As the Jewish community celebrates another Rosh Hashanah, it’s worth discussing the potential positive impact that spirituality can have on our recovery and lasting wellness. The concept of spirituality is firmly ingrained in the classical and modern tenets of addiction treatment. Despite the continuing evolution of substance abuse treatment, the link to faith and the belief in a higher power endure as one of the clinical bedrocks of care. This is because it allows to conceive of a force greater than ourselves an what we’ve been through, an idea that can be incredibly comforting when we feel as though we have lost control.
Embracing spirituality is not entirely about putting our faith in any kind of organized religion. Although there may be a religious component to spiritual therapy, it is not fundamental to reaping its benefits and internal rewards. For one person, spirituality can mean fervent recitation of scripture and uncompromising attendance of religious services; for others, it can simply mean recognizing the beauty of nature and contemplating a plan or a cycle of life that has nothing to do with us. For many of us, it’s quite liberating to think that we can be so important to the people who care about us, but that our problems may be a drop in the bucket compared to what others are going through.
Spirituality allows us a base of support and understanding during the more vulnerable points of our recovery. Regardless of whether or not we even believe in a higher power, the healing catharsis of spirituality can help us gain emotional strength, empathy and confidence. It is not something that’s closed off to us simply because we aren’t overtly devout to any kind of faith. Simply put, there’s a clear distinction between religion and spirituality, and this is something that all of us can embrace in our continued recovery.