How Does Humility Fit into Recovery and 12 Step Programs?

How Does Humility Fit into Recovery and 12 Step Programs?

Twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have widely been known to help people realize that they aren’t (nor should they be) in control of everything. God, or a Higher Power, is said to have full reign of what goes on in our lives, and we need to give up that desire to satisfy our ego and just leave it up to faith. It’s hard to do – after all, humans aren’t really comfortable with the idea of only being able to control our own actions. We find ourselves in this repeated pattern of blaming others as if they forced us to abuse substances – but in reality, we are responsible for the actions we’ve taken. Humility is defined by the dictionary as, “A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.”

In 2016, researchers really wanted to dive into 12 step programs, like AA, and see exactly how they set up the stage for humility to take place – because it’s changed a lot of lives, for the better. They found that in AA specifically, humility is broken up into 4 components:

One: Humility as complete defeat before a Higher Power. With this, people must admit their powerlessness over alcohol and their reliance on a Higher Power for further understanding of themselves and their lives.

Two: Humility as accurate self-appraisal. By recognizing the fault in ourselves, we’re better equipped to recognize the power of a Higher Being as needed to create lasting change within ourselves.

Three: Humility of contrition. Individuals must admit their wrongdoings to others and make amends with them – while it’s hard to take responsibility over actions that may seem embarrassing or hurtful looking back at them, apologies help to set the human spirit free.

Four: Humility of a rightly ordered self in relation to God and others. Through programs like AA, individuals are set to place God’s agenda above their own – it takes a certain type of humility to understand that a Higher Power has the answers, not us.

The 12-step program walks us through a journey that involves coming to terms with who we are and what we’ve done and giving up the pressure of changing to God or another Higher Power so that we can focus on becoming a better person and helping others. These perspectives and actions help us change over time, and that’s where many find that their lives have completely transformed.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.