"A few special words to those of you who haven't been with us long: Whatever your problems there are those among us who have had them, too. If you try to keep an open mind you will find help. You will come to realize that there is no situation too difficult to be bettered and no unhappiness too great to be lessened."
The closing offers a great promise that if I take away the walls that I had erected between myself and others in the program through denial then I will move towards recovery. At the time I started the program, I knew that I needed help but I didn't realize how much I wanted recovery. I had to learn to let down my wall of shame about myself and my relationship with the alcoholics in my life.
The words of the closing and the promise offered is still true today. I've learned by listening to the recovering stories of others I have met along the way and by taking advantage of talking to others and to my HP in order to get a clearer view of my situation. This has helped me to avoid avoidable mistakes, slips and pitfalls by shining someone else's light on my blind spot. I may not always like what I hear, but by doing this I am reinforcing the notion that I am not alone with my problems.
In keeping an open mind, I've had to examine my motives and attitudes. Here are a few questions that I have to consider:
Am I motivated by a desire to help myself and others in this, or am I more interested in swaying someone else to my way of thinking?
Am I listening to the perspectives of the group or my sponsor and actually considering them, or am I awaiting the next opportunity to share my own thoughts?
Am I truly placing the principles being discussed above the personalities involved?
If my answer to any of these questions is a no, then I'm probably not keeping an open mind. If I get over myself and remember: "Keep an open mind, and you will find help," and "Take what you like and leave the rest" then I'm going to find what I need.