Open-Mindedness and Being Teachable

Early in Sexaholics Anonymous my sponsor said that “the most important quality for recovery is being and remaining teachable.” After thirty years his statement still lingers in my thoughts every day.

The Big Book says in Appendix II Spiritual Experience: “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” (AA 567-568). In a recent article in the AA magazine Grapevine (3/2019) an 80 year old alcoholic is quoted saying: “It’s better to have the program in your heart than in your head.”

We need to remain open-minded and teachable in order to nourish and sustain our relationship to God (or Higher Power) and to SA. One common slogan for us is “my best thinking got me here.” My thinking brain often lies to me! Our program of necessity connects to our emotional as well as our thinking brain. Knowledge of our program cannot save us. Listening to a sponsor or sponsee, or sitting in an SA meeting, is the way God connects to my teachable and open-minded self.

Accepting the world (wives, bosses, neighbors, politicians, etc.) as it actually is rather than as we want or demand it to be is an important aspect of 12 Step Recovery. When I am open-minded and teachable, I will experience that acceptance. The reward for doing so is serenity and freedom. I find it’s worth the cost. The return on my investment of time and of attention for getting spiritual recovery is literally beyond my imagination.

David M., USA

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