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Listening - from the Recovery Learning Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction – an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Learning Seminar introduces the topic of Listening -

The importance of opening our mind - by Listening for what we need to learn.

A Closed Mind

Addiction is a sickness that closes the mind - to anything not consistent with the compulsion to use.

While the condition is active - a part of us is detached - disregarding the experience of others - and what we know in our heart to be true.

Addiction isolates us from people who may say things to challenge our denial.

We feel our selves alone - comfortable only with those who evade the truth - or who tell us what we want to hear.

Addiction separates us from the truth within us. It is not only that we do not listen to others - we do not listen to the wisdom of our own heart.

Even as the addicted person sees the destruction of their life - they are still pulled by a powerful compulsion to use - just one more time.

The solution of addiction is to pretend - that we do not know what we know inside - to busy our self - and to keep one step ahead of what our heart tells us is true.

It is fear that closes our mind to the learnings of the day. Fear of the feelings that words can stir inside of us - fear of change - fear of insight - and the responsibility that it brings.

It is by listening - to the experience of others - and to the wisdom of our heart - that we reconnect - and open ourselves to the power that we need to recover.

Personal Inventory

Openness is a natural state of mind. It is about living right now - alert and responsive to the people and events of the day.

Openness is also about humility - accepting that we do not have all the answers - and may still have something to learn.

A Personal Inventory can help us to consider if our mind is open or closed right now.

Have I put my self in position today - to hear what I need to hear?

Have I isolated by my self? Or have I attended to group - listened to the experience of others - or read recovery literature?

Have I opened my self to all that I have heard today? Or have I disregarded useful words - because I judged, compared and distanced myself from the person who said them?

Have I put ‘Principles before People’ - or people before principles?

Have I reacted in anger to words that I know to be true?

Remember that it is sometimes the things we least want to hear - that we most need to hear said to us today.

Have I listened to the wisdom of my heart?

Have I respected its insight? Or disregarded the wisdom that rises from within me?

Listening in Recovery

Life in recovery is full of opportunity to listen - and to learn.

Recovery support group - Recovery reading, phrases and stories. Even the things that we write in our own journal - contain important messages for us to hear.

Let go of the stuff that closes your mind.

Forget about who is talking. Don’t compare - judge or find other ways to distance your self from the person - and just listen to what they have to say.

Fixed opinions - Pride - Living in the past - Active addiction - Resentment and fear - all detract from our ability to listen.

Let go of it all - and just listen - for what there is to learn today.

It is not that we need to accept everything said as true - or relevant to our condition.

Question the things that you hear - and compare advice that you receive to what you know about the Principles of Recovery.

But remember that if we do not listen to what is said in the first place - we do not have opportunity to consider its message.

Listening is practice in openness. And openness is the ability to learn - to live in the moment - and to find opportunity for change.

The answer to the issue that we struggle with today - is in the words of the people we talk with - in the things that we read - in our journal writing and within our heart.

Let go and listen for what you need to hear today.

In Summary

Addiction is a sickness that closes the mind - to anything not consistent with the compulsion to use.

It is by listening - to the experience of others in recovery - and to the wisdom of our heart - that we reconnect - and open ourselves to a power that can help us.

You have now reached the end of Listening.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.