Posted by themiracleisaroundthecorner
Today we read step 12 from the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. For those not familiar with the 12-step program:
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.
As this step is lengthy, we divided the reading over the course of two weeks. This week we read the first two prongs of the three-pronged step: the part about spiritual awakenings, and the part about carrying the message. We’ll read about practicing these principles in all our affairs next week.
Spiritual awakening as a concept is a tricky one to explain, as the meaning differs from individual to individual. It is especially hard to grasp or appreciate when one struggles with the concept of a Higher Power.
From my experience, a spiritual awakening was one I could see happening after the fact; I was by no means aware of an awakening as it was happening. But when I look back over the course of my sobriety, I could see critical junctures where I allowed for faith to enter, and the miracles that resulted from the decision to trust in a Higher Power. And that kind of positive energy builds upon itself. The more you are aware of it, the more it seems to happen!
Carrying the message pretty much sums up what I have been talking about with respect to my WOTY. Service is the foundation of the 12-step program; the more you give, the more you get back. The other nice reminder I got from today’s reading is that any and all service is beneficial. You don’t have to chair a charity organization to make an impact. Simply making the coffee for a meeting is service, and it is invaluable.
Other valuable takeaways from this morning’s meeting:
- The spiritual awakening happens as a result of the steps, so there should be no pressure to have a spiritual awakening… just do the steps to the best of your ability, and good things will happen
- When you are attempting to carry the message to another, it is easy to feel bad if the message is not received, or is rejected. Carrying the message is about you, not the recipient. Give to the best of your ability, and leave the results up to God.
- Spiritual awakenings have a lot to do with emotional sobriety. It’s not enough to put down the drink and achieve physical sobriety. Finding a balance so life is not all about the high’s and lows’s… that’s the goal.
- It’s great to talk the talk, as we often do in our meetings. But step 12 is about walking the walk. Our program is one of attraction, not promotion. Therefore out very lives, and the way we carry ourselves… that is the message.
- Step 12, as it reads in this chapter, is a nice snapshot of the whole program. It takes you through step by step and shows you what the program has to offer. If you are interested in learning about the 12-step program, flipping to this chapter is an excellent starting point.
- Developing a spiritual life inside the 12-step fellowship is an excellent start, but to truly embrace step 12, it is critical to take the lessons learned here and carry them outward to life outside the fellowship.
For those in the US, hope you are enjoying the holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
Kids are home from school, and so far chaos has been kept to a minimum. Here’s to the rest of the day remaining as calm as the first half!