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People who are recovering from alcoholism or other addictions through Twelve Step programs hear phrases such as "the spiritual part of the program" or "this is a spiritual program." Twelve Step programs clearly separate themselves from religions and, yet, are equally clear in claiming to be spiritual programs. What does it mean to be spiritual rather than religious?"
One simple way of understanding spirituality is to see that it is concerned with our ability, through our attitudes and actions, to relate to others, to ourselves, and to the God of our own understanding. All of us, addicted or not, have a way of relating to our lives, other people, and God which tends either to be positive, healthy, fulfilling and life-giving, or tends toward the negative, self-defeating, and destructive. The question is not whether we will be spiritual, but whether we are moving in the direction of a negative or positive spirituality.
Spirituality is a simple disciplined way of living. It seems there are four basic movements that recovering people need to make to put their lives on a positive spiritual basis. The first of these is a movement from fear to trust; the second, from self-pity to gratitude; the third, from resentment to acceptance; and the fourth, from dishonesty to honesty.
These positive movements occur in our perceptions of life as we learn to apply the Twelve Steps to our lives, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but they will always materialize if we are willing to work for them.
It is our choice. We can drink or not drink, live or die, be happy or cry, be honest or lie. The choice is ours at all times. Whatever the choice, we must live with the consequences of our decisions. There is no other way to live life.
Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Ernest and Julio, and the rest of the "Good Ol' Boys" helped me, a stand-up fall-down pee-in-the-corner knee-walking nose-puking blacked-out-drunk, to make the positive choice when my Higher Power gave me that moment of clarity and the willingness to do whatever discipline was necessary to make the change, to make the effort to follow a few simple rules one day at a time. For that I thank them all.
Love and Peace, Barefoot
As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!
KEEP COMING BACK!
On the Web February 23, 2002 in the Spirit of Cooperation
Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SPIRITUALITY