One of the greatest gifts in recovery is learning to rely upon a Higher Power. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to believe in your mother’s God or the one that never worked for you anyway. Sobriety is a chance for a new life and it’s also a chance to change your old belief systems and develop a relationship with a God of your own understanding.
If this is a new concept to you and you don’t know where to start, here are 5 tips to get you on your way.
1. Pray in the morning.
When you take time to pause and pray in the morning, you’re essentially turning your will over to God. Have a talk with your Higher Power asking for guidance as you go about your day. What do you fear? What are you thankful for? After all, you woke up clean and sober today, and that’s something to be grateful for. Spending time with your Higher Power in this way also prepares you for any bumps in the road and will make your triumphs even more joyful.
Use affirmations to uplift your mind and spirit. They also help to keep you focused, in surrender and remind you that God is working on your behalf. If you already belong to a religious group, read one of your favorite passages daily and study its text.
2. Let others in.
Believe it or not, you don’t have all the answers. There are people that God can work through, so when you find yourself in doubt or indecision, share it with your sponsor, spiritual guide or good friend. Getting feedback pulls God in. It’s perfectly ok to surrender to what you don’t know, because your mind is not always your friend. This creates less reliance on self and more reliance on divine inspiration. So, don’t believe everything you think. When you can share with others, you’re actually letting God in.
3. Keep a journal.
Journaling is an extraordinary tool that connects you with your Higher Power. It takes the power out of stressful situations and indecision, and also helps you see things more clearly as you’ve taken the thoughts out of your head and placed them on a piece of paper. Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way,” suggests writing “morning pages” as soon as you wake up. You start by keeping your journal near your bed, then, as soon as you wake, grab your pen and start writing until you’ve completed three pages. Doing this type of work frees you of repetitive thoughts, let’s you gain perspective and helps you to identify areas that need work.
4. Get involved.
Don’t sit on your laurels—chase your Higher Power like you once chased a drink! When you drank, you did whatever you had to do to get it. You went to parties, called the dealer and had dedicated drinking buddies. So do the same in building your relationship with your Higher Power. Get involved with other spiritual seekers. If you belong to a religious group already, get back involved. Go to meetings and recovery conventions. Find a spiritual group in your area. Just start exploring. You’ll discover meditation groups, spiritual retreats and yoga just to name a few. You can also go to Meetup.com, type “spiritual” in the search field and see what you find.
5. Pray in the evening.
After your Higher Power has gotten you through another day clean and sober, take a moment before bed to share some gratitude. If you had a good day, say thank you. If you had a bad day, say thank you because you didn’t pick up. Say a simple prayer, repeat your affirmation or simply sit in quiet meditation.
All of this may be easier said than done, but if you just keep an open mind you can having a healthy, strong relationship with a Higher Power that you never had before.