Monday Meeting Miracles: 12/16

Today is the third Monday of the month, so today’s meeting format is a step meeting.  Because it is December, we read the first half of step 12 from the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:

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

Step 12 is a long one, so it is traditionally spread out over two meetings, we will read the second half next week.

Today’s meeting was a great one, well attended (13 total) and lots of meaningful interaction, both throughout the meeting, as well as before and after.  One of the reasons this meeting is so special to me is that, as the chairperson, I share first, and often (though certainly not always) the content of my “share” becomes the springboard for others.  So, today, as I read along with step 12, I attempted to relate it to what is going on in my life, and make the information meaningful for me personally, and I will share with the group the relationship between the reading and my life.

A quick synopsis of Step 12 for those unfamiliar with the 12 steps of recovery.  Step 12 is the final step, and is often described as three-pronged.  The first is the presumption that a spiritual awakening has occurred.  For me, there was no lightning bolt moment where the heavens opened and a lightning bolt sizzled.  It was more of a slow realization.  In looking back, the closest I came to a “moment” was when I fully realized that the steps that had worked so well in keeping me sober could also be applied to all areas of my life.  When I had that “a-ha” moment, and I started using the steps for more than just staying sober, was when I felt my spiritual awakening, and I believe that awakening is a life-long process.

The second prong of Step 12 is carrying the message to another alcoholic, and of course there are myriad ways for someone in recovery to give back what has been freely given to them.  From making coffee at a meeting, to raising your hand and sharing your experience, to showing another the 12 steps of recovery, and countless ways in between, carrying the message is something that anyone with even a day of sobriety can do.

The third prong of Step 12 is practicing the principles of the 12 steps in all our affairs.  This is the part that can often be the toughest, because it is so all-encompassing, but it is the part that brings the most serenity in my life when I am doing it to the best of my ability.

Where I am at in my life currently, it is the last prong of this step that is causing me difficulty.  Specifically speaking, I am finding it difficult to practice these principles when it comes to parenting, and of course I have written of these issues frequently.  As it happened, I had another encounter of the frustrating sort this very morning, and so it was about this subject that I shared.  I spoke about my frustrations in raising a child who can’t seem to learn from mistakes, and I feel like I’m out of options in terms of teaching.

Here’s what it boils down to for me:  who better than me to understand what it is like to repeatedly make the same mistake?  The fact that I assume the title “Recovering” implies that at some point in time, I was guilty of the exact same thing:  making a mistake, apologizing for it, then turning around and making the exact same mistake.  I should have all the empathy in the world, yet, over and over, I find myself reacting in frustration, and thus perpetuating the cycle.  Spinning my wheels, basically.

So the miracle of the meeting today is the feedback I received from the group.  From the Moms in the group who have been there, done that, I received empathy, and the feeling that I am not alone.  From the older gentleman in the group I received wisdom, and perspective.  And from absolutely everyone in the group, I received acceptance, which gives me the strength and courage to keep going.

Step 12 work at its finest!

Today’s Miracle:

After a morning of frustration, having a place to go and dump all of my problems, and turn my day around in 60 minutes, is an absolute miracle!

Posted on December 16, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s funny, I was thinking about this very topic on the way to work this morning. The spiritual awakening…hmmm….like you it wasn’t a lightening bolt. It was gradual. I used to ask myself – “how do I know that I have had a spiritual awakening?”. I could never have a definitive answer – I couldn’t put it into words, which made me wonder if I had it. But as I thought about it today, the answers came quite easily to me. The fact that I can and will do something for someone and not expect anything back is one. The fact that I enjoy working with others and not seeking anything in return, is one. The fact that I speak to God regularly throughout the day and seek communion with Him is one. The fact that I am much more at ease and calmer and not having the committee up in my head wrestling me to the floor on a regular basis is one. The fact I don’t think about drinking 99% of the day is one. The fact that I can be happy, joyous and free is one.

    And I am sure we can go on from there. But the feeling that I am free is the big one. I am not looking over my shoulder. That I can look the world in the eye…wow. These things come. If one works the program, these things are promised. And I have yet to see them not happen to one who works the program with full honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. What a joy!

    I am adding this to my gratitude list. And you, Josie. Thank you for this wonderful post.



  2. Oh. My. Goodness. The feeling of not having to look over my shoulder… there is no price tag to be put on it. The absolute best feeling in the world!


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