Willingness, Honesty, Open Mindedness and the 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.” (Appendix II of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)

When many alcoholics and addicts first venture into recovery, they are put off by the mention of God and the spiritual component of the AA Big Book and Alcoholics Anonymous. After all, many of them have lived through very difficult times and had many struggles. Most alcoholics and addicts can easily come up with a few ways in which God – if there is one, they might say – has failed them. Some will keep drinking and using because they just don’t think they can be a part of anything that talks about God and spirituality.

Lucky for suffering alcoholics and addicts, the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking. One need not believe in God in order to be sober or to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Many people find that, over time, their perceptions change and they come to their own understanding of a power greater than themselves. Some choose to call that power God. Still others refer to that power as the Universe and other names. It does not matter what you call it. It is truly about finding what works for you and what you can believe in.

In the Appendix II of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it is explained that the most important tools of recovery are willingness, honesty and open mindedness. What many alcoholics and addicts have found through the work they have done at CA drug rehab centers is that when they travel the road to recovery, founded on willingness, honesty and open mindedness, they find themselves with a higher power of their own understanding, having a spiritual experience they didn’t think they wanted, happier than they ever thought they deserved to be.