Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC

Don’t take this the wrong way, but if you are waiting for Jesus to appear to you on the mountain top and change the way you feel, you are gonna need to reconsider your plan!

Having a spiritual experience is a vital part of the recovery process. Without it, you are probably still using/drinking or you are just being dry (AA term for being sober but not being in recovery).  Let’s start by defining what I mean by spiritual experience.  I generally think of this as a shift in the way one thinks, feels, believes, and behaves.  In the Big Book  Bill Wilson refers to “having had a spiritual awakening.”

I absolutely love what “Joe and Charlie” say about this topic.  Basically they explain that while this does happen for some people all at once, most people experience this shift over a longer course of time, and it is the result of changing ones behaviors and influences. If you haven’t listened to Joe and Charlie before you can find them in your local iOS or Android marketplace as well as on YouTube.

In therapy, we say “behavior first and then feeling.”  Basically, what this means is that you must start to do the right behaviors and then the corresponding feelings will happen.  Most people try to do this in reverse. But if the feeling doesn’t come to them on its own then they may not initiate any behavioral changes.  Here is an example: If I wait till I “feel” like exercising, I can promise you the feeling just isn’t ever going to happen, but if I exercise anyway (even if I don’t feel like it) then eventually I will develop the desire to exercise.  So go out there and behave the way you want to feel instead of waiting around to feel the way you want to behave!

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