Definition of Listening: make an effort to hear; be alert and ready to hear something
Synonyms of Listening: heed, hear, take note, mind, observe, notice, mark, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. What a gift we give when we listen in a complete way! –Keep It Simple | More…

We may be kind to others, but first we must love ourselves. How? By learning to listen to ourselves, our dreams. To our higher power. –Keep It Simple | More…

None of us are infallible.
We can learn from each other if we have the patience to listen. –Father Leo  | More…

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Listen to learn – Learn to listen.
Take the cotton wool out of your ears and put it in your mouth –Unknown

It’s hard to listen in a complete way. Often we listen, but we’re still thinking about ourselves. We wonder, “How do their words relate to me? Do I have anything to add?”

Often, fear is behind these questions. We fear saying the wrong thing. We fear looking stupid.

Good listeners know how to let go of their fears. To listen completely, we step outside ourselves, and we’re totally there for someone else.

Sometimes we listen for only a few moments. Sometimes we don’t even agree with the people we’re listening to.

But we let them know that they count. What a gift we give when we listen in a complete way! –Keep It Simple | More…

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When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. Spirituality is having the capacity to hear what others are saying, and also being prepared to live with and alongside confusion and “difference”.

Truth is a many-sided diamond, and it cannot be comprehended from one viewpoint. I need to remove my prejudices if I am ever to move towards an understanding of God’s truth. –Father Leo | More…

Everything I know I learned by listening and watching. Sometimes my mind is talking so fast about so many different things that I can’t slow it down.

All day long I am judging and making assumptions about everything. Great Spirit, help me to listen – quietly. Help me to watch carefully. Help me to listen to my inner voice. –Elders | More…

Through active listening, we hear things that work for us. The ability to listen actively was unknown to us in the isolation of our addiction.

Today, this ability helps us actively engage with our recovery. Through active listening, we receive everything being offered us in NA, and we share fully with others the love and care we’ve been given. — Just For Today | More…

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As I became more and more entrenched in my program, I noticed that I began to listen more and talk less. I also began to really hear what God was saying to me.

Praying is our talking to God and meditating is listening to Him. So now meditation has become a way of life for me.

I now try to listen to those who are silent but who have much to say. The loud voices of my past life were just loud.

It is, however, the quiet, calm voices that speak to me in volumes. –One Day At A Time | More…

Part of my addiction was never listening to what people were saying. This was part arrogance, part denial, part fear, part control, part ego — the bottom line was that I did not listen.

I was a prisoner of my own thoughts. My spiritual awakening (a process rather than an event) was in allowing some new information into my life that led to admittance and acceptance. The day that I was able to admit that I was an alcoholic was the day I took a step towards acceptance. –Father Leo | More…

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Recovery has much to teach us.
We need to be students of life.

We need to be open to learning.
Our spirits can grow if we’re willing to do three things:

First, we listen.
Second, we think about what we’ve learned.
Third, we turn what we’ve learned into action. Listening, combined with thought and action, will help us learn life’s best lessons. –Keep It Simple | More…

How do we learn the practise and process of storytelling and story listening ?
Story details the gap between intentions and results.

Story conveys the reality of human freedom, for although real our freedom is limited, and although ‘limited’ our freedom is real. We are never more than co-authors of our own stories.

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Every story details a mixture of cause choice and chance. The very combination of these three reveals that we are neither completely controlled nor completely in control.

We can will, in other words, but we must also be willing. Stories reveal a spirituality that views life not as a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

We are all looking for, but we find what we are looking for only by being looked for. We find miracle only when we stop looking for magic.  –The Spirituality of Imperfection/Ernie Kurtz & Katherine Kechum p.127-129 | More…

Now is the time to stop listening to ourselves and start listening to pros, those who have gone before us. When we follow their lead, exciting changes happen.

First we stay sober. We regain self-respect. We meet people we respect and become friends.

Our families start to trust us again. And why? Because we gave up doing it our way and listened. We listened to the experts. –Keep It Simple  | More…

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True learning comes – like true intimacy – when we have an open mind. As we detach ourselves, separate from our own ego, we hear the other person better and grow more intimate. –Touchstones | More…

In recovery, we learn that we don’t know everything.

We learn to listen.
We listen to our groups.
We listen to our sponsor.
We listen as we read.

The better we listen, the better our recovery. –Keep It Simple | More…

The more he listened at meetings, the more he came to know about his own drinking history. –Big Book p. 403 | More…

Learning how to listen – really listen – is a difficult task, but one that’s not beyond our reach. We might begin by acknowledging in our replies what our conversational partner is saying.

We might ask if there is anything we can do to help when someone expresses a problem.  With a little practice, we can find greater freedom from self-obsession and closer contact with the people in our lives. –Just for Today | More…

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One of the truly great gifts in this Fellowship of mutually concerned people is the gift of the art of listening.” –May 1960 – Where the Words Come From,”, Spiritual Awakenings/Grapevine | More…

Perhaps the main benefit of the storytelling format is that it invites, enables, and teaches listening. The practice of telling stories gives birth to good listeners. The world has always needed good listeners, for only good listeners are truthful tellers.

‘Good listening’ involves the surrender of a self-centered view of the world; it entails the equation of trust and love that flows from that surrender. To listen, to surrender, to trust, to love: These are to be open for discovery.

Spirituality flourishes in discovery, and especially in the discovery of shared story – the discovery that creates community. For community is where we can learn and practice storytelling and its virtues, ‘humility’ and ‘obedience’ – two painfully misunderstood qualities that are really ‘the arts of listening’.

The identification that sprang from their listening to each other helped both Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith to the understanding – the vision – that the purpose of life wasn’t to get but give…. for only when you give, do you get!

In their first meeting with each other, Bull W. and Dr, Bob did listen avidly, and in that listening both came to the realization that what they needed was dialogue, and that in their shared alcoholism, on the basis of their common imperfection, they had found it.

Dr Bob later explained the most profound message he had learned from Bill W. The spiritual approach was as useless as any other if you soaked it up like a sponge and kept it to yourself. –The Spirituality of Imperfection/Ernie Kurtz & Katherine Kechum p.95-97 | More…

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As a spiritual exercise, we could stop now and listen to our inner selves and state our own ideas. What comes out may break the illusion of perfection and free us to proceed with life.

We all have original ideas if we just notice them. What images come to mind while listening to music? What do our dreams tell us?

Our growing strength in recovery requires that we listen to our own messages,
and then take some risks to express them. –Touchstones | More…

When you do all the talking you only learn what you already know.
My listeners (in the program) can’t solve my problems for me.

But they do show how they used the tools that are available in the Program to work through the same kinds of problems. –Easy Does It | More…

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