The Quest for Greater Spirituality
One of the primary reasons why people have trouble finding God is that they are looking in the wrong places. They are looking for an external God. One who resides in the heavens, the Universe, the waves, in the group and in other people or spiritual leaders. They would way more easily find God by looking inside themselves.
Early in my spiritual journey, I grasped the concept that if I would just get out of the way, I would be able to tap into that repository of Universal truth and knowledge, The God Source, and pure thought and action could then flow through me and out into the world through everything I do. Only when I am not connected to that God Source am I floundering and in discontent.
The Old Testament talks about following “that still, small voice inside.” The pure thought that flows from The God Source and into me is that “still, small voice.” Our conscience, that intuitively lets us know what is right and wrong is a conscious manifestation of that Source.
Spirituality is misdirected when the quest for it is to some external connection or cure. If God resides in us, in that still, small voice, then the quest for greater spirituality involves clearing out all of our emotional baggage which has accumulated from a lifetime of being cut off from that direct pipeline to that Source of Universal Truth and Knowledge. Without clearing out that baggage, not only will the quest fail, but also there is a great chance that those failures will trigger a succession of maladaptive behaviors in the form of all the addictions and probably many of the mental health issues to cover up the accumulated hurt.
The most effective way to clear out the accumulated emotional baggage and garbage is by rigorously doing the fourth through tenth steps of the 12 Steps. They are better tools for doing this than any therapeutic processes I know. They are the perfect set of tools to allow the inner mind to permanently deal with and release all the past hurts, traumas, guilts and resentments that here-to-for acted like negative filters on the glasses through which life was viewed. Decisions based on that crappy view of life resulted in crappy decisions on how to act and what behaviors to choose. It is not a coincidence that the eleventh Step, the spirituality step, comes after the gut clearing steps are accomplished.
One of the rules of the mind is that the Inner Mind (formerly called the subconscious mind) does not know pasts from futures, so even if something in one’s life happened years ago, the Inner Mind thinks of it as happening now, today. It does, however, know the difference between incomplete and completed actions or events. Once the Inner Mind accepts that an occurrence is over and is completed, it can let go of it, no longer viewing it as current information. Steps 4-10 are highly effective as tools to assist the Inner Mind to be able to put past events, traumas feelings, and guilts in the “completed” file so it can then be 100% focused on the present.
The search for greater spirituality is, in part, the search for spirit. Spirit is manifested internally through self-love/self-esteem, so the search for greater spirituality will be better fulfilled when we are in a state of high self-love, self-esteem and self-acceptance. So concurrent with the working of the Steps ought to be a start of an effort to enhance one’s self-esteem/love and acceptance. That effort will become exponentially easier as the 12th Step work clears out the emotional garbage.
Developing a great internal spirit fueled by high self-esteem/love is part of, but not sufficient on its own to define one’s personal spirituality. Spirit and esteem are quantifiable things, whereas spirituality is part of a belief system. To change or improve a belief system there needs a change in thinking. Spirituality seems to be a view of one’s expectations as to how much support can be expected from the Universe as one travels through life.
That view will be reflective of accumulated life experience. That is the reason why a prerequisite to embarking on a quest for higher spirituality is the development of greater self-esteem/love/spirit. Without that, the view of life will be reflective of accumulated negativity, doubt and self-hate. Once liking oneself is a given, the view of the road ahead becomes way more doable and one’s expectation of a supportive Universe improves.
©2016, rev, 2020, Jason Wittman, MPS, CATC-IV, ILAADC
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*About The Author*
Jason Wittman, MPS, LAADC, CATC-IV (aka Successful People’s Secret Weapon) is the former Executive Director of Los Angeles Youth Supportive Services, Inc. ( http://www.la-youth.org ) and has had a private practice as a Counselor and Coach for over 40 years. His practice, http://Stage2Recovery.com focuses on coaching and advising business and professional clients, who are recovering from alcoholism and addictions, to work and live at their exquisite best. He is an expert on teaching and coaching the “getting-on-living,” self-esteem building and spirituality parts of recovery. He has his master’s degree from Cornell University in counseling-psychology and is certified as a drug & alcohol counselor, a clinical hypnotherapist and a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-804-4408