What Constitutes a Spiritual Awakening?

Having compassion for ourselves means that we honor our humanness with self-acceptance when we bump up against our limitations and fall short of our ideals. Now, many people find the idea of spirituality in recovery spiritual malady offputting. This is because many people have had negative experiences with various religions or religious concepts in their youth. The good news is that spirituality and religion do not have to overlap in recovery.

When you ask them to describe what they mean by that statement, they seem to have a firm grasp on the fact that we alcoholics suffer from “an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind” — that once I put any alcohol in my system whatsoever it sets off a craving for more alcohol. This spiritual malady, or spiritual disconnection, is the driving force behind our addiction and self-destructive behaviors. Without addressing this spiritual malady, we have absolutely no hope for intrinsic change or recovery. It is this notion that the fellowship of AA was founded upon, and how millions of recovered alcoholics equate their success in overcoming a seemingly hopeless situation. The only solution to a spiritual malady is a spiritual awakening.

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While faith and spirituality can be intertwined, it is important to recognize that faith is not a requirement for experiencing spiritual maladies or seeking spiritual growth. Individuals from various belief systems, including those who identify as agnostic or atheist, can encounter spiritual maladies and benefit from addressing their spiritual well-being. It is the connection to something beyond oneself or the search for meaning and purpose that forms the foundation of spirituality. There is a deep interconnection between mental health and spiritual well-being. A disruption in one’s spiritual well-being can contribute to mental health issues, and vice versa.

Carl Jung viewed addiction as a spiritual malady and addicts as frustrated spiritual seekers. He believed the craving for altered states of consciousness reflected a spiritual thirst for wholeness, and that only those who have a spiritual awakening could successfully overcome addiction. Jung’s position was ultimately incorporated into twelve-step recovery, specifically Step Twelve. In step 10 of AA, the “world of the spirit” allows those with alcohol use disorder to move beyond the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of life, eliminating the ego and spiritual malady rather than remaining spiritually blocked from engaging with a higher power as you see it. Thankfully, the “spiritual malady” is no longer a “missing piece” of Step One for me.

How to Recognize if You Are Experiencing a Spiritual Malady

The most important thing is that you keep an open mind and heart as you continue on your sobriety journey. One way to think of a Higher Power is simply as a force that is greater than yourself. This could be the power of nature, the universe, or even something as simple as your cats or dogs at home – perhaps their love for you and the fact that they need you to be sober is your Higher Power. It doesn’t matter what your Higher Power is; what matters is that you believe in something that can help guide and support you on your journey to recovery. For example, AA rooms offer fellowship and support and provide a structure that can help keep you sober.

What that means is that all that is required is the belief in a power greater than yourself. There is no church you must attend or strict practices you must adhere to in organized worship of said higher power, it is a completely individual and personal experience. Most often, religious meaning systems provide a helpful vehicle for making sense of seemingly random, nonsensical, or tragic events, by seeing them as part of a larger, more benign plan (Frazier et al., 2004; Pargament, 1997).

Thoughts of Recovery – No.17 – The Spiritual Malady – Step 1

This “fourth dimension”, which we find out in the 10th Step is the “world of the Spirit”, takes us beyond the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions of life — and eliminates the selfishness (ego) of the “spiritual malady.” The term “spiritual malady” does not mean that our “spirit” is sick. It simply means we are spiritually blocked off from the Power of God, which enables us to remain sober, happy, joyous, and free. This “fourth dimension”, which we find out in the 10th Step is the “world of the Spirit”, takes us beyond the physical, mental, and emotional dimensions of life — and eliminates the selfishness (ego) of the “spiritual malady.” The term “spiritual malady” does not mean that our “spirit” is sick. The present findings suggest that trauma exposure results in PTSD symptoms in part through the negative cognitions of spiritual struggle. Spiritual struggle may relate to PTSD symptoms in complex ways, a consideration for future research evaluating causal direction. For instance, negative appraisals of the trauma could lead to initial symptoms of PTSD, and negative religious appraisals of the PTSD symptoms themselves could relate to their long-term maintenance.

spiritual malady

There is also a vibrant recovery community in the nearby urban hub of Denver. The https://ecosoberhouse.com/ is the result of my being out of order with my higher power who I choose to call God. I was the director in the drama of life and managing the world so I could  get what I thought I needed to feel ok. Fear and resentment dominated my thoughts and I made decisions based on self which caused me harm and harmed others. Even if you don’t believe in God right now, it’s important to keep an open mind.

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