In early recovery, we are introduced to what will be our new normal, and it is far outside our comfort zone. Any distraction permitted is an attractive one.
For that reason, it is essential to practice sitting with the urge to jump into a romantic relationship or a sexual fling. Even purely sexual relationships—casual, no-feels situations—need to be off limits.
In other words, applying abstinence to more than just substances is highly advised for successful early recovery.
Not only is there an obvious potential for a substitute addiction with regard to “just sex,” but there is also an energy exchange—even if no emotions are involved—that can become rather catastrophic. For instance, let’s think about the nature of a “just sex” relationship. Isn’t that why we are in recovery in the first place? Running from and numbing our emotions with drugs, alcohol and process addictions? So, how could sex—a spiritual act of holistic connection between two souls—without emotion involved be the answer?
It isn’t. It’s another manifestation of the “dis-ease” of our spirit.
Recovery is about returning to our uncomfortable feelings, sitting with ourselves in that seemingly lonely place and holding sacred space for ourselves and something bigger—possibly “the one.” The reference here is that a soulmate, life partner, or love of a lifetime will come into our lives when and if we ready ourselves for something miraculous, rather than settling for something to merely fill a void.
But, first, we must hold sacred space for ourselves, because within is where the miracles begin.
Stay Single and Celibate
For at least the first year of sobriety, we need to focus solely on our recovery. The process of healing and nurturing the relationship with self needs to be our top priority. Any distraction from that—burying ourselves in work, school, workouts, sex or romantic relationships—easily becomes a substitute addiction. So, a newfound practice of self-discipline, boundaries and self-respect with regard to sobriety and celibacy—the place far outside our comfort zone—is where real recovery can begin.
Self-discipline, boundaries and self-respect are concepts and characteristics not easily acquired for individuals new to recovery. It’s not like we came in with them. If we had nurtured those qualities within us prior to arriving in treatment, we likely never would have needed treatment. As such, getting professional assistance is necessary.
Working on unresolved issues and healing from past traumas allows us space to grow and evolve. As children of addicts or abuse, we begin to re-parent ourselves. As victims of trauma, we reclaim our power. Believe it or not, if we do this work, we arrive at a place where distractions, escapism and avoidance no longer resonate. We want to feel, so we can heal. We desire to evolve our souls and experience the magic and miracles available. And, with regard to any future relationships we may hold space for, we want to be the best thing to happen to the best thing to happen to us.
Practice Prayer, Peace and Personal Power
Practicing a daily devotional or meditation is a powerful way to instill prayer, peace and personal empowerment. A practice that incorporates both the desire to be holistically healed AND prepared for the love that is within and that which is awaiting you is an open-hearted practice. It keeps your heart open to the possibilities without limiting the self, God, the Universe or any Higher Power. Adding prayers of healing, preparation, guidance and protection for the self and "the one" is truly the art of holding sacred space.
Create Space for True Love
Bringing that sacred spiritual space into the physical world is also necessary for manifestation—bringing into reality that which the heart desires. Create space for a holistically healthy self by removing any connection to old energy, negative relationships or toxic behaviors. These actions will manifest the desire of our hearts for a new life into this physical world.
Additionally, creating physical space for a life partner (not merely a space-filler)—clearing the emotional and energetic blocks that prevent love (via counseling, reiki, etc.), setting an extra place at the table, making sure the home you're in and car you drive physically and spiritually accommodates two rather than just one, nurturing another life along with our own (plant, pet, etc.)—sends a message of welcoming and readiness to God, the Universe and any Higher Power.
As we practice these essential steps, we are attracting love rather than inadvertently or unintentionally blocking it.