Those who decide to walk away from an addiction are taking a monumental decision. If they follow through on this decision, and build a life away from an addiction, they will usually have to depend on a high degree of motivation and commitment. Change can be difficult, but those who have the spirit of a warrior will be able to take it in their stride. Once people realize that they have the ability to change their life for the good they will be able to continuously work for improvements going forward. The spirit of the warrior is the key to success in life.
The word spirituality can be used to refer to things that affect the spirit. An individual’s spirit can be defined as a person’s outlook on life or their attitude to things. Another way of describing spirituality would be to say that it is the beliefs and practices by which people live by.
Most people will associate the word warrior with war and conflict. The warrior is somebody who charges into battle. In fact this term can be used to apply to anyone who is engaged in any type of struggle or conflict. The spiritual warrior then is somebody who is actively engaged in improving their spirit which includes their attitudes and behaviors. In Eastern philosophy a spiritual warrior is somebody who tries to combat their own self-ignorance by discovering the truth about the nature of reality.
The spiritual warrior is not in a battle against other people. This is because the only person they really need to beat is the person they were yesterday. Those people who wish to make a success of their life in recovery will want to put distance between themselves now and how they were in the midst of their addiction. If the only thing they do is to stop drinking or using drug then this is unlikely to be enough to keep them sober and happy. This is because they will still be that person that so easily fell into addiction. Their goal in recovery should be to become the type of person that will never fall into such maladaptive behaviors, and to do this they will need to become a spiritual warrior.
Becoming a spiritual warrior in recovery does not involve joining any group or signing up for any particular beliefs. It is more about attitude. It means that the individual has made a personal commitment to develop as best they can as a human. The goal is progress and not perfection, but the individual wants to notice improvements in their way of dealing with life over time.
Talk of spirituality can make nonbelievers feel uncomfortable. Skeptics may view the idea of a spiritual warrior as nothing more than woo woo. The reality is that spirituality does not need to involve any supernatural beliefs, and it does not involve adopting any particular religion – although many spiritual people will have a religion. The real purpose of spirituality is for people to find meaning in their life. It is perfectly acceptable for an atheist to consider themselves to be spiritual. It does not require belief in a god or in anything supernatural. Just looking up at the sky of night and being full of wonder can be described as a spiritual experience.
Becoming a spiritual warrior in recovery can make all the difference. The benefits of taking this type of attitude include:
* If people stop drinking without making changes in their life they are likely to relapse or develop dry drunk syndrome. By committing themselves to personal change the individual is reducing their risk of relapse and increasing their chances of finding happiness.
* People only get out of recovery what they put into it. It makes sense that the individual should try to get as much out of life as they can.
* Humans have a much higher potential than most of them realize. By slowly working on their personal development over the time the person can achieve much more than they ever would have imagined.
* The path of the spiritual warrior will eventually lead them to serenity. This means that no matter what is happening in the outside world the individual enjoys a degree of inner peace.
* This path will make the individual a much easier person to be around. This means that they will find it easier to develop meaningful relationships with other people.
* Those people who follow this path of continuous personal development are usually end up being of great service to other people – even if it is only as an inspiration.
* When people first become sober it is common for them to suffer from low self esteem – although they may hide this behind a wall of arrogance. By adopting the spirit of the warrior the individual will be able to increase their self esteem over time.
There are no rules for becoming a spiritual warrior, but there are things that people can do that may help them on their path such as:
* It is important that people foster a beginner’s mind. This means that they don’t allow their preconceived beliefs and opinions prevent them from gaining new knowledge.
* Critical thinking is also necessary on any spiritual path. Those people who have fallen into the trap of addiction will know how easy it is to become deluded, and they will want to avoid such traps in the future.
* Meditation can be an important tool for any type of spiritual warrior. It not only allows them to develop emotional sobriety, but it also allows them to see reality much clearer.
* This attitude does involve demanding instant results or sainthood. Change takes time and the only important thing is that the individual is moving in the right direction.
* Helping other people can be a great way to strengthen sobriety, but this should be done with a humble heart. It is not the job of the spiritual warrior to tell other people how to live their life.
* This is a path where people will have good days and bad days – sometimes it may even feel like they are going backwards. This type of progress is to be expected and it is vital that the individual does not become discouraged.
* Just because a person is on a spiritual path does not mean that they will avoid failure. It is only by mistakes that people really learn in life.
* Keeping a journal in recovery is highly recommended. This way it will be possible for people can track their progress and remain motivated to achieve more.
* Goal setting can be a great help so long as the individual does not become too obsessed with these targets. The fact that the individual has something to work towards should keep them on the right track.
The work of the spiritual warrior never really ends, but it can be helpful to think of serenity as a goal of sorts. In normal language the word serenity refers to the state of being clam and tranquil. To say that somebody is sobriety has developed serenity does not mean that they are walking around on cloud 9 all the time. They will still be faced by the ups and downs in life but somehow they are able to remain calm inside. They have a sense of inner peace that can never be touched. The person who enjoys serenity benefits from equanimity – this means that they are fully accepting of whatever is going on in their life. Their inner peace is not dependent on having things or doing things, but instead is just there all the time.
Those who develop serenity do so by bravely facing each challenge that comes their way in life. When they are faced with a new problem they will need to find an effective coping mechanism – these are similar to accumulating tools in a box. Once the individual has enough coping mechanisms they will be able to deal with anything that comes their way. They develop a sense of mastery over their life, and this gives them the space to develop inner space. Serenity also involves the development of emotional sobriety which includes:
* The ability to live in the present moment without always worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
* It means being able to face life without succumbing to extremes of mood.
* The individual who is emotionally sober finds no need to try to hide from reality by using chemicals or other maladaptive behaviors.
* Such people will tend to hold a positive outlook almost all the time.
* It means dealing with far less stress in life because the individual is accepting of whatever comes their way.
* The fact that people deal with less stress means that they are less likely to develop any type of stress related illness.
* A person who is emotionally sober finds it much easier to regulate their own behavior.
* Those who are emotionally sober will find it easy to develop meaningful relationships.