Calling on A Power Greater than Myself
A Higher Power is used in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programs. Also called a power greater than ourselves, the term can sometimes refer to a supreme being or deity or a conception of God. It can also be understood as a supernatural, hyper-intelligent, or pan-dimensional being.
The second step in AA states: “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” Step two has participants accept and acknowledge a higher power, usually God or otherwise. They admit that this higher power can remove their obsession with drugs and alcohol.
How Do You Find Your Higher Power?
Your higher power is something or someone greater than you. As stated above, for many people in recovery, this is God. For some people, they may never understand their higher power.
They will embark on a journey to get closer to it. Some may read scripture, pray, or attend religious-type ceremonies, and some people may go to sacred sites, while others meditate. Some individuals simply try to live virtuous and moral lives, so they can stay away from the perils of drug and alcohol abuse.
Spirituality is an Important Part of Recovery
To find your higher power, take time for yourself to meditate; practice daily meditation and prayer. There are several books that you can get to help with this. Some examples include “Twenty-Four Hours a Day”, “Keep It Simple”, or “Day By Day”.
If you attend any 12-step meetings some places have books that you can purchase to help with daily meditation. Some examples of a higher power can include:
- The Father
- Jesus Christ
- The Holy Trinity
- The Universe
- Mother Earth
Does Having a Higher Power Help in Recovery?
Choosing a higher power in recovery can help you in your recovery process in many different ways. When you let go of the need to take on this disease yourself, you feel empowered, you are more at peace, and so much happier. The National Institute of Health “A focus-group study on spirituality and substance-abuse treatment” states:
Despite the paucity of research in this area, spirituality has been shown to be a significant and independent predictor of recovery and/or improvement in indices of treatment outcome (Avants, Warburton, and Margolin, 2001; Carter, 1998; Heinz, Epstein, and Preston, in press; Kendler, Gardner, and Prescott, 1997; Piedmont, 2004). Levels of spirituality increase between treatment entry and subsequent recovery (Borman and Dixon, 1998; Mathew, Georgi, Wilson, and Mathew, 1996; Pardini, Plante, Sherman, and Stump, 2000), and levels of spirituality may be greater in individuals whose recovery is successful compared to those who have relapsed (Jarusiewicz, 2000). Length of sobriety has also been positively associated with spirituality (Carter, 1998; Poage, Ketzenberger, and Olson, 2004), while commitment to a higher power may lessen the severity of relapse episodes (Morgenstern, Frey, McCrady, Labouvie, and Neighbors, 1996). In retrospective studies, recovering addicts frequently reported spirituality as an important component of their recovery efforts and to be helpful in maintaining changes made during treatment (Flynn, Joe, Broome, Simpson, and Brown, 2003a, 2003b; Koski-Jannes and Turner, 1999). (NIH)
Benefits of Having a Higher Power
First off, having a higher power gives you a sense of empowerment. You let go of the addiction and start letting your higher power help you overcome the disease. This gives most people hope, relieves a lot of stress, and helps them start growing in their recovery.
Secondly, having a higher power gives us a sense of happiness and peace. Chapter 4 of the Big Book in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) tells us that believing in a Power greater than ourselves will give us peace and happiness. Again letting go of trying to control the addiction on your own gives you relief which brings on a great sense of peace and happiness. You can take some deep breaths, and you will feel less alone on this journey.
Lastly, having a higher power provides you with a sense of direction. This helps most believe that there are treatment programs out there that can actually help and work for them.
Overcoming a substance use disorder can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever go through. It takes time and a lot of effort, but having a power greater than yourself to call on gives you a good start to a long-term journey in recovery.
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Our team of professionals is some of the most experienced, compassionate, non-judgmental, and understanding people in the addiction field. We will treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve and help you start healing and moving forward on your path to long-term recovery. Help is only one phone call away. Give us a call today.