spirituality Archives -
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The 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery: Step 11

The 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery: Step 11

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The lords leaping and the ladies dancing have got the party going. The farm animals are all running a muck and suddenly this super-band of 11 dudes with pipe-instruments come in and break out in a jam session.

I take back what I said earlier about your true love… this is getting turnt.

With one more day to go in the 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery, we are grateful for Step 11 giving us a chance to get grounded again. Ask the band to play some mellow jazz for a minute.

Step 11: Seek more of the Christmas spirit with through prayer or meditation

In earlier steps we talked about the importance of self-awareness and honest reflection, so with the prayer and meditation of Step 11 we seek to further connect with our Higher Power, whatever that means to you, in order to align with the spirit of Christmas.

For some of those who are still not so sold on the whole idea of spirituality, prayer might still be a little outside of your comfort zone. Remember, that is fine. For those who embrace the practice of prayer, you can take some time out for yourself on Christmas to seek a deeper spiritual connection to the experience.

For those who would prefer to meditate, take time for yourself to reflect quietly on what Christmas means to you. You don’t have to go sit cross-legged in a room with candles to do this. See if you can manage a few moments here or there to truly take a step back and witness all that you have received this Christmas.

I don’t mean just stare at your presents. Actually think on the impact your sobriety has had on the holiday. Look back at every step you have taken up to this point and seek to understand with how it has made a difference to you and the people who love you. Seek a stronger connection to this moment and this holiday through a deeper understanding of it.

The meaning behind being merry…

Meditation and prayer can show us even more of what the true meaning of being merry is. When we pray or meditate honestly and openly, we make room for more of that meaning to be revealed. The truth behind our joy and our merriment is so much more than you can put under the tree. A wise person once said that nothing has any meaning except the meaning we give it. If that is true, what meaning are you giving to Christmas? How are you aligning with the spirit of the celebration?

Ask how far you have come by doing the work on yourself to be more close with others. Ask yourself what is possible if you continue to be the person you set out to be when you got clean and sober, and how it makes these memories so much more. Somewhere in there, we can seek gratitude for what gifts we’ve been given. Not just the toys and gadgets, or the clothes and cards, but the gift of being alive and sober and with people who you care about. To have people who care about you to spend the holiday with.

Christmas in recovery is an amazing thing, and for some of us the meaning behind being merry is true fulfillment through tremendous gratitude. For our lives, for our hopes, and for each other.

Prayer and meditation are just some of the ways we can work on appreciating Christmas. Sometimes, we have to keep praying for those who are still struggling this holiday season. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. The greatest gift you can give is letting someone know you care, and want to help.

 CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

The 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery: Step 2

The 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery: Step 2

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Welcome to another exciting edition of the 12 Steps of Christmas; our own take on the classic Christmas carol, with a sobriety-themed twist to try and bring some more compassion and insight to a cheerful time of year for those of us in recovery from drugs or alcohol. Substance use and addiction can make the season a tough time, but we want to help anyone who may be struggling or just people in recovery who need a little inspiration, to get in the right state of mind for the holiday.

Of course, we want to hear your feedback, and we are happy to share with our followers and friends more of the 12 Steps of Christmas.

The 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery: Step 2Step 2: Came to believe a Power Greater than myself could restore my holiday cheer

 

You may remember that in Step 1 of Christmas we talked about unmanageability and about how the holidays and our loved ones are pretty much out of our control. So then what do we do?

Well, for this one the 2 turtle doves probably aren’t going to cut it. For those familiar with the 12 Steps used in many recovery fellowships, there comes the concept of believing a Power Greater than yourself can help you out. Now for some, this can be the most difficult aspect of 12 Step programs because any implication of concepts like faith or spirituality can create contempt or frustration. People may resist this idea, thinking it is pushing a certain god or religion onto them.

Some people think Santa is more realistic than a god. Well, fine… try delivering presents to all the nice kids in the world in one night with only a few reindeer and a belly full of Oreo cookies! Now THAT is a power greater than you, for sure!

St. Nicholas with the mic drop!

We are not here to argue the idea of any god. We aren’t trying to force anyone into some kind of religious epiphany or preach any gospels. But, for those who are open to exploring the idea of a Higher Power; it can be extremely helpful when we talk about the struggles we face during stressful holidays.

Step 2 is all about finding the willingness to believe something outside of yourself can help you through this holiday. Sure, you should also be aware of yourself and your actions. But be open to the idea that you don’t have to force the holiday to be special, it just is.

Tis the season for believin’ dude!

Rejoicing without religion…

Now, of course, one thing is that not everyone celebrates Christmas in the first place. Different religions and cultures celebrate in various ways during this time of year.

We are pleased to wish everyone a Happy Chanukah, a Joyous Kwanzaa, and everything in between. In no way are we saying sobriety depends on your commitment to a faith during any holiday. For those who find themselves celebrating Christmas, there can be a great deal of diversity in how you celebrate and why. Even though is it historically a Christian holiday, plenty of non-Christians, atheists, and agnostics still celebrate. According to the 2014 General Sociological Survey:

  • 21% of the American population does not identify with a religion

Younger people tend to be the majority of these trends. Yet, according to a new Pew Research Center survey:

  • 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas
  • 95% of Christians say they celebrate Christmas
  • Only 46% of Americans say they celebrate as primarily a religious (rather than cultural) holiday, down from 51% who said this in 2013

So, with so many people not subscribing to the traditional guidelines of the Christianity, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas without needing to fall in line. In early recovery, a lot of people are still trying to find a foundation to build some kind of understanding of spiritual concepts. So now isn’t the time to push them too hard in one direction or another. Just use this time as a chance to be more open to the joy and cheer that come your way.

You don’t have to be “spiritual” to be in the Christmas spirit…

For those who consider themselves spiritual or faithful, connection with your Higher Power can be the key to getting through the holidays. Some may view this time of year as a specific celebration of their faith and therefore should take every opportunity to remind themselves through the difficulties they face in recovery to appreciate and honor that connection to family and friends.

For those who do not consider themselves spiritual or faithful, you might even consider the holiday itself to be a source of power. The energy and the atmosphere it creates between people might be just enough to help you feel even more compassion and connection to those you love. Even if people don’t want to spend their Christmas in church or in prayer, you can still take the time to connect with your family and friends. Maybe that is what will restore your holiday cheer; the love you have with those you are close to. It doesn’t have to be a god or a faith, just be grateful and present for these moments.

Recovery from substance use disorder gives us the opportunity to cherish things and celebrate life in a new way. Believing that something bigger than you, even if it just Santa Clause or the Christmas spirit, can help bring the joy back into experiencing the holidays with your family and friends. Try to appreciate the chance to be clean, sober and with the people who mean the most to you. If nothing else, that is powerful beyond measure.

And leave some cookies and milk out… just in case.

Take some time this year to be open to the joy of the holidays, even if you don’t know where that cheer comes from. If you are struggling this holiday season, ask for help; not just for your family but, for yourself. Give yourself and those who love you the most the best gift you can. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

CALL NOW 1-888-922-5398

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