Here we will discuss the concept of all concepts in recovery from alcoholism and addiction: The role of spirituality in recovery.
[ Spirituality in recovery | The spiritual principles behind the 12 steps | Applied spiritual principles: Spiritual practices in recovery ]
Here are a few questions about spirituality in recovery we’ll address in this article.
- What is spirituality? How are you defining it or framing it here?
- What’s the difference between spirituality and religion?
- What is a spiritual experience? Is it exactly the same thing as a spiritual awakening?
- Is a spiritual awakening required in order to successfully recover from alcoholism/addiction?
- Do I have to adopt someone else’s religious or spiritual beliefs?
- Can a recovering addict be spiritual if he happens to be an atheist, agnostic, or if he currently chooses a non-theistic Higher Power (e.g., AA itself, an AA group, a “Group of Drunks,” the proverbial light bulb, and so on)?
- Are you having trouble with the God thing and/or the spirituality of the program?
We will attempt to answer these questions and more. We’ll look at what the literature has` to say about spirituality as well as how the word is variously defined today. Upcoming articles will address specific spiritual principles, such as the principles behind the steps, spiritual practices in recovery, and so on.
The nature of the beast: Challenges in covering this subject matter
We believe all of us — writers, contributors, editors, and readers alike — can acknowledge at the outset that spirituality can be a complex and sensitive topic, and that these questions probably do not have one right answer. Compounding the complications of and sensitivity to the subject at hand is the fact that spiritual concepts are in some ways dependent upon one’s particular beliefs. In spite of these challenges we have chosen to address this vital theme and pledge to do our level best to provide reasonable, accurate answers.
Let’s go ahead and lay down a disclaimer that, like anyone else, we do not have all the answers, and, in an effort to cover basic aspects of spirituality in recovery in a reasonably open-minded manner, we fully accept that the points we make and the perspectives we describe may or may not represent ultimate reality or absolute truth. Isn’t it possible that real open-mindedness must include the genuine realization and understanding that, regardless of how attached a man may be to his particular worldview, beliefs, and opinions (e.g., those regarding religion, philosophy, politics, and everything else), they almost certainly do not mirror Reality or Ultimate Truth? Maybe genuine open-mindedness cannot exist without the understanding that, as humans, we are not privy to what’s behind the curtain of Reality. Can one who clings and grasps tightly to opinions and beliefs, refusing to consider alternatives, really be said to be open minded? May all our views continue to evolve and become more inclusive with ongoing experience, sobriety, and spiritual practice!
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
First in a series of articles about spirituality in recovery
Due to the breadth, depth, and vital importance of this subject, this will be the first in a series of articles concerning spirituality in recovery. Other characteristics of the nature of the topic also give weight to the notion of a series of articles; these characteristics might include preconceived ideas and concepts about spirituality, its degree of relation to organized religion, and the loaded, baggage-heavy nature of beliefs and opinions about spirituality in general.
A list of 177 mentions of spirituality in the literature (Source: 164 and More)
1. What is spirituality? How are you defining or framing it here?
Spirituality is not an easy concept to define. Perhaps the difficulty in defining spirituality is that its meaning is in no small part dependent upon the beliefs, religious or not, of each individual. Thanks to the availability of information today, the array of possible belief systems and spiritual paths available to most of us in the West is staggering when compared to what was obtainable in 1930s America. The visible spiritual landscape has blossomed in all directions since the Big Book was written.
Of course, we can’t discuss spirituality as being a particular object or thing; it isn’t a specimen that can be analyzed and dissected. Spirituality is more of a dimension of human experience, and a crucial one at that, seemingly without boundaries. As such, spirituality itself is not subject to the typical protocols of scientific investigation. (However, the effects on the human body of certain spiritual practices can certainly be measured, and a number of interesting studies have been performed in the last couple of decades… mindfulness meditation studies, prayer studies, and more… but these are perhaps a subject for a future article.)
Spiritual vs. worldly
There’s a very simple litmus test for whether a particular individual tends toward worldliness or spirituality. Briefly put, worldly folks look outward while the spiritual look inward. Those who are worldly seek happiness, comfort, and inner peace through external things like careers, possessions, relationships, club memberships, social status, and so on. Those who are spiritual engage in an inner search for meaning and peace through acceptance, surrender, ego deflation, and so on, gaining a brand new, healthy perspective in the process.
This simple definition or characteristic of the spiritually minded goes hand in hand with the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:
… deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God… We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us… If our testimony… encourages you to search diligently within yourself… then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, We Agnostics, p.55
Drastic changes in attitude are always a part of successful recovery, and they manifest themselves outwardly in all sorts of ways:
To be spiritual means to mature to a point beyond limited self-interest and anxiety about self. By its very nature, spirituality moves outward toward love, …citizenship, and mystical participation in the whole of life. It turns outward toward ritual, meditation, retreat, community, and the spiritual arts — all means of transcending the self. Out of that spiritual identification with a greater existence comes a deep-seated desire to protect, serve, and contribute, a positive and creative sense of moral responsiveness. (Article in Spirituality & Health magazine by Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul)
Most definitions of spirituality seem to fit into one of these categories:
- The basic feeling of being self-aware and in relationship, interdependent, or as one with others, nature, Higher Power, God, the universe. etc.
- Underlying principles, such as ethics, morals, emotions, intuition, values, virtues, etc.
- Activities and beliefs relating to a specific religion, spiritual path, or a combination of these
- One’s journey of personal development, growth, and the development of wisdom; seeing the close relationship of inner thoughts/imagination/experience and outer manifestations
One writer said, “Spirituality can be thought of as the active ingredient of major world religions (and some humanistic ideologies too).” Perhaps spirituality is the active ingredient in all positive personal transformations, whether we realize it or not.
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives. (Anonymous)
Spirituality in direct relation to Higher Power
One common definition of spirituality often heard in the Dickson, TN recovery community is, that which strengthens or celebrates the relationship between the individual and his/her Higher Power. While an excellent definition in some respects, when taken at face value, defining spirituality in this way seems to imply or even require the individual to have a specific concept of a Higher Power. Going by this definition, can atheists and agnostics be spiritual?
What about others — say, folks to whom spirituality is a brand new concept — who do not yet have a concept of a Higher Power? Are they incapable of expressing spirituality in their actions simply because they presently lack a specific conception of God or a Higher Power? In practice, and as we at Discovery Place see on a daily basis, having an issue with “the whole God thing” is very common. Where does this definition leave them?
Interpreted broadly — and seemingly in line with what the founders of AA envisioned — this definition can work for any honest, open-minded, willing person who (1) Realizes that (s)he is not God and cannot recover alone, and (2) Approaches the subject in a manner that’s free of defiance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty, and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable. (Big Book, Spiritual Appendix, p.568)
More definitions of spirituality are shown later in this article.
2. What’s the difference between spirituality and religion?
Religion is about community, shared beliefs (often an agreed-upon “statement of faith” ), shared rituals, and mutual support.
Religion is any cultural system of worship, including designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, places, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental. (Religion – Wikipedia)
Religion is optional, whereas spirituality is a requirement – not only in successful, long-term recovery from drugs/alcohol, but in any type of awakening from a state of ignorance toward wisdom and truth of the way things are.
Religion as defined by the Free Dictionary:
1.a. The belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers, regarded as creating and governing the universe: respect for religion.
1.b. A particular variety of such belief, especially when organized into a system of doctrine and practice: the world’s many religions.
1.c. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order: a widow who went into religion and became a nun.
3. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion: a person for whom art became a religion.
Spirituality is about living life in surrender to reality, understanding that much of what society teaches us is simply untrue and thus gaining a healthier perspective on life; living on a spiritual basis helps us meet each moment with curiosity, appreciation, wonder, gratitude, mindfulness, humility, and love.
Spirituality is simply the journey along the Broad Highway of discovering the authentic self without any trimmings or labels, conveying to genuine practitioners a deeper meaning of life, a fertile source of values, and more, whatever one’s religion or lack thereof.
In seeking life’s meaning, religion and spirituality often come together. Spirituality highlights qualities such as caring, kindness, compassion, tolerance, service, and community, and, in its truest sense, so does religion. But where religion is necessarily molded by its specific teachings, beliefs, traditions, and rituals, spirituality is defined by what is real in our own experience, arising from an inner search within ourselves, the finding of our own truth. At their depth, spiritual experiences, and eventually awakenings, are completely subjective phenomena.
…difference between religion and spirituality… Religion can be defined as “belief in God or gods to be worshipped, usually expressed in conduct and ritual” or “any specific system of belief, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics.” Spirituality can be defined as “the quality or fact of being spiritual, non-physical” or “predominantly spiritual character as shown in thought, life, etc.; spiritual tendency or tone.” To put it briefly, religion is a set of beliefs and rituals that claim to get a person in a right relationship with God, and spirituality is a focus on spiritual things and the spiritual world instead of physical/earthly things. (What is the difference between religion and spirituality? from popular Christian resource GotQuestions.com)
Myths, misunderstandings concerning spirituality
So often misunderstood is the fact that spirituality and religion are neither synonyms nor are they diametrically opposed. Religion often serves as the container in which spiritual practices are preserved and carried forward. Some people find the container to be helpful and choose to belong to a specific religion, often the result of one’s particular upbringing or adherence to a cultural “norm” or standard (e.g., Christianity in the West, Hinduism or Buddhism in the East, Islam in the Middle East, and so on). Others simply take what they need from the containers and find their own way to the realization of inner peace and service. Interestingly, in modern times the fastest-growing group religion-wise has been “none,” or those choosing not to be affiliated with any religion.
Spirituality continues to be a loaded word that can be misunderstood to the extent some think it is actually based on or in opposition to Western religion, or that it’s somehow meaningless if it is not mentioned in a Christian context. It is not unheard of for common spiritual practices like meditation, contemplation, yoga, and other “Eastern” or “New Age” sounding activities to be feared as being foreign, strange, or even unacceptable. Pope John Paul actually condemned yoga and meditation as being immoral and even sinful! Fortunately, such closed-minded attitudes, while still lingering in some circles, are definitely on the decline.
3. What is a spiritual experience? Is it exactly the same thing as a spiritual awakening?
In the literature, several synonyms are given for spiritual awakening:
- Psychic change
- Spiritual experience
- Personality change
- Attitude change
- Religious experience
Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there can be some rather subtle nuances or shades of meaning between the terms spiritual experience and spiritual awakening.
The term spiritual awakening often refers to a major change – often a complete reversal – in perspective or attitude to the extent the practitioner is more of a new person than a slightly or moderately improved version one’s old self, generally over a period of months or years. A spiritual awakening could be seen to be the result of multiple spiritual experiences. One could say that a succession of spiritual experiences over a period of time (generally months or years) could lead to a complete attitude change, psychic change, personality change, or spiritual awakening.
The fruits or results of a spiritual awakening might include one or more of the following (this is not a comprehensive list):
- Thinking and living more in terms of we than I, having realized that each and every one of us is connected to and interdependent with humanity, all beings, God/higher power, and/or everything in existence
- Recognizing ego-based thinking when it occurs, with ego being anything that causes us to believe we are separate from others, our higher power, God, the universe, etc.
- Feeling a deep spiritual connection, God-consciousness, Christ-consciousness, Buddha-consciousness (or however else one chooses to frame it), more often than not
- Acceptance of reality or the way things are in the present moment (more often than not), rather than constantly wishing things were different; transcending grass-is-greener-ism; mindfulness, as in moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment of self, others, circumstances, etc.
- Deeply understanding and believing in the truth of the spiritual axiom — that whenever you are disturbed or experience negativity, the issue or challenge is internal (e.g. your own attitude, opinion, judgment, belief, perspective, thinking, or reaction) and not external (e.g. the other person, the actions or speech or attitudes of others, outside circumstances, the job, the significant other, society, Congress, etc.); not taking anything personally
One of our favorite parts of the Big Book is the second appendix, the Spiritual Appendix. One of the main points of this section is to provide clarification on the nature of a spiritual experience. In its original form the Big Book inadvertently implied that a real spiritual experience or awakening must include a major, like a “burning bush,” a “white light” experience, and other such “spectacular upheavals” and “sudden, revolutionary changes.” Gladly, this implication is wrong; while a spiritual awakening can certainly include incredible, sudden, lightning-bolt shifts in perspective, more often spiritual awakenings happen in subtle increments.
The terms spiritual experience and spiritual awakening are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms. (Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Spiritual Appendix (Appendix 2), p.567)
The much more common form of spiritual awakening is what the psychologist William James called “the educational variety” which occurs gradually over a period of time.
With this type of awakening, others may see the changes in you before you realize the extent of the changes yourself. The spiritual awakening may be the result of a number of spiritual experiences over time.
Some examples of spiritual experiences we have experienced ourselves or heard about from fellow recovering alcoholics and addicts include events, realizations, or “a-ha moments” such as:
- Coming to understand deeply that drugs and alcohol are not the root issue, that at the very core, the challenge involves selfishness, self-centeredness, self-seeking behavior, and other manifestations, characteristics, or consequences of an overall spiritual malady
- Experiencing for oneself the joys of service, altruistic behavior, helping others
- Walking through major fears; performing actions that we deeply fear(ed), such as telling one’s story to a group of recovering people, chairing meetings, going on 12th-step calls, and so on
- Deeply meaningful group experiences
- Understanding for the first time that you are not separate from anyone or anything else, God, higher power, etc.
- Having a breakthrough in the understanding of how things really are, the nature of reality, etc.
- Having an experience which brings about a sudden or deeper understanding of spiritual concepts
- A particularly moving sermon, church service, or other religious worship event
4. Is a spiritual awakening required to recover from alcoholism/addiction?
Yes, a spiritual awakening is essential – but not to worry. The suggested path to your own spiritual awakening could not be more clear: Work the twelve steps to the best of your ability with a sponsor who has a sponsor and who has worked the twelve steps. You may be happy to learn, as were we, that you are not being asked to adopt a particular belief or belief system; you are being asked to perform some simple actions under the guidance of a sponsor. This a program of action, not of specific belief.
Dr. Carl Jung on spiritual awakening
Jung definitively recommended spirituality as the solution to alcoholism; in fact, Jung is considered to have had an indirect role in establishing Alcoholics Anonymous. Jung once treated an American patient (Rowland Hazard III) who was suffering from chronic alcoholism and had the financial means to consult Dr. Jung in Europe. After working with Hazard for some time and achieving no significant progress, Jung told Hazard that his alcoholic condition was near to hopeless, save only the possibility of a spiritual experience. Jung noted that occasionally such experiences had been known to reform alcoholics where all else had failed. (Paraphrased from spirituality section of Carl Jung Wikipedia entry)
Maybe there are as many definitions of spiritual awakening as there are people who have had them.
Let’s look at what Dr. Carl Jung actually said about the importance of a spiritual experience, according to the Big Book:
Some of our alcoholic readers may think they can do without spiritual help. Let us tell you the rest of the conversation our friend had with his doctor.
The doctor said: “You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic. I have never seen one single case recover, where that state of mind existed to the extent that it does in you.” Our friend felt as though the gates of hell had closed on him with a clang.
He said to the doctor, “Is there no exception?”
“Yes,” replied the doctor, “there is. Exceptions to cases such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them. In fact, I have been trying to produce some such emotional rearrangement within you. With many individuals the methods which I employed are successful, but I have never been successful with an alcoholic of your description.”
Upon hearing this, our friend was somewhat relieved, for he reflected that, after all, he was a good church member. This hope, however, was destroyed by the doctor’s telling him that while his religious convictions were very good, in his case they did not spell the necessary vital spiritual experience.
Here was the terrible dilemma in which our friend found himself when he had the extraordinary experience, which as we have already told you, made him a free man.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, There is a Solution, p.27-28
5. Do I have to adopt someone else’s religious or spiritual beliefs?
When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. (Big Book, We Agnostics, p.47)
In our personal stories you will find a wide variation in the way each teller approaches and conceives of the Power which is greater than himself. Whether we agree with a particular approach or conception seems to make little difference. Experience has taught us that these are matters about which, for our purpose, we need not be worried. They are questions for each individual to settle for himself. (Big Book, We Agnostics, p.50)
6. Can a recovering addict be spiritual if he happens to be an atheist, agnostic, or if he currently chooses a non-theistic higher power?
Yes, because spirituality and religious belief are two different things.
Agnostics, atheists, and non-theists in general are often altruistic and a great many seem to apply spiritual principles in their lives. If living in a deeply spiritual manner were not possible for those who do not believe in a traditional version of God, then spiritual programs would actually be religious programs, limited to religious folks or those interested in moving toward such. This is clearly not the case, as the rooms are full of happy, recovered/recovering people of every religious belief/non-belief category from hard atheist to religious fundamentalist.
7. Having trouble with the “God thing” or the “spiritual angle”?
First of all, some encouragement is in order. Are you considering recovery, or in very early recovery, and perhaps having a problem with the concept of God, higher power, or even the whole spiritual thing? Don’t give up! One doesn’t have to equate spirituality with a traditional religion or any specific religious or spiritual path. We must consider spirituality in open-minded ways, as being something free of institutional structures and man-made hierarchies. Spirituality is not so much about traditional beliefs and religious dogma as about perspectives, attitudes, values, and spiritual practices (ACTIONS). Spirituality is about what motivates the individual at the deepest level, influencing how one thinks and acts, and helping folks find a true and useful place in their community, culture, and in the world.
Don’t forget the ultimate promise of the 12 steps, found at the beginning of Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps… This means it will happen for you as long as you follow the suggestions of those who have gone before you (especially the suggestions involving things you don’t want to do) and work the steps with a sponsor to the best of your ability, remain open-minded toward spiritual concepts, and practice HOW (Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness) to the best of your ability.
Now I am convinced in my own mind… that there’s only one problem in this life, one problem that includes all problems, and one answer that includes all answers… I am totally convinced that the only roadblock between me and you and me and my God is the human ego… I further believe that the best definition you’ll ever hear of the human ego is, The feeling of conscious separation from…”. From what? From everything. From God. (I like to use three words: life, good, God, which to me are synonymous words.)
— Chuck C., A New Pair of Glasses
The “spiritual side” of the program?
We have heard folks in very early recovery (esp. the first 30 days) say that they “don’t really get the spiritual side of the program.” One sober fellow was heard to respond, “There are two sides to AA: The spiritual side and the drunk side.” He was right; it seems the entire basis of 12-step recovery from alcoholism and addiction is spiritual. Regardless of our beliefs, when we don’t do our best to apply spiritual principles in all areas of our lives, chances are we’ll be drinking and/or drugging again.
Indeed, the entire program of Alcoholics Anonymous (as well as the other 12-step programs based on AA’s 12 steps) is based on spiritual principles. Alcoholics and addicts may very well have physical and psychological issues over and above substance abuse, but primarily, successful recovery from alcoholism and addiction occurs in the spiritual realm.
So, it’s all spiritual! In truth, there is a spiritual solution to every problem, issue, and challenge we face as we trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
Please check back here soon for another article in the Spirituality in Recovery series focusing on the spiritual principles behind the 12 steps.
More definitions: Spirituality defined many different ways
In modern times the emphasis is on subjective experience of a sacred dimension and the “deepest values and meanings by which people live,” often in a context separate from organized religious institutions. Modern spirituality typically includes a belief in a supernatural (beyond the known and observable) realm, personal growth, a quest for an ultimate/sacred meaning, religious experience, or an encounter with one’s own “inner dimension.”
Merriam-Webster has five definitions for spirituality:
1: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : incorporeal spiritual needs
2a: of or relating to sacred matters: spiritual songs
2b: ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal: spiritual authority
3: concerned with religious values
4: related or joined in spirit: our spiritual home; his spiritual heir
5a: of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena
5b: of, relating to, or involving spiritualism: spiritualistic
Traditionally, spirituality refers to a religious process of re-formation which “aims to recover the original shape of man,” oriented at “the image of God” as exemplified by the founders and sacred texts of the religions of the world, especially Christianity. Celebrate Recovery, a wholly Christian program, offers a heavily modified 12-step and 8-principle program based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing (University of Minnesota)
Spirituality is a broad concept with many perspectives. In general, spirituality includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in life. As such, it is a universal human experience. Spirituality is something that touches us all, including those who do not know what spirituality is. People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness.
True sobriety is not ordinary life with the drugs and alcohol cut out. It’s a new way of living, of relating to ourselves and to the world. It’s not a different version of the life we are living; it’s a completely new life, one that can’t be imagined until you are there. And it is both appealing and frightening. (Kevin Griffin, One Breath at a Time, p.167)
Statement of faith
NOTE: These beliefs are NOT espoused or promoted by Alcoholics Anonymous, nor are they suggested by Discovery Place, this article, this blog, or this website.
What follows is a typical, characteristic example of a Protestant Christian statement of faith, according to the website of a popular church in Nashville. This is included here ONLY to help illustrate differences between religion and spirituality.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
- Who is God? God is a Spirit who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. He exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Who is Jesus? Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He became man, (literally) born of a virgin, worked miracles, fulfilled prophecy, lived a sinless life, suffered and died for our sin, bearing its guilt and penalty. He was physically raised from the dead. He will physically come again to gather his people and judge the world.
- What is the Bible? We believe that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
- What does it mean to be saved? Salvation is gift of God. It is a restored relationship with God that comes to us not by our good works, but by receiving the free gift of God by faith. Saving faith relies on Christ as our sacrifice and only basis for fellowship with God. This saving faith inevitably motivates us to obedience.
- What did Christ do for us? Jesus Christ made that gift of God possible. His life, death, and resurrection provide a way for us to be reconciled with God. Jesus Christ lived the life you should have lived and died the death you should have died.
Resources: Spirituality in recovery
- Defining Spirituality: What Does It Mean? – The Huffington Post
- Definitions of spirituality – Alchemy Assistant
- What is Spirituality? – Bible.ca
- Definition of spiritual in English – Oxford Dictionaries
- What Is Spirituality? – Psychology Today
- Spirituality Definition and Meaning – Bible Dictionary
- Spirituality definition – Cambridge English Dictionary
- The meaning of spirituality: A literature review – PubMed – NCBI
- Definitions of Spirituality and Research – Bowling Green State University
- A simple definition of spirituality – Peace Theology
- Definitions of spirituality – Google Scholar
- What Is Spirituality? – Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing
- Definition of Spirituality – Merriam-Webster
- Spirituality – Wikipedia
- Exploring the Meaning of Spirituality – Religion for Dummies
Spirituality in recovery
- The Role of Spirituality in 12-Step Recovery – Elements Behavioral Health
- Spirituality and recovery in 12-step programs: An empirical model – ScienceDirect
- 12 Step Spirituality – 12 Step
- Recovery Using the 12 Steps – Psych Central
- Twelve Step Spiritual Principles – Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
- The Role of Spirituality within the 12 Steps – The Fix
- The secret of the 12 steps: Researchers explore spirituality’s role in substance abuse prevention and treatment – American Psychological Association (APA)
- Spirituality and the Twelve Steps – Digital Dharma
- The Spiritual Exercises and the 12 Steps – Ignatian Spirituality
Religion and spirituality
- AWAKENING in Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions – 164 and More
- The Difference Between Spirituality and Religion | Spirituality & Health Magazine
- What is the difference between religion and spirituality? Got Questions, A Resource for Christians
- The Differences Between Religion and Spirituality | HuffPost
- $2M Award Reignites Religion vs. Recovery Debate – Rehabs.com
- Atheism and Addiction Recovery – Alcohol Rehab
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)