Spirituality and Recovery, Can One Happen Without the Other?


Hi Friends, just shared the following with a recovery professionals group on Linkedin and thought you may be interested:

Scott Duncan

Executive Director at Sharing The Burden

Hey Rodney,

Great topic!

First of all I’m a 12 step believer from away back, so obviously Spirituality is number one! There is not a step in the twelve, in my opinion, that can be accomplished without a spiritual dimension. We cannot recognize true powerlessness without accepting that something else must have power and that’s step one.

In working with some 12 step folks with Wally P’s “back to basics” program, I’ve found that the sooner one gets spiritually connected to some form of God, that is acceptable to his/her belief system, the sooner the sharing and subsequent healing will begin. Wally’s program brings the newcomer through the twelve with sponsorship and actual taking of each step in 4 one hour sessions over a 4 week period. I’ve done it and provided leadership for the program several times. It is the quickness to accept the possibility of God, that allows for a real solid foundation for systematically working the steps with in depth inventory processing and so on, a little later on.

The most amazing aspect of his program by far though is the two-way prayer which teaches one “How to Listen To God” and to record all experience during a session in writing.

The program introduces a form of prayer (two-way prayer) that proves very quickly to those who truly try it, that there is evidence of its value. When the new person listens to the stats that the earliest programs achieved with up to 75% documented recovery for example and then sees other new folk getting answers to prayers, he/she starts to believe in possibilities! Our program (Sharing The Burden) uses prayer in every meeting to open and close. People seem touched in ways I did not notice in my own 20 years of co-recovery in the traditional 12 step programs I attended. I am the father of a self admitted addict who worked the 12 on and off for 20 years as I did in support of him and of course to assist me with my own shortcomings as well. He lost the war and accidentally overdosed and died June 8, 2012.

Our Sharing The Burden program, that was begun as a result of my journey, which started with my son’s addiction back in 1994, is very much focused on the Spirituality aspect taught as it was in the beginning, by Bob and his group (AA co-founder Bob Smith). We have expanded the concept (two-way prayer) to allow 2, 3 or even more people to be involved in a session. One person praying for direction for another’s problem and the others quietly recording their thoughts and experiences (without qualification). The sharing of recorded experiences after a session is nothing short of amazing. Answers to much more than the enquiry and not always answers for the person seeking direction! For the spiritually inclined, this is a format you must try! Check out the original format by clicking on the small words How to Listen To God” at the foot of our web page sharingtheburden.ca. You can do this by yourself and if you want any more info on experimenting with getting more people involved, just let me know!

Again thank you for a great topic! You encourage me to expand our charity to much greater lengths than we originally intended!