Humility is a term not frequently heard early in the addiction recovery process. Seeing the reality of how we view ourselves from a self-esteem standpoint is often difficult. Humility—allowing ourselves to be just one among others—means not only letting go of an increased ego, but also learning to believe that you are just as deserving of having a good life, peace of mind, and the promises that recovery can bring. Remember, the goal of recovery is serenity and peace of mind, and it is the road of humility that leads to this place. The idea of being out of self, being one among others, not being judgemental, and finding peace and serenity from a single power source. Until the addict is willing to surrender to his or her addiction, humility is not possible. The repeated disasters, embarrassments, and defeats of the addict’s life will painfully run on self-will and eventually lead him or her to a first sense of humility. It is that kind of emotional pain that envelops the addict on her or his journey to humility. While addicts must attain this humility to some degree to achieve recovery, reaching this point is not the end, but only the beginning where humility is concerned. Another aspect of humility that is critically important to recovery is becoming a good listener. The person with “all the answers” has no need to listen and also lacks humility, while the person with humility sees him- or herself as one among others and capable of gaining insight and knowledge from each new encounter. Some indicators of a poor listener are interrupting your sentence or finishing it for you. The mark of a good listener is someone who sits quietly, hears everything that is said, and, when you have finished speaking, responds by saying something along the lines of “I hear you.”Only by being a good listener can we be open to learning. Learning to be a good listener is synonymous with being open-minded. Recovery means learning a way of living that is the opposite of addictive thinking and behavior. Too often, humility is given little attention in our society and is greatly misunderstood. Living in a world based on production and performance as a measure of material success, too many people see humility as reflecting poor self-esteem and self-deprecation. Humility is the acceptance of ourselves just as we are, with all our imperfections, and genuinely smiling at that. This blog post is an excerpt from Finding a Purpose in the Pain – A Doctor’s Approach to Addiction Recovery and Healing – by James L. Fenley, Jr., MD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).