In a recent conversation, I spoke about what I perceive as the differences between the spiritual life demanded by our program of recovery, and religion. The guy I was talking to remarked, “Well, I don’t see why we have to have spirituality in the program at all.”
I got to thinking about it, and here’s my take on that.
We need to see how our relationships with others — our actions, words and the way we live our lives — influence the lives of everyone around us and, through them, the others in our world. We reach this understanding by expanding our human spirit: our acceptance of others, our willingness to allow them to pursue their own happiness, our sense of responsibility, tolerance, patience, compassion, love, contentment and joy. These things of the human spirit are what make up the spiritual aspects of our program. They connect us with others, and renew our membership in mankind.
The extent to which we consider ourselves separate, different, or unique in some way, is a measure of our lack of recovery. When we can look at our neighbor, our spouse, our employer and, most of the time, try to see things from her point of view instead of thinking only about ourselves and our wants, imagined needs, and fears, then we are well on the way to both spirituality and recovery.
Happy Thanksgiving…and enjoy all those gratitude meetings!