Embracing Grief and Spiritual Healing in Adult Child Recovery

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In our pilgrimage as adult children in recovery, we are met by an unwavering companion: grief. These emotions and processes are pivotal in healing from the wounds of our past, particularly in mourning the childhood that was stolen from us. As Catholics in recovery from adult child issues, we’re fortunate to have a wealth of spiritual practices that offer solace and strength as well as the intercession of saints like Saint Joseph and Saint Therese. I would like to delve into the significance of grief, the spiritual practices that guide us through it, and the profound impact these practices can have on our healing journey.

Growing up in families plagued by dysfunction, addiction, and turmoil means that we had to shoulder burdens beyond our years. Our childhood was marked by the loss of innocence and the absence of carefree days. Grief is the essential companion that helps us navigate through these emotions, allowing us to mourn what we never had—a nurturing and joyful childhood.

In Step 11 of our recovery process, we turn to prayer and meditation, which improves our conscious contact with God. In the midst of grief, this step becomes a refuge, offering us a lifeline of divine healing and serenity. Below are several ways we can practice Step 11 to find healing and freedom in Christ.

Lectio Divina: The Healing Power of Scripture

Lectio Divina is an ancient practice that involves the meditative reading of Scripture. It offers a unique way to connect with God and find guidance during the grieving process. Select a passage that resonates with your journey and read it slowly, allowing the words to penetrate your heart. Reflect on how they relate to your experiences. Consider the guidance provided by Saint Joseph who demonstrates an unwavering faith in God’s plan despite the challenges he faced. Just as Joseph trusted God’s plan in leading the Holy Family, we, too, can trust in His guidance as we heal from our past.

The Rosary: A Beacon of Comfort

The Holy Rosary, with its repetitive and meditative nature, can be a soothing practice during times of grief. The mysteries we contemplate provide profound insights into our journey. Mary, as a symbol of grace and strength, can inspire us to find healing and peace as she did when she faced the challenges of her own life.

Eucharistic Adoration: Solace in Christ’s Presence

Spending time in Eucharistic adoration offers a deep connection with God’s presence. In the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, we can pour out our hearts, share our grief, and seek solace in the one who loves us eternally. The Eucharist reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice and the hope of redemption. It serves as a beacon of hope and healing as we grieve our lost or damaged childhood.

Spiritual Direction: A Guiding Light

Consider seeking guidance from a spiritual director or sponsor who understands the complexities of adult child recovery. They can provide tailored advice and help you navigate the intersection of your spiritual journey and healing. Just as Saint Therese of Lisieux sought guidance from her spiritual director to deepen her relationship with God, we can also benefit from the wisdom and support of those who understand our unique journey.

Step 12 calls us to be carriers of hope, sharing the message of recovery with others. As we embrace our grief and find solace in our spiritual practices, we become beacons of hope for fellow adult children in recovery. Our transformation is a testament to the healing power of both grief and faith.

Saint Joseph and Saint Thérèse: Our Companions in Healing

Saint Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, exemplifies unwavering faith and trust in God’s plan. Just as he embraced God’s will in raising Jesus, we, too, can find solace in God’s plan for our recovery. Saint Joseph’s steadfastness in the face of adversity inspires us to trust that God is guiding our journey.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, often known as “The Little Flower,” encourages us to find beauty in simplicity and to approach our spirituality with childlike trust. Her “Little Way” teaches us that even small acts of self-compassion can lead to profound transformation. Saint Thérèse’s story of healing from her own emotional struggles offers us hope and guidance in our recovery.

Our grief is an integral part of adult child recovery, enabling us to mourn the childhood we were denied. The spiritual practices we embrace, guided by Step 11, can become our refuge and source of strength. Through prayer, meditation, and the support of our CIR community, we can find healing and strength in the depths of our grief. Our transformation, born from the crucible of pain, enables us to carry the message of recovery to others, illuminating the path toward healing and redemption. And Saint Joseph and Saint Thérèse walk beside us on this journey, reminding us of the power of faith, trust, and gentleness in our recovery.

Find a CIR group for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Homes (ACDH) today!

Born and raised Catholic, Chloe is an adult child of alcoholics who recently rediscovered the beauty of 12-step recovery through attending Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) and Catholic in Recovery meetings. For many years, Chloe was an Evangelical Christian before the Blessed Mother, the saints, and the witness of a dear friend eventually drew her back to the Catholic faith.