Willingness, honesty and Open Mindedness

are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.

Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous – Appendix II Spiritual Experience page 567

Much can be said about Willingness, Honesty and Open Mindedness. The first thing that comes to mind is the acronym of HOW. These three words are keys to the steps. Apply HOW. Honesty, Open mindedness and Willingness. How do I get sober? it begins with HOW. Honest with myself, Open-minded to new ideas, and Willingness to try them.

The type of honesty that I am looking for here is being honest with self. In the beginning, I don’t have to be honest with anyone else, but with a little self reflection, from an honest perspective, I can see how my substance use affected or caused negative situations in my life. This deeper honesty that I am referring to, is inward only. That is all that is needed in the beginning.

Next is Open Mindedness. If I am closed minded to anything, then I begin to shut down to growth, living life to the full potential and for positive change. By applying the logic of open mindedness to recovery, new ideas, new concepts, spirituality, and the steps, I could potentially find the solution to many problems I have. Open mindedness seems to be a principle worth having. There is more than meets the eye, more information in the pictures when i look at the back ground, and if I remain open minded, I become teachable.

This leads to the final clause, however in my opinion, it is the most important. Willingness.

Willingness is the key. I didn’t become willing until I hurt bad enough. in my experience, willingness came when I became tired of living my life a certain way. Pain is a great teacher, and usually motivates to change. In effect pain creates willingness. So as a result of wrong living, I ended up in some painful situations, and in turn willingness to change was created. I developed the willingness through pain, through suffering through making mistakes.

So if you’re hurting and tired of living life a certain way, and wanting change, remember the acronym of HOW. Be willing to go to any length for your recovery, be open minded to new ideas and principles, and be honest enough with yourself to know when you’re falling back to old patterns.


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