Getting sober requires a great deal of effort and sacrifice, but staying sober is just as demanding in terms of effort and willingness. One important skill you should strive to master in recovery is that of introspection. Looking inward with a steady, unobstructed gaze and being honest about what you see. The ability to examine oneself without bias will serve you well in sobriety, as awareness of our shortcomings is the first step towards removing them from our daily life. How can you improve your introspective abilities in sobriety?
One key component of introspection, as well as a program of recovery, is the practicing of rigorous honesty. As addicts, we worked hard to perfect the art of deceit, and now that we are living in sobriety the pendulum must swing in the opposite direction. The more we practice unwavering honesty in our daily lives, the easier and more instinctive this behavior becomes. When our words carry integrity so do our thoughts, and being honest in your communication with others will help you be more honest with yourself.
As important as honesty is for introspection, it is useless if we do not take time to sit quietly with ourselves and become aware of our thoughts and feelings. Meditation is a great tool to quiet our minds and exist in the present, clearing a path for us to focus on the ideas and emotions taking up space in our minds. It can be very difficult to quiet your mind at first, but even if you are unsuccessful in your first efforts at meditation you should still spend at least ten minutes sitting quietly attempting to clear your mind and focus on the present. So long as you persist in your efforts, your ability to meditate will improve, providing a means for you to examine your stream of consciousness and gain a great deal of self-knowledge upon which to act.
Recovery is a lifelong journey, demanding an unrelenting effort and willingness on the part of the recovering addict or alcoholic. Introspection is an important ability you should seek to improve upon, as introspection allows us to better know ourselves and identify areas of our life which could use attention. Mastering the skill of introspection is a noble goal, but remember we seek progress rather than perfection. Do not expect to become an expert at self-examination, and do not feel discouraged if you struggle to quiet your mind and become aware of your thoughts and feelings at first. So long as you stay committed to working on your introspective abilities, you will grow your skills in this area, enabling you to continue to better yourself in recovery and in life.