Humility – a word often misunderstood, sometimes mispronounced, and frequently missed in the journey of life, especially the stereotypes of addiction recovery. When we think of humility, images of monks in silent prayer or someone who refuses to take credit for something they have accomplished. But what does humility really mean in the context of addiction recovery, and why is it so crucial?
First, let’s break down the concept. Humility, in its essence, is not about self-deprecation or thinking less of oneself. It’s about seeing ourselves clearly—recognizing our strengths and our limitations and understanding when we need help. In the realm of addiction, this clear-sightedness becomes a roadmap to recovery.
So, how does humility fit into the puzzle of recovery?
Humility in Recovery: The Antidote to Invincibility
Many of us, especially those battling addiction, wear the cloak of invincibility— a belief that we can handle everything on our own. This mindset, while seemingly empowering, is a double-edged sword. It often leads to the idea that seeking help is a sign of weakness. Acknowledging that you might not have all the answers, in fact, when left to your own devices, addiction becomes the default—this is the first step towards giving yourself a chance at recovery.
Humility allows us to open doors to new possibilities, admitting that we might not have the solution in our power.
The Paradox of Humility: Finding Strength in Surrender
The beauty of humility lies in its paradox – the strength is found in surrender. It’s about surrendering the ego, the stubborn insistence on self-reliance, and opening up to the wisdom and strength available to us from outside ourselves. In the context of addiction recovery, this surrender isn’t about giving up; it’s about gearing up for a more informed, supported, and holistic journey towards wellness. Its about finally seeing that the change that is necessary to save our lives may only come when we let go of the control. It is a way of being that begins to trust in others and in God for full recovery.
Step 1 – Humility in Recovery: Reaching Out
Recovery cannot be a solo journey. Be it friends, family, support groups, or professionals in addiction treatment, we need others we can depend on. Humility paves the way for us to reach out and accept this support. It involves acknowledging that others might have insights, experiences, and expertise (or even a lifeline) that can aid in our recovery. It’s about learning to ask for help and accepting it when offered, understanding that in our vulnerability lies our greatest strength.
Step 2 – Humility in Recovery: Professionals in Addiction Treatment
Addiction is complex, intertwined with our psychology, physiology, and environment. Just like any medical issue, our best efforts to heal need direction from those trained to handle such complexities. This is where professionals in addiction treatment come into the picture.
Humility allows us to recognize and accept that these professionals have skills and knowledge that go beyond our personal experiences. They offer strategies, treatments, and support systems that are crucial in effective recovery. Embracing their role is not just about surrendering our power but about augmenting our arsenal in the fight against addiction.
Step 3 – Humility in Recovery: God and the Higher Power
At its base, recovery is also a spiritual journey. It involves connecting with something greater than ourselves – often referred to as God or a Higher Power. This concept is central to many recovery programs, like the 12-step program. The idea here isn’t about religious indoctrination; it’s about acknowledging that there are forces in the universe—love, grace, serenity—that are beyond our human control and understanding.
This realization opens up a space for humility—accepting that we are part of a larger tapestry, and our recovery is intertwined with the universe’s grand design. For some, this Higher Power is God; for others, it might be the interconnectedness of all life or the power of the community. As a Christian Addiction treatment center, Covenant Hills believes in the power of God and the rescue of Jesus as the source of our healing. Here is more on humility as shown in the Bible:
- Philippians 2:3-4 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.“
Understanding: This verse underscores the essence of true humility – it’s not about diminishing oneself, but about elevating others. It encourages us to let go of ego-driven motives, like selfish ambition or the desire for recognition. Instead, it urges us to genuinely consider and prioritize the well-being and interests of others. This perspective is particularly poignant in recovery, where supporting and understanding each other plays a critical role.
- Proverbs 11:2 – “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.“
Understanding: This proverb draws a contrast between pride and humility. Pride, is an inflated sense of self-importance, and it leads to downfall. On the other hand, humility is associated with wisdom. This wisdom can be seen as the ability to see things as they really are, including our own limitations and the need for others’ support. In the context of addiction recovery, this wisdom manifests in recognizing the need for help and the courage to seek it.
- James 4:10 – “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.“
Understanding: This verse speaks to the spiritual aspect of humility, particularly in the Christian faith. It suggests that by humbling ourselves – acknowledging our human limitations and the need for divine guidance – we open ourselves to being uplifted by God.
This uplifting is not just about overcoming challenges, such as addiction, but also about personal growth and spiritual fulfillment. In recovery, this might translate to finding strength and hope in a power greater than oneself, be it a traditional understanding of God or a more personal interpretation of a higher power.
Embracing Humility in Recovery
Humility in recovery is not a one-time event. It’s a practice, a mindset that evolves and deepens over time. It involves continuous self-reflection, a willingness to learn and grow, and an openness to change. It’s about celebrating our victories and learning from our setbacks, always with an eye towards a balanced, honest view of ourselves and our journey.
It’s the recognition that our journey towards recovery is not just about overcoming addiction, but about evolving into our best selves—connected, supported, and humbly powerful. So, as we tread this path, let’s embrace humility, not just as a concept, but as a daily practice, a guiding light, and perhaps, our most powerful ally in the journey of recovery.
Want to find out more about the Covenant Hills approach to addiction treatment? Call us today, and talk to a team member about how we can help.