peers discuss a higher power in 12-step recovery

What Is The “Higher Power” In 12-Step Recovery?

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The dilemma surrounding a higher power in 12-step recovery has widely affected the way people tend to view 12-step recovery. It is a popular belief that 12-step fellowships are cults and that God or a higher power means that some sort of religious entity is served.

While it is extremely important and highly suggested to find a higher power of your own choosing, it does not mean you are joining a religious cult. A higher power simply means you come to believe there is some sort of spiritual element that has your back. Whatever you choose to believe in. There is no one thing that must be believed in.

What is a Higher Power?

The term “higher power” in 12-step recovery can be intimidating. Many addicts and alcoholics have felt alone for so long, and many have had resentments built toward religious institutions. There are many members who don’t even believe in religion at all.

The terminology used within the Twelve Steps, God and Higher Power specifically, refer to an entity that is greater than yourself. You probably know that–left to your own devices–the best decisions and choices are not always made. When it comes to it, the higher power in 12-step recovery is some sort of a spiritual guide to help you as you go along the journey of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.

Having your own personal higher power in 12-step recovery is important. Spirituality is an important aspect of recovery. There are no guidelines as to what your higher power can be. However, having a loving and caring connection with something greater than yourself can prove to be extremely beneficial throughout your recovery journey. 

Finding Your Own Higher Power in 12-Step Recovery

It is important to remember when approaching the higher power in 12-step recovery that it is your own. Whether it be God in a religious sense, Buddha, nature, the ocean, love, or even the power of recovery itself. Understanding that your higher power is your own is extremely important. 

Throughout the Twelve Steps, the running trend that there is something bigger than you out there to help guide your life can seem extremely overwhelming. You may want to control your life, and have it go exactly as planned. Most addicts and alcoholics do. However, having things turn out as you may want them to may not be the case. Having some sort of spiritual guide to lean on, especially when making important decisions, can help you to make the right decision–for you. 

If you are seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction and struggling to form your own understanding of a higher power in 12-step recovery, it’s okay. There are some ways you can look at it that may help you form your own.

For instance, have you ever had a stressful day, or woke up feeling out of whack? When you went outside and got fresh air, did it help? Nature is such a beautiful and powerful force that is all around you and has the ability to calm your soul.

Overall, it is important to find something that brings you some kind of peace. Also, understand that your higher power may evolve over time. Just because you begin using one thing as a higher power in 12-step recovery, it does not mean you are tied to it forever. After all, with growth comes change.

Religious vs Spiritual

Higher power in 12-step programs does not mean you need to attend church or go to a temple. This is not to say people do not use a religious entity for their higher power. However, for you personally, your higher power is yours. It can be a religious entity if you so choose, but it can also be nature, birds, or music–whatever you can use to lean on in times of need. 

It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between God and a higher power in 12-step recovery, and God in a religious sense. When seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction, there are people who can help to guide you through the process of separating the two if you so choose, and assist you as you begin the journey to your own high power. 

Addiction Help in Orange County, CA

Addiction is a terrible disease. It can leave you spiritually broken and mentally beaten. Addiction can also cause you to isolate yourself from the friends and family who love you the most. Getting sober and using the Twelve Steps to recover from whatever addiction may be holding you down can change your life immensely. Getting help is the first step.

Ocean Hills Recovery in Orange County, California, strives to provide a comfortable and safe environment for you to safely leave behind drugs and alcohol. We can help you to get through the initial stages and begin working to find your own higher power that you can lean on. Contact us today to begin your recovery from addiction.

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