Spirituality in Recovery
Roger Dufau, A Personal Journey
The ideas and notions of spirituality are many. We are often far apart on agreeing on common meanings that can serve us all. The American Heritage Dictionary defines spirituality as “relating to, consisting of or having the nature of spirit, not tangible or material, but affecting the soul, pertaining to God.”
I like this attempt at explaining something that is very elusive. If you don’t believe in God, it becomes almost meaningless.
Most of us have beliefs and opinions borrowed from the concepts and dictates of others, before we dared to express what it truly feels or means to us individually.
Even if you don’t believe in God, the powerful concepts do take some hold and are influenced by our cultural background. The good news about our ideas of spirituality is that, besides involving some religious beliefs, they are associated with love.
The various religions of the world claim to have most of the answers when it comes to spirituality and they indeed cover the essential values that are always related to love.
Where many religions stray from that truth is when their teachings deny the unconditional love of God. I personally can’t believe in a God of fear or retribution in order to motivate people to behave honorably and decently. It is like threatening a child, saying that if they don’t behave, God will strike them with lightning. It just doesn’t work.
I believe in the much larger and grander truth of a God of unconditional love, who gave us the amazing gift of total free will. That concept does not sit well with the notion of Hell or other fear-based beliefs.
You can’t have it both ways—either you freely create your own reality or you live in constant fear of creating something that can never be humanly perfect for this elusive and demanding God. I spent many years of my life not believing in God and still found my usefulness and happiness in society. Later on, after much soul-searching, I realized that a loving God truly exists.
To me, true spirituality is to live your life in a harmonious way that involves following a God who is full of love, truth and joy. Any spirituality deprived of these three essential values is for me a fraud and does not honour a true unconditional God of love.
It is, of course, left to our own discretion whether or not we choose to believe and act in a way that is honourable in all aspects of our daily lives.
To focus on the negative or fear-based concepts is never sustainable and, I believe, will end up leading to destructive behaviour, sadly poisoning life itself sooner or later.
God or life is endlessly creative and changes moment to moment. It is up to us to take spirituality to a higher level, leading us to be co-creators with God in all we do.
Elora resident Roger Dufau comments on spiritual issues.