In times when fear and anxiety are running high, with life seeming out-of-control, peace feels elusive. Through spiritual introspection and practices, the 12 Steps offer a path to rest for anyone feeling stressed out, whether or not they are in recovery.
Spirituality is a restorative piece of the 12 Steps that helps people wrestle with their flaws and strengths while taking a fresh look at life. It encourages people to see themselves as part of a much larger picture that may include a higher power, whether that is nature, the universe, a spiritual force, deity, or something else. As they internalize the steps, they also internalize the mantra of the famous Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
“I am convinced you cannot live the 12 Steps without being transformed, and that is a spiritual experience,” said Rosecrance Harrison Campus Chaplain Rev. Christopher Druce-Jones. “If people allow themselves to live according to these principles, and let these principles live in them, they will experience the promise of lasting recovery. When you look at all these people, no matter how long they have been in recovery, they have spiritual lives filled with joy, and it’s a beautiful life.”
Spirituality makes success possible in a 12-Step program like Rosecrance because it offers holistic tools that restore people to right thinking and right relationships with loved ones and their world. Accountability and forgiveness in the context of small groups equip people to develop healthy relationships with themselves, others, and the world after leaving treatment. In addition, the spirituality dimension takes advantage of self-examination through therapeutic recreation, meditation and mindfulness, self-care and long-term goal-setting, which all contribute to successful journeys.
Rev. William Lenters, chaplain at Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus, likened the spiritual emphasis on relationships to a family of birds he watched outside his home this spring. The adults worked hard for weeks to build a nest, then they guarded the eggs until they hatched. Once the eggs hatched, the adults nurtured the vulnerable, powerless baby birds and imparted life skills like flying as the babies grew.
“This is the way we ought to be caring for each other,” he said. “Spirituality reminds us that we are not our own, but we belong to a global community, and we are accountable to someone or something.”