Can Addiction Be Cured Through Spiritual Means Only?
When you look at the 12-Step programs you can sense that they are all focused on spirituality to cure many addictions. The question that begs to ask is whether addictions (and mental illness itself) is purely a spiritual illness? Furthermore that brings us to the question as to what is spirituality. This article will take a look at these questions as well as examine how the steps to overcome mental illness and its resulting addictions are often a symptom of a spiritual problem that can be treated by taking steps toward greater personal growth and self-development.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is defined as being connected to something bigger than ourselves. It has nothing to do with religion, though it can. The 12-Step programs imply whatever you feel connected to that gives you strength is your higher power. On the other hand religion is defined as being the worship of a Supreme Being. While atheists and agnostics may not believe in a supreme being they often claim to have some sort of spiritual connection to the universe that keeps them grounded in life.
How can addiction be spiritual in nature?
Whatever our addiction is, it is related to some void that we are trying to fill in our life. Mental illness is known to be repressed emotions; thus the act of taking prescribed medications can be a form of addiction because we become dependent on them to do something we can’t seem to do ourselves. Any man-made substance can be classified as witchcraft since it relies on man-made substances to cure common societal ills. Drinking alcohol and doing drugs has the same effects as taking pills but has much worse side effects which is why they are illegal in nature; except for alcohol which was during Prohibition of the 1920’s.
How to overcome addiction through spirituality
In order to conquer any addiction you have to commit to some form of self-development or personal growth. This involves getting to know yourself and what makes you tick. The field of science, especially a social science like Psychology, is good at helping to understand life and why we do what we do. Further proof of that lies in the field of Marketing which uses principles of Psychology to entice people to buy its goods and services by simply understanding human behavior and playing on its weaknesses. You can do the same thing by understanding yourself better and filling whatever void you are trying to fill with the right stuff in life as opposed to toxic drugs and alcohol.
Becoming more aware of what you do and why you do it is a big part of the 12-Step programs. This is seen in Steps 4 and 10 which are all about self-examination. This is why many don’t engage in any sort of spiritual growth by working these steps, because they are afraid of themselves and what they might find out; thus they prefer to keep giving in to their addictions whether they be drinking, drug use, eating, having sex, or even making money.
Benefits of applying spirituality to addictions
This life is more than just what we see and hear. Spirituality may or may not have anything to do with religion but it does point to there being something bigger than ourselves that we must connect to. When apply personal growth to spiritual principles in our lives, such as mindfulness, we become more peaceful. This reduces the need to engage in acts such as drinking and drug use or anything else we use to fill that personal void.
In essence spirituality and personal growth is all raising our human consciousness up so we know ourselves better and more fully. Of all the different forms of intelligence this leads to the one that is not connected to anything vocational; that is emotional intelligence which makes us more aware of our emotions, thus better able to manage them without the use of anything external that we have to consume.
In applying personal growth to spirituality, we raise our emotional intelligence and level of consciousness up so that we are better able to apply one of the other fields of intelligence into whatever career path we pursue because we have more energy to do so due to our connection with something greater; whether that something greater be a Supreme Being, the universe, or simply our inner selves.
- Erwin Wooten
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