Essentials of Recovery

Although it is not part of the original 1939 Big Book solution, the following excerpt does make its appearance in the 2nd edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Appendices II – Spiritual Experience. In the last paragraph it states:

“We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.”

What does willingness look like to you? Some define it as “showing up”.

What does honesty look like to you? Some define it as simply answering, “yes” or “no” to questions such as, “Are you willing to go to any lengths to recover from your addiction?”

What does open-mindedness look like to you? Some define it as “look at it”, “experience it” and “you be the judge.”

Let us know about your experience with these “essentials of recovery”. How do you measure them? How do you gauge them in others?

2 thoughts on “Essentials of Recovery

  1. From my experience of working with others, I gauge another person’s willingness by their ability to regularly keep appointments to meet and work through the Big Book. I know someone is willing when I ask them to memorize the Step 3 and Step 7 prayers and they do so. These are some of the benchmarks that indicate to me whether or not someone is willing to go to any lengths to recover.

    What honesty looks like to me is when someone says they are going to do something and they do it – that’s honesty. Someone says they’re going to show up at a meeting and they do – that’s honesty. When someone discloses the whole truth and nothing but the truth – that’s honesty.

    What open-mindedness looks like to me is when someone is willing to experience the steps and judge for them self if its the solution to what ails them. Open-mindedness is saying, "yes" when asked the question, "Do you believe or are you willing to believe in a power greater than yourself."

  2. Open mindedness, for me, is my willingness to absolutely toss away any or all of my existing beliefs and atttitudes on absolutley anything at absolutely any moment, if you can present me a conception that more accurately matches my life experience.

    I am so open-minded, in fact, I feel a breeze between my ears.

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