Surrendering our intellectual defenses in the search for spiritual meaning can be threatening. Spiritual development, enhancement, and practice require a balance between the rational and the intuitive. The rational guides our steps along the road to emotional recovery; the intuitive opens us to the possibilities of connection to and through a higher power.
We are often unconscious of divine energy in our daily lives. Ben, a homosexual in early recovery, was working on this very issue. He told me, "I want intensity in my sex life; I want excitement. I have no idea what you're talking about when you talk about spiritual connection."
I suggested to Ben that spiritual connection existed in many things of which he was already aware, such as great music, dance, food, and nature. I suggested he spend some time in the natural settings that he loved. I suggested he quiet himself, take everything in, and see what happened.
"I tried the exercise," Ben reported the following week. "I went up to the reservoir. You know, they have a path that is three miles long. The only thing I noticed was the bare-topped men jogging," he explained with a smirk.
Despite Ben's resistance and lack of belief, he persevered. Each week, he returned with a similar story. It wasn't until the sixth week that he changed.
"You know, the most profound thing happened at the reservoir this week. It was late in the day, so it was quiet, and I was climbing this hill when I heard a rustling noise. I looked up, and I saw the leaves of this aspen tree dancing in the breeze. The sun illuminated them from behind, and it looked so magical. I was captivated by the beauty."