Sought Through Prayer and Meditation: The 11th Step

For those who are diligent in working a 12-step program as part of their recovery, they gradually feel their transition from a life of addiction towards a happier and more harmonious life. While some of these changes can be immediately felt and seen, the bulk of one’s transformation in recovery is more subtle, yet very profound. The changes that are most often felt are from deep within and can’t easily be put into words or seen on the surface. This is especially true once we tackle the final Steps–and the 11th step is a great example.

The Theme of the 11th Step

When we think about each of the 12 steps, it is helpful to think of each as revolving around a particular theme. In regards to the 11th step, the theme can be thought off as one of contact. When we think of “keeping contact” in regards to recovery, the 11th step instructs us to keep in constant contact with God, our Higher Power, or our conception of a Higher Power through the use of prayer and meditation.

For many who work this step, it provides them a daily reality check. By taking the time to focus inward, those in recovery are kept grounded in the reality they know the reasons why they have been delivered from their addictive behaviors. With consistent prayer and daily meditation, those who are in recovery feel safety and security. Additionally, regular prayer and meditation helps those in recovery to maintain their conscious contact with God and they make every effort to try and carry out what God leads them to do. When they follow that path, they feel serenity, peace and acceptance.

The Importance of Developing Spirituality in Recovery

There are many important components that help people achieve long-term recovery. While therapy, life and coping skills training and aftercare programs are very important, the development of spirituality and a sense of purpose is the motor that keeps the recovery machine in motion. Like everything in recovery–and in life–we must continually work at developing our spirituality in order for it to grow. This is an absolute necessity if we are to complete the 11th step.

If we fail to nurture our growing spiritual awareness through the consistent practice of prayer and mindful meditation, our overall spiritual growth will be stunted and we can easily become stuck in our recovery. If we don’t take the necessary steps to allow our inner selves to learn and grow, then we put our own recovery at extreme risk. Ultimately, the lack of a spiritual foundation can throw us for the proverbial loop when the stresses of daily life throw us for a loop. Left to our own thoughts, we are more likely to turn to drinking and drugs–and we once again fall into the never ending cycle of addiction.

The Importance of Being Open-Minded

meditation on a pier

Perhaps the most important thing to remember in our recovery is to keep an open mind and being open to experiences that are new. This is especially true regarding spirituality. When we enter drug treatment and begin our recovery journey, we come face to face with the spiritual overtones that permeate the 12 steps. When we start a 12-step program, almost all of us already have several ideas about spirituality. Most of the time, those ideas are usually connected with our beliefs about religion–whether we see ourselves as religious, as being spiritual, or seeing ourselves as not having any type of spiritual foundation.

These pre-existing beliefs we have about God and spirituality, in general, can help or hinder our recovery, so it is important to have the ability to be open-minded—especially about those things that we think we know something about. No matter how religious background or how developed our spirituality may be, one thing to keep in mind is that we are human beings. While we like to think that we have all the answers, the reality is that we don’t have the answers to a lot of things.

If we really had all the answers to life’s problems, we wouldn’t have needed the program in the first place.

Anyone Can Embrace Spirituality–Regardless Of Their Background

Perhaps the biggest takeaway message that underlies the 11th step–and 12-step groups in general–in the fact that anyone can embrace the concept of a Higher Power. While there are many that may take issue with the concepts of God and a “higher power” in regards to developing spirituality in recovery, the 11th step does not endorse any particular spiritual belief or theology. No matter your background or belief system (or lack thereof), you can embrace prayer and meditation as effective paths to spiritual growth.

Both prayer and meditation are effective methods for exploring the true nature of our inner selves. Prayer is a particularly effective form of positive affirmation, and even though most people may think of it as directed towards a specific deity or spiritual being, prayer can work wonders when it is channeled toward our own higher self or power. Meditation is also extremely beneficial in calming  the mind and expanding our own spiritual awareness.

Ultimately, in practicing the 11th step we begin to fully realize that we are spiritual beings who are having human experiences. Through the practice of prayer and meditation, we are better able to connect with the divine that lives in each of us. When we are able to connect with our true inner self, we are able to better understand our daily experiences and accept them for what they are–and we are able to move past them in our recovery journey.

Has Drug Addiction Taken You Away From Who You Truly Are as a Person?

For those who struggle with substance abuse, it does more than impact their physical health; it takes them away from who they truly are as people. If you are in the grips of addiction, the structure and support that is found in drug treatment will give you the foundation to explore and be re-acquainted with who you truly are as a person, spirit, and soul. With our quality drug treatment programming, around the clock care and compassionate staff, Dream Center for Recovery will give you the tools to reignite the divine spark that lies within you.

Call us toll-free today and overcome your addiction for good.