Here is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘flexibility’: “characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different or changing requirements. “
Now, given all of the ‘new, different or changing requirements’ thrown at us all (individually and collectively) by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, I think the timing is good for us to take a good look at both how we can best apply this principle of flexibility in our daily recovery lives and the benefits we’re very likely to receive from doing so.
First things first, we in recovery (whether you’re in an addiction treatment program, a doctors recovery program, a professionals health program or a 12 Steps program for alcohol or drugs) have found we need to adopt “new attitudes” and practice “new behaviors” in order to get clean and sober and maintain that, one day at a time.
How does ‘flexibility’ fit into this requirement for our recovery?
Well, here are three salient quotes—drawn from recovery literature—to clarify the importance of applying flexibility in our daily affairs, which we can reflect upon, particularly in light of the current pandemic.
“The open-mindedness we practice in our recovery gives us the ability to be flexible when things change in ways we hadn’t expected.”
All of humanity is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, and we see everywhere the world over how people are responding in unison to the suggestions of medical professionals and political leadership. As people in recovery, our decision to practice flexibility in these trying times—adapting with as much acceptance and respect as we’re able—can ultimately provide us with the best results possible and the preservation of our harmony with others. If we’re in rehab or a treatment program, few can practice flexibility by following the suggestions of the treatment staff and therapists. And if we’re in a 12 Steps fellowship, seeking out and following the guidance of our sponsor allows us to apply the principle of flexibility in our daily lives.
“The flexibility that relationships require comes more easily to us when we are practicing principles in our lives.”
Most likely, no one would argue that all relationships—spousal, romantic, friend, work-related, community-related—benefit from maintaining an adaptable posture, “going with the flow,” sustaining an attitude of tolerance and compassion. Throughout this current coronavirus pandemic, especially with the “lockdown” constraints and social distancing requirements, relations with others may more easily become strained — all the more reason for us to be mindfully practicing flexibility “in all our affairs.” The “Golden Rule” of treating others as you would have them treat you seems particularly apt during these times. When faced with a choice about what to say or do in the context of relating with another, flexing one’s heart and asking oneself, “How would I like to be treated in this situation?” will very likely be as good a tool as you can find for navigating any social exchange when stress is involved.
“Just when we think we know all that recovery has to offer, more is revealed—if we are willing to accept the gift.”
Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic challenges us all in ways we could never have imagined. Consequently, our knowledge and practice of recovery principles are now being confronted by “life on life’s terms”… in spades! Having the willingness to remain humble through this admittedly difficult time and the flexibility to be patient and understanding with others can go a long way toward finding solutions or allowing the process of life to unfold gracefully, right before our eyes, without our forcing our will on others or demanding others act in accordance with expectations we’re placing upon them.
As we remain flexible in our attitude and behavior during this COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll be doing our part in maintaining the best atmosphere of recovery we’re capable of… one day at a time. Contact Boardprep professionals by calling 866.796.4720 to discuss recovery rehab options during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 Living Clean, Chapter 6, “Getting Out of Our Own Way”
 Living Clean, Chapter 5 “The Courage to Trust”
 Living Clean, Chapter 7 “Awakenings”