Feeling confused or ambivalent about spirituality is understandable. The most important aspect of developing spirituality is being honest about your feelings, where you are at in your life, and what your beliefs are, along with how these beliefs manifest in your perspective, attitude, and behavior. Your challenge here is to be open to the possibility that growing a relationship with a power greater than yourself is a dynamic key to learning how to cope with life in ways that are balanced, healthy, and helpful. There is no single path on a spiritual journey. In order to find the path that is right for you, you may travel many roads to get to where you need to go. On those roads will be many guides that will help you along the way. There is little to figure out or understand. There is no helpful purpose to be served in trying to find the answers; spirituality is not so much about answers as it is about learning how to appreciate the journey itself. The essence of spirituality is that it’s an ongoing quest for meaning and fulfillment. The parable of the two wolves also applies to your search for spirituality. Dependence on pain medications, isolating, resentment, fear, and anxiety have all fed your pain and contributed to imbalance. Here are some things you can do to feed your spirituality and move toward balance:
- Write about your thoughts, feelings, decisions, and experiences daily.
- Read materials that will help you on your path, present you with new information, and open new doors.
- Develop a mutual support system and attend support meetings regularly. Work the Twelve Steps and apply them in your life.
- Take care of yourself physically by staying active and exercising within your limits.
- Share with others.
- Find ways to be of service, to help others.
- Stay present-centered in this moment; live just for today.
- Clear out old resentments and unresolved feelings so you can release these burdens.
- Be grateful for what you have.
- Accept your pain and cherish the opportunities it provides you to grow and change.
- Make progress toward balancing the four points daily in order to change your experience of chronic pain.
There are no drawbacks to seeking a spiritual experience. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. All that is required is for you to be open-minded and willing. On your journey, others may attempt to force their beliefs on you, but you are free to choose what you believe and do not believe. Try not to judge your experience or others’ experience; just keep moving forward in your journey and notice what happens. There is more joy to be found in the journey than in any particular destination. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).