Spiritual recovery from addiction

In spiritual recovery from addiction how do you know when spiritual life has begun or that you are on the right path? Rabbi Shais Taub gives us insight here.

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Am I on the right path?

In spiritual recovery from addiction, 12 step programs teach you that a spiritual awakening needs to happen in order for you to remain clean and sober. But how do you know that you are on the right path in your spiritual recovery from addiction? And when do you know when a spiritual life has begun? Rabbi Shais Taub shares his thoughts on the spiritual barometer for addiction recovery here.

How do we shift our consciousness?

The 12-Step model for addiction recovery is based on the premise that in order to overcome addiction, we have to become new people and that in order to become a new person, we need to have a spiritual experience.

So, how do you know that you’re on your way to having that total shift in consciousness that will change your life?

I will attempt to simplify without oversimplifying.

From self to God centered

Human consciousness operates on a spectrum. On one extreme is complete self-centeredness. On the other extreme is complete God-centeredness. The extent to which one is focused on self is in inverse proportion to how much he or she is focused on self. And vice versa. The less focused we are on self, the more we allow the awareness of God into our minds.

The purpose of the Steps is to provide us a path upward for rising above our own ego. In a word, we learn humility. As some wise person pointed out, humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.

How do you know that you are on the spiritual path?

So, how do you know that you are on the spiritual path? If you are moving closer to God, then you must be moving away from selfishness and pride. Again, this does not mean self-hatred or low self-esteem. It means becoming free from your biases and prejudices. It means feeling genuine tolerance for others. It means being able to see how someone who hurt you may have also been hurt by you. It means being less concerned with what you can get out of a situation and more concerned with what you can add to it. It means becoming less of a taker and more of a giver.

In active addiction, we don’t just use our drug of choice. We use everyone and everything. In recovery, it is the exact opposite. We look to see how we can be of use to everyone and everything.

At any rate, these are just some ideas to ponder. The main thing is action. If you follow the program of action that promises to lead to a spiritual awakening, you will surely get there and see results sooner than you may even expect.

About the author
Rabbi Shais Taub is one of today's most respected young scholars of Jewish spirituality and practice. National Public Radio called him "an expert in Jewish mysticism and the Twelve Steps." He is the author of God of Our Understanding: Jewish Spirituality and Recovery from Addiction.
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