Believing in God is not a prerequisite to praying. Many people have grown and nurtured their spiritual beings simply by behaving in spiritual ways, by simply praying. Even agnostics and atheists can come into a spiritual belief system about God in their marriage, business or their recovery.
Spirituality has application in all of our lives. The beginning of nurturing this would be to simply have prayer. In my practice, I encourage recovering addicts, no matter what stage they are in, to keep prayer as part of their personal growth. It is a way to meet that inner need. The sponge inside needs to be watered. Spirituality is a great way to nurture the human being.
Spirituality is a developmental process. This development may be building upon something you have already known and experienced, or you may be building from scratch. Those of you who are building from scratch, I encourage you to pray and listen to the experience, hope and strength of others. Examine the lives of those who have a close walk with the Lord. Investigate their spiritual belief system and incorporate what is good for you. Some have come from Jewish, Protestant and Catholic backgrounds. Being raised in the church can be a very positive experience, especially for those in recovery, just as being raised in a healthy family is great. Some of us have experienced dysfunctional church systems. Some have experienced spirituality in a very negative and shaming light during their growing up years. But this doesn't mean that all the churches are unspiritual or even unhealthy.
If you've grown up in a church or synagogue, building on whatever you have experienced in the past will be helpful. At some point, investigate this belief and your own walk with God. In my belief system, coming back to Jesus Christ was imperative especially for my recovery. Without that returning, I would not have become whole in my recovery.
My encouragement is to experience spirituality by behaving spiritually. Surround yourself with people who are growing spiritually. If you intend to grow spiritually, you are going to need to be around people who value spirituality. You can't measure spirituality, nor put a price tag on it, and you need to be around those who have this disposition in life, who believe spirituality is important.
Spirituality can be delicious to the human being because it completes him. There is something very positive about having no shame before God and being able to be thankful, which is an indication that a person is growing spiritually. You will become thankful that you have restored yourself and to the generations to come. Spirituality is a generational blessing once we open the door.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, The Final Freedom. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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