Studying the Bigger Picture
Awareness, or spirituality, can be a difficult concept, particularly for those of us with misgivings about organized religion. However, the spirituality we’re talking about has nothing to do with the dogma or doctrines of those entities. Rather, it’s the next logical step following humility and love. In our blog on humility, we talked about starting to see the bigger picture. Awareness is taking the time to study that bigger picture. It’s the constantly growing, changing, and shifting landscape that we find ourselves a part of. It’s noticing the connections that are all around us and seeing how we can nurture and contribute to them.
Opening a Line of Communication
Step 11 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous reads that we “sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out”. But what is prayer? When we were out in our active addictions, those of us who prayed usually made some kind of demand. “If you get me out of this, I’ll never use again,” seems to have been a pretty popular one. If you’ve spent a bit of time reading these blogs, you can already see how wrong-headed this is. The prayer mentioned in the eleventh step is of a different sort. It’s opening a line of communication between us and our higher power. Furthermore, though we may begin by doing the “talking,” its purpose is so that we can start to listen.
Diminishing the Power of the Ego
By the same token, we should ask what meditation is. The word conjures up images of saffron robes, cross-legged poses, and altered states of consciousness. However, in reality, the intention of meditation is much like prayer and the practice is just as simple. For example, consider mindfulness meditation. The purpose is to become aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the present moment. Furthermore, this awareness is judgment-free. We become witness to our thoughts, feelings, and sensations and let them pass without judging them. When we start to drop our judgments, starting with ourselves, we start to diminish the power of the ego. And with that out of the way, we’re able to see life on its own terms, without the demands we try to force on it.
Real Courage Means Asking for Help
Ocean Recovery has been successfully leading men and women to the path of recovery since 2002. At our facilities in sunny Newport Beach, California, hundreds of clients have taken their first steps towards new lives of sobriety and happiness. We offer individual and group counseling, addiction education, family therapy, and much more as part of our holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, please give Ocean Recovery a call today. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is ready to answer.