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Taking Time for Self-Reflection

12-Step recovery programs suggest that we take time at the end of our day to reflect on our thoughts, behaviors, and actions of the previous twenty-four hours. By doing so, we are able to see if there were any instances where we may have veered off the path of practicing the principles of recovery in all of our affairs. Taking the time for honest self-reflection allows us to make any needed changes to the way we went about our day so that we can continually improve in our personal and spiritual development.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that we constructively review our day in the evening. We examine our thoughts and conduct: “Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we own an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?” These questions, when answered honestly, allow us to make improvements to our conduct for the following day.

The process of unflinching self-reflection can be frightening and cause us to see ourselves in ways that point out our faults, but “we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse, or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others.” Afterwards, we ask our Higher Power for forgiveness and direction to make any corrective measures that would help us improve.

Self-reflection can bring up negative feelings, but we must be careful not to allow ourselves to fall into feelings of self-pity. In a 2016 Psychology Today article entitled The (Lost) Art of Self-Reflection, Beverly D. Flaxington explains, “Here’s what healthy self-reflection is not: beating up on oneself, devolving into ‘woe is me’ thinking, or using the opportunity to focus on all of the bad things that have happened to you and how you could have prevented them! It’s understanding where you are triggered, or what situations are troubling or negative for you, and then taking a step back to ask about your role or contribution to the process.” Instead, we use the process of self-reflection as a means of getting an objective view of ourselves and see how our actions may affect others. Realizing where we may have gone wrong or made a mistake allows us to take corrective measures so that we can carry the spirit of love and tolerance of others with us throughout our days.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the decision to seek help today and begin building a brighter future. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together the highest quality behavioral health and addictions specialists, holistic experts, and spiritual guides to help clients develop all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431