from "Daily Reflections" by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Posts tagged ‘Twelve Steps’

The Upward Path

Here are the steps we took. . . . ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

These are the words that lead into the Twelve Steps. In their direct simplicity they sweep aside all psychological and philosophical considerations about the lightness of the Steps. They describe what I did: I took the Steps and sobriety was the result. These words do not imply that I should walk the well-trodden path of those who went before, but rather that there is a way for me to become sober and that it is a way I shall have to find. It is a new path, one that leads to infinite light at the top of the mountain. The Steps advise me about the footholds that are safe and about chasms to avoid. They provide me with the tools I need during the many parts of the solitary journey of my soul. When I speak of this journey, I share my experience, strength and hope with others. 

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Real Independence

The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 36

I start with a little willingness to trust God and He causes that willingness to grow. The more willingness I have, the more trust I gain, and the more trust I gain, the more willingness I have. My dependence on God grows as my trust in Him grows. Before I became willing, I depended on myself for all my needs and I was restricted by my incompleteness. Through my willingness to depend upon my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, all my needs are provided for by Someone Who knows me better than I know myself—even the needs I may not realize, as well as the ones yet to come. Only Someone Who knows me that well could bring me to be myself and to help me fill the need in someone else that only I am meant to fill. There never will be another exactly like me. And that is real independence. 

Overcoming Self-Will

So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 62

For so many years my life revolved solely around myself. I was consumed with self in all forms—self-centeredness, self-pity, self-seeking, all of which stemmed from pride. Today I have been given the gift, through the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, of practicing the Steps and Traditions in my daily life, of my group and sponsor, and the capacity—if I so choose—to put my pride aside in all situations which arise in my life.

Until I could honestly look at myself and see that I was the problem in many situations and react appropriately inside and out; until I could discard my expectations and understand that my serenity was directly proportional to them, I could not experience serenity and sound sobriety. 

Our Paths Are Our Own

. . . there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 25

My first attempt at the Steps was one of obligation and necessity, which resulted in a deep feeling of discouragement in the face of all those adverbs: courageously; completely; humbly; directly; and only. I considered Bill W. fortunate to have gone through such a major, even sensational, spiritual experience. I had to discover, as time went on, that my path was my own. After a few twenty-four hours in the A.A. Fellowship, thanks especially to the sharing of members in the meetings, I understood that everyone gradually finds his or her own pace in moving through the Steps. Through progressive means, I try to live according to these suggested principles. As a result of these Steps, I can say today that my attitude towards life, people, and towards anything having to do with God, has been transformed and improved. 

An Act of Providence

It is truly awful to admit that, glass in hand, we have warped our minds into such an obsession for destructive drinking that only an act of Providence can remove it from us. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 21

My act of Providence, (a manifestation of divine care and direction), came as I experienced the total bankruptcy of active alcoholism—everything meaningful in my life was gone. I telephoned Alcoholics Anonymous and, from that instant, my life has never been the same. When I reflect on that very special moment, I know that God was working in my life long before I was able to acknowledge and accept spiritual concepts. The glass was put down through this one act of Providence and my journey into sobriety began. My life continues to unfold with divine care and direction. Step One, in which I admitted I was powerless over alcohol, that my life had become unmanageable, takes on more meaning for me—one day at a time—in the life-saving, life-giving Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.