The only promise in the 12 steps is contained in Step 12. It promises that if we work these steps, that we will have a spiritual awakening. Then it asks us to then carry the message, and practice the principles of recovery in all our affairs.
Step 12 is really composed of 3 parts. Let's look at each of the 3 parts in more depth.
1. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps
- What has a spiritual awakening looked like for me? Did I have expectations about it? When/where/how did it happen, and can I pinpoint it?
- How did the stepwork—i.e. working the steps with a sponsor, going to meetings, and reading literature—lead to that awakening? Were there any key moments, events, or experiences that shifted my perception? Did some steps come easier than others?
2. We tried to carry this message to others
- What is the purpose of trying to carry this message to others? Do I check my own motives for this before engaging in it?
- In what ways have I tried to carry this message? Do I sponsor? If so, how has it helped? If not, why not? Do I share al-anon with others outside program? If so, how)
- What have I learned from carrying the message to others? What do I continue to learn from other al-anon members, including newcomers? Do I have expectations about carrying the message to people outside al-anon? How do I avoid control and manipulation while carrying the message?
3. And to practice these principles in all our affairs
- What does it mean for me to practice these principles in all my affairs? Which principles? All my affairs? Are there any that do not get the “al-anon treatment?” What if there are no alcoholics, or no alcohol, in one of these “affairs?”
What are some examples in my life when practicing these principles in all my affairs has helped me to continue my recovery and to grow? Examples from work? Family life in general? Relationships and friends? What about interactions with strangers? What about fulfilling my dreams, goals, and values?
Readings and Links
Kate shared a poem from There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery, by Portia Nelson.
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