There are many different paths to recovery, some more traditional than others. Many individuals are now opting for a holistic approach to drug rehabilitation. Three popular spiritual teaching guides have been and continue to be of assistance to addicts seeking recovery. While these books vary in their presentation and format, they all revolve around one central theme: changing oneâ€™s way of thinking.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz
First published in 1997, The Four Agreements has sold over four million copies. As the title implies, the book espouses four main teachings:
Be impeccable with your word. Remember that words have power. Only say the things you really mean. Use words in a positive way instead of in negative ways such as speaking poorly of yourself or others.
Donâ€™t take anything personally. Create healthy boundaries by not letting others put the blame for their actions and feelings on you. Personal suffering stops when the opinions and actions of others no longer impact you.
Donâ€™t make assumptions. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Clear communication and expressing what you really want can help eliminate misunderstandings and drama.
Always do your best. While your best may not always be the same from day-to-day, giving your best effort will avoid regret and self-abuse. If you have done your best, you have nothing to feel guilty about.
How do these â€œAgreementsâ€ apply to a person in recovery? As a group, the Agreements are meant to help us change our way of thinking about things and about life, and as a result, free ourselves from unhappiness and limitations. The expectations of ourselves and of others are often a large part of addiction and relapse. By using these Agreements, addicts can free themselves of those expectations and move beyond them.
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
This worldwide best-selling book is based on the simple yet powerful idea of positive thinking. The Secret is about the â€œLaw of Attraction,â€ which is the idea that the types of thoughts and feelings people send out to the world are the types of things they will attract back to themselves. People can bring great things into their lives such as health, happiness and wealth through positive thoughts and intentions. Doing this is a three-step process involving asking, believing and receiving. Visualization and gratitude are also two core concepts of The Secret.
The Secret has an extremely large and dedicated following, with many crediting their success in life to the principles learned in the book. The following stories come from recovering addicts who have successfully overcome their addictions:
Nicoleâ€™s cousin had lost everything after becoming an alcoholic. Nicole gave her a copy of The Secret to take with her to rehab. Not only did the book help Nicoleâ€™s cousin through her rehab, it helped many others in the program as well.
Diarmuid was a career and family man who wound up living on the street because of heroin addiction. The Secret inspired a spiritual awakening and helped Diarmuid form a life plan that has resulted in recovery and a prosperous life.
Carolineâ€™s brother had suffered from drug addiction for years. After reading The Secret, Caroline asked the universe to intervene on her brotherâ€™s behalf. Two months later, he quit drugs and was on the road to recovery.
After battling drug addiction for over 30 years, Debra applied The Secret to her life. She now lives a rich and fulfilling life and has been drug-free for several years.
A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
In A New Earth, the author puts forth the notion that we are trapped by our patterns of thinking. We form our identities through faulty thinking, which then makes lasting happiness impossible. This type of thinking leads to suffering and conflict.
The idea of changing these thought patterns and replacing desire and conflict with enjoyment and compassion is the main concept of A New Earth. The book guides readers to an awakening of consciousness through a spiritual journey to acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm.
One concept in particular of A New Earth especially speaks to those struggling with addiction. This is the idea that the things we have become attached to and obsessed with change us and the way we interact with others. Freeing oneself from this attachment can aid tremendously in freeing oneself from addiction.
Help for Everyone
Changing our way of thinking and viewing the world is a powerful step toward changing our lives. Ranging from Toltec wisdom to Biblical philosophy, the three books listed above offer guidance and insight that can be valuable not only to recovering addicts, but to anyone.
This Post was written and contributed by Ricky Stanton. Ricky has over 10 years of experience helping people with their holistic drug rehab programs. He hopes to continue to help educate others about the dangers of drug and alcohol addictions.