A lot of people don’t like 12-step programs because of all of the talk about your “Higher Power”. Many people interpret this to mean God. There are a lot of atheists who are unable to be involved in helpful recovery programs because they feel like there is too much talk about God. I constantly hear people questioning whether or not it’s important to be religious to be in recovery. I would say, no, it’s not important to be religious. However, it is important to have a spiritual practice.
Having a spiritual practice does not mean that you are religious, you go to church, you read the Bible or some other religious text, and you follow a bunch of dogmatic rules. Having a spiritual practice means that you are able to focus on God as you understand God. Even if you wouldn’t call it God, I’m sure there is something that you believe in. It could just be the concept of love. It could be the beauty of nature. You can focus on these things without calling them God.
I would argue that it is essential to find some type of Higher Power when you are in recovery. If you are simply trying to recover on your own, you are not going to be successful. You need to lean on something bigger than just yourself. It doesn’t have to be God or Jesus or anything like that. It could just be your community. It could be your family. It could be your artistic practice. It could be meditation or yoga.
Whatever it is, it’s important for you to find something bigger than yourself that you believe in. With this, you will have a much easier time with recovery because there will always be something you can turn to when you are having a rough day. Having a spiritual daily practice like prayer, meditation, yoga, swimming, etc. is also important. This can help you to keep your mind and spirit focused on recovery.