Step 2- “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
“There is a crack in everything that is made-and not the least of all- in each of us”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
In truth, when it comes to recovery, spirituality is never quite what you expect. At the end of the day, spirituality influences the way we open up to life’s experiences. It helps to work through the dishonesty and denial of unmanagability in step 1 by leading to accept imperfection as imperfection. It transforms the ordinary and yet in a strange way is found in the common place of life. The least likely spaces and faces are utilized to reveal truth that comes from the spiritual in life.
When we deny our individual imperfection with defensiveness and minimization, we disown our spiritual nature which is rooted in common shared brokenness. Minus embracing humanity’s broken condition, we become stuck in destructive behavior without compassion.
Yet, when I embrace my own weakness, I am invited to cultivate compassion toward myself and others. This is the essential root of healing in relationships. Pema Chodron stated “compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
In developing compassion for my own weakness, I develop compassion for the weakness of others. Spirituality is a journey of becoming one with every sinner. So the victim of destructive addictive behavior is one with the perpetrator because we are all one in common shared weakness. Essentially we all offend and that common thread creates spirituality.
In this sense, spirituality becomes a necessary ingredient for accountability. If we all offend, not just the addict, then it stands to reason that holding each other accountable is necessary to create safety in community. It becomes the glue that holds the parts of recovery together.
Spirituality is found in the wound of human failure. Entangled in the powerful shackle of shame that wraps itself around the spirit like an infectious worm. Defeat and desolation from addictive act become compost for cultivating humility, a cardinal component of spirituality. It is by fertilizing Step 2 and nourishing spirit that later in Step 9, we make amends from the compassion for others spawned from Step 2. Spirituality is the ingredient that forms an antibiotic to conceit and arrogance. It combats self-sufficiency, self-centeredness and the pride that denies need which is the root of all our struggles. In a strange turn of events, the Step 2 process takes the broken condition of addiction and connects it to every other human tribulation. We are all one. Through this epiphany, we look to a Power greater to address the limiting crack common to us all.
Ken Wells is a PCS staff therapist, lecturer, and author of The Clarification Packet. He facilitates Men’s Leadership Weekends held throughout the year. He can be reached at email@example.com for additional information.
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