize that we can live a life we choose and to live it well in defiance of those who sought to destroy us.

If you can get yours from some book or church more power to you. I wish you luck on your journey. I cannot find myself in the tome of others I have to seek it for myself. To write my own gospel as it were. Or my own song of freedom and redemption.

The choice, as always, is up to us in the end!

_________________________
“Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell...Spirituality is for those of us who've already been there”

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#317346 - 01/01/10 11:25 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: MADcHATTER]
Paddy Offline


Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 16
Loc: MS Gulf Coast
I believe 'Spirituality' to be whatever I find that brings me peace.. (be it an omnipotent being, music, or starbucks coffee)
I don't believe it to be one solid definition for any two alike individuals, but a personal thing.
Finding that which brings me peace is ultimately important to me in my recovery.



Edited by Paddy (01/01/10 11:30 PM)

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#317414 - 01/02/10 05:33 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: Paddy]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
hmmmm....... Good question. I found a quote somewhere a while back that defines spirituality in part to me. I like it because it makes a vivid distinction between simply being religious, i.e., following a set of rules in order to attain a higher existence of some kind, and being a spiritual being. The quote goes like this:

“Religion is for those who are trying to avoid Hell and spirituality is for those of us who've already been there.”

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#317445 - 01/02/10 09:15 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: WalkingSouth]
Paddy Offline


Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 16
Loc: MS Gulf Coast
Originally Posted By: walkingsouth


“Religion is for those who are trying to avoid Hell and spirituality is for those of us who've already been there.”



That is possibly one of the most profound things I've read, seriously. Thanks for sharing that.


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#317499 - 01/03/10 05:05 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: Paddy]
LC Offline


Registered: 07/31/09
Posts: 31
Loc: Canada
Great topic, I am as well in the midst of working through my steps and have found the spirituality part the most difficult to believe. But walkingsouth is now my new personal hero, firstly his quote by Einstein is one huge reason I entered into a recovery from my addictions which ultimately led to my disclosing my CSA, but then that quote about the difference between religion and spirituality blows my mind. Thank you for that, and to MADcHATTER for starting this thread.
LC


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#317706 - 01/05/10 01:57 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: LC]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Great questions Madchatter,

My being exists because of the air I breathe, the food I ingest, the water I drink, what I see, the company I keep and my listening to the voice in my heart.

My heart as always been true to my being. My perps or the dysfunctional people in my life have never affected my heart.

I have been near death twice. When I "woke" up the 2nd time, I could not talk with my voice so I talked with my inner voice. I truly listened to the love and affection.

I realized the spirit is in me IF I only listen. My favorite quote is in my sign. line - "In silence the heart speaks".

I hear my spirit in the blowing of the wind, or in the voices of children, or in the rain on my face. AND the biggest "spirit" which gives my "spirit" life is your "spirit". Life depends on our "spirits" chatting.

Peace,
Donnie

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#318118 - 01/07/10 09:05 PM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: DJsport]
MADcHATTER Offline


Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 30
Loc: Tennessee
“Religion is for those who are trying to avoid Hell and Spirituality is for those of us who've already been there”

Man I have got to get that one on a T-Shirt! Thats Awesome and a great truth! I think I just found my new signature!

I was just like many others who thought Spirituality was only thought of in conjuction with the church. It took living through what I did to make me realize they are fudementally different. The essence of religion is to discover and try to follow the perceived plan of a diety. This is duplicity at its best! While the essence of spirituality is the search to know and to understand our true selves! The desire to be whole and one with the spirit that dwells within each of us.

While I may realize this all...I havent a clue on how to attain it. This is something I'm working. I imagine its something we each have to work on in our own way and time.



Edited by MADcHATTER (01/08/10 04:49 AM)
_________________________
“Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell...Spirituality is for those of us who've already been there”

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#321667 - 02/10/10 10:00 AM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: MADcHATTER]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5941
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
I sit here, with forty years of Bible study and hundreds of man hours of research..., speechless, breathless.
These posts, the replies, they are amazing. True, simple, insightful, basic, and yet so profound.
I am humbled by these men I see in the posts before me, may I aspire to your level of depth and thoughtfulness in my life.

Wikipedia defines spirituality as "having the nature of spirit."

Recovery is a process of recovering to good health, from an illness or sickness. I also believe that the definition of recovery of a missing or stolen item, is appropriate in this context.

Since God has almost never been described as a tangible, physical entity, we can assume that His realm is spiritual, a Spirit. If we want to know about Him, and we cannot examine Him or ask Him questions, we must research using the only tool that we have. The Bible.
There are many, many references to Almighty God, including the one in Psalms 83:18, His Name, Jehovah. His attributes are listed; Power, as in Creation, Romans 1:20; His Infinite Wisdom, Romans 11:33; Justice, He does not act in wickedness, unjustly Job 34:10; and most important, Love, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
Also, He gives a release for mankind, a way out of distress, an everlasting life Titus 1:2. What is everlasting life if the life is as it is today? Revelation 21:3,4 helps us understand Jehovah God will rule, and under His rulership, no more tears, no more remembering the pain in the past.
These are but a sample of the Spirit, Jehovah God. And, gentle readers, friends and members, you are right in that the search, the discovery, must be able to be corroborated with His Word, and if it does not, it must be discarded as false. That is to say, anyone who professes that their teaching is about God, and cannot prove that it originates in the Bible, cannot be telling the truth of the matter.

Free Will

Jehovah does not subject His creation to slavery, rather He allowed Adam and Eve, and through them all creation, to exercise their own thoughts, their own will. Romans 1:20 tells us that when Adam sinned, Adam exercised his Free Will. We are not demanded to follow God's Law, but if we do, we will be a better functioning person, why? It is because in our creation, God's manual that He left for us is the Bible. And the closer we can keep to the Owner's Manual, the more efficiently we operate.

Recovery
Free will, has caused great discovery, invention, rich, poor, war, sickness and amazing human feats overcoming adversity. Free will, the desire to be independent of God, has also caused our condition, the one we here all suffer from. Remember the Pharisees, those who took the lead in the religion of ancient Israel, were the worst offenders of God's Law. Our perpetrators, enablers and accomplices therefore, were influenced by the exercise of free will.
Recovery by definition leads us back to this question, Is there a God, Why does He allow Suffering, Is there any relief?
In our searching, Jehovah God is very close to us. Acts 17:27. He offers seasons of refreshing, to help us endure till He acts upon the wicked in this world, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8.

This is my passion, this is my never ending search, to balance the thoughts in my head with the truth, love and peace of Almighty God. I had seen His power, but my abuse blinded me from His Love, His merciful and shielding Love.

Please forgive the length, my friends, I hope only that this helps those who wish it, those searching, will use it to advance their journey. To those whom I have offended, I apologize. To those content in their beliefs, I admire and respect your power.

Sam

_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#321669 - 02/10/10 10:58 AM Re: Spirituality and Recovery [Re: SamV]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
it's nice to know where you are coming from and where you stand sam, and i thank you for sharing that, while at the same time, validating the perspective belief/ value systems of others.

for myself, i see the bible as allegorical and anecdotal to the events of my own life. i see christ as so much more than the human person depicted in the bible, but rather the supreme living metaphor for the physical manifestation of all concrete substance. because i believe us to be much more than the mere sum of our parts, i'm more inclined to be appreciative of jungian thought in terms of larger energetic forms that encompass, interact and influence our lives, than i am of the idea of 'sin' [it's all my fault, by vice of inheritance, that the world is in ruins].

i don't see god as a vending machine type entity doling out rewards and punishment for behaviors which are deemed worthy of reward or punishment, based on contrived belief systems inspired by the currency of cultural values as a self protective egoic defense mechanism designed to sate our deepest fears [to keep them in the deepest recesses of our subconscious selves, out of sight, and out of mind].

i believe in the principle of justice and compassion and the golden rule. anything else in my opinion is too much to carry around, and therefore unnecessary for the journey.

i believe that we are born to be co creators with the supreme presence of awareness that is god and, that by continually reinforcing the negative connotations of the physical body is continuing to play small in our roles as created beings. i believe our greatest challenge as hosts, is to strive to transform the polarities living as warring factions within, and in doing so balance and harmonize the energies that are brought thru us as agency for peace and reconciliation.

pain and suffering will always be ours, and we realize that more and more as our youthful powers diminish in older age, and we begin to lose the elasticity of the flesh. but the one thing we cannot lose is the refinement of spirit that is ours to achieve as we plod on through this life, ever staring death in the face yet along the way rising above insurrmountable odds.

we look in horror at such tragedies as katrina and haiti, and see one segment pointing fingers of blame: see what god has done to punish you, you wicked wicked people' and then we turn on the tv and see vibrant faces and throats full of triumph at the power of the human to spirit to celebrate in the heart of life's most tragic events: god celebrating resurrection yet again.

no, to me, god is not a vending machine god. without pain, we would not know healing. without hate we would not know love, without sorrow, we would not know joy. and these things are not ours to keep, but rather they flow through us like a stream as the living expression of a god being life through the manifestation of god's immutably supreme self in humanity.

that's what recovery is to me, taking the 'good' with the 'bad', learning to balance the odds and evens in this thing called 'life'. not seeing one as more preferential nor beneficial than the other, but seeing them both as equally necessary and valid to complete that awful, tragic, mysterious wondrous, 'for everything there is a season' convoluted, inverted, marvelous world.

makes you wonder what and who's behind it all. to realize that someday, beyond all the pain and strife, where nothing moves, but stands in perfect peaceful rest, is immensely awe inspiring.

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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