Connecting with God, Others, and Ourselves

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readMay 30, 2024

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Our online AA Book Club has been running for 43 months. We read and discuss books on spiritual life and recovery.

At a recent meeting, we discussed a book titled Spiritual Evolution by Dr. George Vaillant.

In the book, Dr. George defined spirituality as connection: “spirituality,” he said, “(is) the amalgam of the positive emotions that bind us to other human beings — and to our experience of “God” as we may understand Her/Him.”

When I first read this definition, I disagreed; it was too limiting. Spirituality included connection, but it was much more than connection. But as I read more and thought further about my spiritual journey, I became entirely persuaded that his definition squared with my AA experience of spirituality and psychic change.

In our AA meetings, we often stress the vital role of Fellowship. We believe that ‘You are not alone’ and ‘You need never be alone again’ are more than phrases-they are the essence of our Program. We foster relationships through sponsorship, and we actively combat the dangers of isolation, a common symptom of our disease. In short, connection is the lifeblood of our Program.

In Step Three and beyond, we emphasize the connection with God as a paramount value in our Program.

The steps benefit us by helping us connect with ourselves. Many people find that applying the Steps to all their affairs helps them connect with their authentic selves.

With these thoughts in mind, I am compelled to agree with Dr. George. With connection, we find our psychic change. In connection, we find spirituality. I always thought connection was a necessary part of any definition of spirituality, and it now seems to me that it is also sufficient.

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Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.