Step 12 : Having had a Spiritual Awakening we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs. In finding the AA Big Book suggested Spiritual Path? I am found. I've been reborn to a whole new attitude and outlook on life itself, not just me and mine. All of it. No longer a theory as it seemed in the earlier Steps, now I am convinced of my Spiritual daily reprieve offered. My willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness daily as I live the AA Big Book 12 Steps to the best of my ability. The thought of alcohol is rare, or running away to anything really. I have a new found courage and strength, a self reliance with seemingly infinite coping skills. The selfish need for others to provide emotional security is seen and accepted as a common form of trouble and addressed immediately for the most part. I have a life worth living. I have recovered for today. I pray to continue this way of life for my lifetime, to participate. I will serve the Spirit of all things and with it's power see myself and the man who suffers in alcoholism. I will continue to watch for my selfishness and self-centeredness, I will not miss it and settle for less today. I will pray to be directed to what my God would have me be. I like this, this is a good way for me. I ask for Spiritual help, speak for myself and take responsibility for my conduct. I am accountable today. This is all I ever imagined. All I saw in others.
The Big Book 12 Steps worked! I awoke a new man. I had purpose. I had found validation in the realm of the Spirit. I had survived an adult dose of recovery. A moral detoxification of sorts. I had put down my obsessions with people by picking up the program of recovery suggested as a way out for the hopeless. Seemingly the first thing I had actually ever done right?
I was on fire now. Like the man who rises from his hell and is saved by Jesus? You can't tell him anything about anything else but Jesus. Jesus is in the house! It can be annoying. That whole my way or the hi-way thing. I was like this with Big Book 12 Steps initially. A new phase. I couldn't help it, my life had became so good so fast. Self will run riot yet believing with all the work I had done it was impossible to be so extreme again. I was bulletproof? Sure...Yes my first thought was all in AA should have this thing! My first lesson was? NO, the Big Book 12 Steps are not for everyone or not because "I say so" anyway.. Not everyone needs a Spiritual reprieve or even a total reconstruction.. Not everyone needs to root out the flaws in their make up right away in hopes of simply surviving one more day.. Not everyone is beyond human aid. There are many who are able to read or listen, retain and apply suggestion and or direction. Many who make good use of a helping hand in AA, the fellowship of experience strength and hope.
I came to understand quickly that if I was to survive on the Spiritual Path I must accept others as being who they are and not who I think they should be. I had no reason to do their thinking for them now, no need to create my own security, attempt to overcome my fear with control. Steal an emotional security boost from others to feel better about myself. I would become a power of example and not an example of power. A difference I had never understood really.
The loneliness of the Spiritual hilltop. Anyone who had been there will tell you, it is nowhere and without balance.. The racing mind knows everything about everything except when to listen. It is fear and despair with a Big Book in your pocket weighing heavy as you drown in self will. Struggling to let go, to learn to give without expectation my newfound sober life is still all about me, all about something for me... Sober or not sober seems to make little difference. I could actually be drunk without drinking alcohol or so my conduct and thinking would suggest. This was Step 10. I definitely needed to keep an eye on myself constantly. The Book said to be hard on myself and I understood, I would not be detoured, it was clear I was not cured. This 12 Step work would continue for my lifetime. This was not a curse as many who hadn't the Big Book experience defended. This meant with a few suggestions each day I could have a good life or what was left of it anyway. All tomorrows and yesterday's aside? Today would be good. I was alcoholic sure but I was no longer untreated, wandering the earth a lone survivor. An emotional vampire.
Yeah life was still heavy. But it was good, life was good! I looked forward to my days. I'd wake up with my Step 11. Ask my God to direct my thinking. Surrender my "self". Relax and think about my day ahead. Right away I prayed for a new man and right away they were lining up looking for a guide, someone to help them with the Big Book 12 Steps, someone who was on the Spiritual Path suggested. I was willing to serve. I had been in a sense bred for it. It was made clear in the beginning I was to be of service to the suffering man. That if my own house was in order he would make good use of what I had to offer. Within a week or so I had a full carload of men reading and discussing Step 1, 2, and 3. What an experience, to watch the new man recover. The Book said this was something I shouldn't miss. I understood. It was a miracle of healing and I had a front row seat. I now had purpose. All the power I could ever imagine. All I needed to do was learn how to handle it, how to seek humility. To remember when dealing with the new man, it is a Spiritual program written down clearly in the Big Book text and not Stepsherpa's Anonymous. I am not here to add lib, to offer newfound suggestion in another's life as if it is my own. I would be willing to live in this awareness. I would commit it to my morning meditation, My willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness with my God. I was on the right track. I was learning tough lessons but feeling good about it. I was developing coping skills as I lived each day. I no longer would run and hide, no longer felt the overwhelming need to retaliate at an unjust world. I was a part of life as anyone was.
As the numbers of suffering men grew. I would commit to many 5th Steps as their witness. Over and over I would see myself in them. The hopelessness of untreated alcoholism. The miracle of change. To watch a new man find their path, their Spirit. The new lives passed on to newer lives. A chain of recovery. It can be an emotional time filled with gratitude. I have felt this power and cried as a man without shame.
Ah relationships. The sexual relationships would come. In AA, out of AA. Either way I was there to see myself, to monitor my conduct and thoughts. I was still falling flat on my face. I was trying yes but it would be some time before I would actually get it, get what it meant to be in a sexual relationship. To care enough about yourself so as not to need care from another. To give what you have, share what you have without condition. Although learning to give has been ongoing with me I do try and I am willing to change. I do pray for direction to be the best person I can be. I pray to meet the needs of others as I would ask for my own. I am an honest partner today. A trusted friend.
Today I am willing to practice the Big Book 12 Steps in all my affairs. I will pray to resolve any issues I am afraid of. They do come. I will put my partners feelings up front and keep myself humble. I will create the fellowship I crave as the Book suggests in my home and also workplace, everywhere. I will continue to clean up my past with my ongoing Step 9. Monitor myself in the moment with Step 10 and be willing to grow in my Spiritual understanding in Step 11. Be quick to seek Spiritual guidance when agitated or doubtful. I am no longer running my stage show. No longer the director and it's a relief really, it feels good to be sober and a part of life today and not struggling to be at the center of it. A lost soul. The emptiness of a hopeless drunk searching for validation. No thanks. Not today.