What Honesty as a Spiritual Principle of Sobriety Means

What Honesty as a Spiritual Principle of Sobriety Means

They say honesty is the best policy, and it's true. Most human relationships are built on honesty. Our friends, significant others, and any other positive relationship we have is based on people accepting us based on what they know about us. The Bible tells us that we "must put off falsehood and speak truthfully."

Honesty is one of the spiritual principles of AA that helps us overcome our addiction. What role does honesty play in recovery? How do we practice it to start and sustain a happier, sober life?  We'll answer those questions here. 

The First Step

Honesty is the first of the 12 spiritual principles of AA. The process of overcoming addiction begins with admitting that you have a problem with alcohol and accepting that you need help to stop drinking.

The spiritual meaning of honesty is accepting and understanding who you are and what you're fighting against. There's no place for dishonesty in recovery.

Facing Ourselves

Being honest with yourself and accepting what alcohol does to you is difficult. It's hard to admit that you've lost control, but that's what alcohol does. It overtakes certain parts of your brain and makes it release dopamine, which plays a role in pleasure and rewards.

Addiction works by making us seek our chosen substance out to feel pleasure. It also interacts with several other functions so we can't function as well when we're not drinking or using. 

The first and last person you need to be honest with at the end of the day is yourself. This means facing the mistakes you've made in pursuit of your addiction and trying to put them behind you. Sometimes, this means apologizing or correcting things. More often, though, it means accepting that you can't change them and resolving to do better tomorrow.

Honesty Towards Others

Honesty in recovery is mostly about accepting who you are so that you can get better, but you might have to come clean with others as well. Many of the people you're close to will have already figured out that you have a problem, but others might not know.

Being honest also means being honest with whatever power you believe in about what your addiction has done to you. It means admitting that you need the support of a power greater than yourself to get away from your addiction.

The power you turn to doesn't have to be a god. Asking for help from something you don't believe in goes against the idea of honesty in recovery.

Honesty and the Spiritual Principles of AA

Honesty is one of the spiritual principles of AA that allows people to move forward in their journey to sobriety. Honesty is about dealing with the ugly truths so that you can get past them.

We've talked about honesty and AA principles here, but there's always more to learn. You can learn more about AA, how it functions, and get tips for staying sober by reading our blog.

You can also find plenty of great gifts for yourself or others in recovery by looking through The Token Shop. Feel free to browse through some of our official literature while you're there.