Rigorous honesty demands much more than what we wish to believe about ourselves and what we imagine others might want to hear. It takes courage and faith to tell the truth, especially when deceit and denial were a significant part of our acting-out patterns. Rigorous honesty is an element of all aspects of our program. It includes:
- willingness to be forthcoming with our sponsor in determining our circles and in our regular check-ins;
- willingness to be honest about what we need to do to stay sober, such as setting healthy boundaries around specific people and places;
- willingness, over time, to alter those aspects of our lives that still support our addictive behaviors;
- willingness to be honest in an ongoing way about how we conduct ourselves in our relations with others; and
- willingness to keep sharing our struggles with learning to live in sobriety.
In meetings, we have the opportunity to muster all the honesty we can and tell the truth of where we are in our program and what we are currently feeling or facing. When sharing in meetings, we need not be afraid to discuss the specifics of our Middle and Inner Circle behaviors, although we do refrain from using graphic language. We also exclude the names of acting-out establishments or locations, and the names of any specific printed or visual media, apps, or websites.