“Life takes on a new meaning when we open ourselves to this gift.” NA Basic Text p107
Listening was never a strong point for me. I could tell you what you needed to do, but I wouldn’t listen when folks said I need some change in my life. Most of the time I just heard. Hearing means in one ear and out the other. As I grew in recovery through NA rooms, I began to use this free gift of listening.
Remember that part of the spiritual principles in NA is to have an open-mind. My mind was closed from the get-go because of this Higher Power talk. Once I knew it wasn’t about religion, I began to be open-minded and actually listen to what members were sharing. Listening to their recovery stories and what got them through. Listening to what they understand their Higher Power to be.
Listening led me to open up my mouth in meetings and ask questions. Listening helped me to develop a relationship with a Higher Power of my own understanding. Listening also led me to begin sharing openly in meetings about my disease and my struggles in recovery. In return, members were listening to me and offering assistance.
Like any other spiritual gift, we must be willing to give it away. An addict will only listen if another addict is talking from the heart. Once an addict listens, they become more involved in their own recovery. If it were not for listening, I know I wouldn’t be where I am in my recovery today.