Receive, Read, Research, Remember, Reflect and Respond. The second “R,” in this list of actions to become inspired with the truth, is “Read.” In Rick Warren’s book, the Purpose Driven Life, this second “R” is about reading the bible. However, reading many positive, life affirming books can help us understand the truth about living a responsible and victim-free life. One of the benefits of reading for an addict and criminal thinker is that the book can’t be interrupted. When criminal thinkers hear something that they dislike or disagree with they tend to cut the conversation short or interrupt and argue their point of view. Reading the printed word allows distorted thinking to slowly be replaced with positive concepts. A book can’t be interrupted unless it is closed so challenge yourself to pick up a book and read daily!
Destructive and distorted thinking is the result of many bad thinking habits such as closing off what we don’t want to hear, or continually viewing oneself as a victim in situations that we could have prevented. Reading books about taking personal responsibility, changing ones habits and achieving legitimate success is a critical practice for anyone interested in lasting change. If you don’t know where to start, ask a counselor, responsible friend, pastor or your local librarian about a good book recommendation! There is a vast universe of knowledge available to everyone on their journey through sobriety, criminal freedom and earthly and spiritual wellness.
A few good books to consider for someone early in recovery are: