“We have been experts at self-deception and rationalization.” Basic Text, p.27
When we come to our first meeting and hear that we must be honest, we may think, “Well now, that shouldn’t be too difficult. All I have to do is stop lying. To some of us, this comes easily. We no longer have to lie to our employers about our absence from work. We no longer have to lie to our families about where we were the night before. By not using drugs anymore, we find we have less to lie about. Some of us may have difficulty even with this kind of honesty, but at least learning not to lie is simple-you just don’t do it, no matter what. With courage, determined practice, the support of our fellow NA members, and the help of our Higher Power, most of us eventually succeed at this kind of honesty.
Honesty, though, means more than just not lying. The kind of honesty that is truly indispensable in recovery is self-honesty, which is neither easy nor simple to achieve. In our addiction, we created a storm of self-deception and rationalization, a whirlwind of lies in which the small, quiet voice of self-honesty could not be heard. To become honest with ourselves, we first must stop lying to ourselves. In our Eleventh Step meditations, we must become quiet. Then, in the resulting stillness, we must listen for truth. When we become silent, self-honesty will be there for us to find.
Just for today: I will be quiet and still, listening for the voice of truth within myself. I will honor the truth I find.