We could all benefit from the 12 steps
We may not be alcoholics but we could do with the same help
In Gregory Forrest’s article on intimacy, from which yesterday’s featured image was sourced, he referred to ‘the fifth step’. I wondered what the 5th step was and asked. I knew by the time I finished the article though he responded to my earlier question with a link to help explain. It is, of course, one of the Alcoholic Anonymous 12 steps.
It reminded me that some years ago when I lived in Galway, I decided to visit an Al-Anon meeting. These meetings are for family members of those who attend AA. I couldn’t find the meeting though I did find the AA meeting. Someone assumed that I was here for it and before long I was in the meeting. I sat listening to people one by one who told of their struggle in their relationship with alcohol.
20 odd years later I was part of an evening group that met in a church in Hampstead. Next door in the hall a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) met. We had to borrow chairs one night and I had to get them from the NA meeting. I was surprised that there were about 60 people in the room, we had 20.
I often thought there was a need for an AA group simply to deal with everyday life. When I look again at the 12 steps I could remove references to alcohol, as below, and they would apply to me. How about you?
1. We admitted we were powerless, 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 all and to practice these principles in all our affairs.