How Can You Submit to a Higher Power If You Are Not Religious?
One of the first things that come to mind when people think about 12-step programs, like Alcoholics Anonymous, is that God and religion often play a large role. Unfortunately, it can make things difficult for those who are seeking treatment but are not religious in any sense.
However, believing in a higher power doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to believe in God and it is still possible to submit to a higher power, even if you’re not religious in any sense. If you are non-religious and are looking for addiction help, please call 888-905-9004 (Who Answers?) for more information about your treatment options.
You Can Define Your Own Higher Power
Many groups, like the NIDA, stress that addiction can happen to anyone and there is no strict criteria for a person to develop one. A treatment program or support group isn’t going to turn you away because you are not a Christian. Who or what you believe in isn’t going to be the same as the person next to you and that is completely okay.
The Higher Power that you choose to believe in, whatever it may be, should be something that you are able to find strength and comfort in. It should make sense to you and be possible for you hold on to in times of need. How you define what your Higher Power is and how you relate to it is up to you.
Believe In The Group Itself
Those who are not religious maybe a little hesitant to develop a belief in a Higher Power. Trying to force it can cause more harm than good and should be avoided. It may be easier to believe in the strength and unity of the recovery group, whose members may be of multiple faiths and practices.
A key part of making sure that a support or treatment group is a success for you is going in with an open mind. Sometimes, interacting with all of the different types of faith that are present in your group can help you find your own faith and Higher Power.
Even if you have your own definition of what your Higher Power is, the concept can evolve over time and through your own interaction with other beliefs.
Can You Work a 12 Step Program if God Isn’t Your Higher Power?
Your Relationship With Your Higher Power Is YOURS
Even amongst those who are deeply religious, the way that they express their relationship with their Higher Power is different. Every religion—or lack thereof—has a different way of communicating or dealing with their own Higher Power, whatever it may be.
The way that you interact with your own Higher Power is yours alone, and the only reason anyone should have a say about that relationship is if it is posing potential harm towards yourself or others.
Dictating the nature of someone’s relationship with their Higher Power can present unnecessary stress, which groups like the NIDA, DEA, and SAMHSA point out can seriously impede recovery.
If you or a loved one has an addiction, know that there is help out there. Please call 888-905-9004 (Who Answers?) for more information about what treatment and recovery options are available for you.