Apr 24

The 12 Steps

I am a huge fan of 12 step programs and although there are many roads to recovery these steps stand the test of time.  I think one of the reasons I like them so much  is that they include mental, physical and spiritual elements for meaningful change.  Following in the tradition of attraction rather than promotion I must say here that I’m not promoting or speaking for these programs. There are other good organizations out there, there are other methods, this one just happens to speak to me and I don’t know how I could address the path to recovery without expressing the importance of working some kind of program. This is my favorite and these are simply my thoughts regarding the value of step work in the healing process.

It seems to me that just about everyone on the face of the planet could benefit from going through these steps.  Take out the word alchohol and insert your addiction, your relationship, behavior or trauma.  It doesn’t take much to begin to see that these steps apply to nearly any situation that requires a change of heart.  It isn’t always easy to get honest about how far we’ve fallen and it is far from easy to let go and begin to rebuild our lives.  Certainly anyone recovering from any form of addiction and most behavioral disorders can find some relief in the knowledge that so many have been saved by the honest application of these principles.

There will be plenty of time, and plenty of posts, to explore the steps in more detail but these are the steps as they appear in the Big Book of Alchoholics Anonymous:

The Twelve Steps

1.We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5.Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6.Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7.Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8.Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9.Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11.Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12.Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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