Author: Justin Mckibben
Spirituality is something that so many people pursue openly and passionately, seeking and searching for new and fascinating connections to a world beyond sight, a world that breathes life into this life, and brings us closer to inner peace, to nature, to energy and each other.
Those who seek spirituality with humility, and especially those seeking spirituality in recovery, can see and respect the ways which our spiritual views are different. But regardless our perspectives and experiences can frequently become infected by toxic concepts that get in the way of our spiritual truth.
Due to the fact that most of our compromised spiritual connection is due to a confused and often immature understanding of complex spiritual principles, it can seem invisible and deceptive, nevertheless it is imperative we become able to acknowledge our own shortcomings to better grow. Here is the 6 most common spiritually transmitted diseases.
- Band-Aid Spirituality
When people subject their spirituality to culture that celebrates speed, multitasking and instant gratification, and the result is likely to be Band-Aid spirituality.
Band-Aid spirituality is exhibited by the unrealistic expectation that relief from the suffering of our human condition can be obtained quickly and easily, but anyone who has undergone a spiritual transformation knows that it often takes time to create any real spiritual development.
- Trendy Spirituality
Trendy spirituality is when people are putting all their effort into the outside instead of inner enlightenment. They want to talk, dress and act as they imagine a spiritual person would, and they typically use whatever trendy ‘spirit’ topics they can to seem well informed.
It is a kind of imitation spirituality that mimics organic spiritual realization, but has not been based on an actual personal experience.
- Misguided Spirituality
Although our desire to grow can be genuine and pure in essence, it can sometimes mix with lesser motivations. While these motivations are not unworthy reasons, and many would dispute that it does not matter what brings you to your journey as long as you are committed to it, some would insist that spirituality should come from a place of seeking and growing, not to ‘fit in’ or shield us from the world. Motivations like:
- The wish to be loved and to belong
- The need to fill our emotional emptiness
- The desire to remove all our suffering and ambition
These may be part of your path, but many would attest that true spirituality often means accepting these things as they are, and not trying to force our will on them.
- Egoic Spirituality
In the disease of addiction, the ego is the great enemy and it identifies with our spiritual experience and takes the credit as its own. This is like when people say someone is speaking to people from a ‘spiritual hilltop’.
Egoic Spirituality is when the very structure of our egoic personality becomes deeply embedded with spiritual concepts and ideas. The result is an egoic structure that grows far beyond control, and justifies itself through spiritual concepts.
When the ego becomes spiritualized, people think they are unassailable to help, new input, or constructive feedback from peers. They believe they embody spiritual concepts, take pride in all spiritual growth, and hold it over the heads of others. Plainly put, Egoic spirituality makes a person think they are better than everyone on a spiritual level, and puts them in a position to be a judge of others.
- Cultic Spirituality
Also described as group-think, Cultic Spirituality is an insidious infection that contains many elements of traditional co-dependence. When a spiritual group makes subtle and unconscious agreements regarding the correct ways to think, talk, dress, and act while holding others to their standards, it is a form of Cultic Spirituality.
Individuals and groups infected with Cultic spirituality reject individuals, attitudes, and circumstances that do not conform to the often unwritten rules of that group.
It is like the ‘chosen people complex’, or a case of Egoic spirituality that has taken form of a group instead of just an individual.
- Finalized Spirituality
Finalized spirituality is such a dangerous affliction that it has the capacity to be fatal to our spiritual evolution. This is the belief that “I have arrived” at the final goal of the spiritual path, and there is no further I can go or no more I can learn. Finalized Spirituality is the idea that you have dominated the spirit, and have no more to learn or look for. It is commonly stated, especially in the rooms of recovery, that in order to stay sane and stay sober we should remain humble, and we should definitely remain teachable.
Our spiritual progress ends at the point where the idea we have maximized our spirituality is carved as a fact in our psyche. The moment we begin to believe that we have reached the end of the path, further growth ceases, and we truly cannot transcend because we have cut ourselves off from the sunshine of the spirit.
Spirituality and Sobriety
Spiritually Transmitted Diseases that we encounter on the path are not untreatable. 100% of spiritual people will come into contact with at least one of these diseases. As we seek discernment, and as we discover clarity, real maturity requires us to continually unfold deeper levels of spiritual integration, and to admit to any error and refine our knowledge with humility and gratitude.
All that growth is especially important to individuals in recovery. A lot of what people striving for sobriety learn is that spirituality and seeking spiritual principles is an important part of learning how to stay sober and become a better person for a lot of us. To step into divine energy and grow in love and understand, all of us in recovery should keep an eye out for Spiritually Transmitted Diseases that will hinder our evolution in sobriety. Know that learning is growing, and sometimes being wrong can mean we’re growing right.
Recovery, like life, has some ups and downs and we all must learn how to get through the tougher times and grow into our principles and our purpose in sobriety. We re-learn who we are, sometimes over and over again. Sometimes we let go of the faith and the belief systems we used to live by, and create new connections that help us become the best versions of ourselves without drinking and using drugs. But it all starts with putting in some effort and making a choice for transformation. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135