What is humility?
“Humility” is a word that is often misunderstood, particularly by people in recovery from addiction. Humility involves a clear recognition and acceptance of one’s humanness. Learning humility means taking an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses in the spirit of attempting to become what you want to be.
Only when you work toward humility can you develop a realistic acceptance of yourself. Humility does not mean inadequacy. It means that you are no longer hiding anything. “The basic premise of humility is a desire to seek and do God’s will.”
Mother Teresa understood humility when she said:
“If you are humble nothing can touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know who you are. If you are blamed you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint you will not put yourself on a pedestal.”
How does humility affect recovery?
Learning humility will allow you to let go of feeling the need to be “right” or superior to others. This will also help you if you need to work to stop blaming others and start looking inward to take responsibility for your life. True humility also means that you have let go of your old character defects and are seeking spiritual values.
Working Steps Four, Five, and Six prepared you to understand who you are. Now you can turn to your Higher Power without pretense or shame, asking that your defects be removed.
While you are working the Steps, stay in contact with your sponsor, counselor, and others in your support group. Now that you’ve found your Higher Power, you may feel safe, secure, and motivated to work toward embracing humility and expanding your spirituality. That’s great: you should feel liberated and excited at this point. But use caution; don’t put yourself in using situations or around triggers. Don’t get overconfident. Your plans to stay away from people, situations, or places that could threaten your recovery are there to prevent the disease of addiction from overtaking you while you’re busy doing the hard spiritual work that will give you a daily reprieve.
You know you’ve achieved humility when you do your best and accept that the rest is up to your Higher Power.