Pat. T. June 21, 1992
When I finally found a sponsor I was willing to listen to – I had the opportunity to work through the steps, as they were written in the Big Book. We read the book together. Me, at first bored, then interested, then amazed at what was in it.
I’d read it before, but I can promise you that without sponsorship, I never would have understood what this program was all about.
My character – or lack thereof.
She explained that each step presents has a concept or task, as well as a principle that needs to be practiced. This wasn’t just a checklist, it was a manner of living. It was the practice of the principles that made true recovery possible.
Taking each step compels me toward the next. Each principle gives me what I need to accomplish the given task. As I work with other alcoholics, I renew my own process and discover as always, more will be revealed.
The HONESTY of Step One – I couldn’t stop and wouldn’t stop – drives the need for the HOPE offered in Step Two.
That HOPE from using a collective power to withstand the drink enabled a leap of FAITH, a decision to move forward, as determined in Step Three.
With FAITH, I am no longer alone and I can find the COURAGE to take Step Four – to truly look at the person I have become.
That COURAGE leads me to the INTEGRITY needed in Step Five, so that I can tell it all, even the stuff I swore I’d take to my grave.
That INTEGRITY has enlightened me on the limitations of my character, and I become WILLING and entirely ready to change, as suggested in Step Six.
Even when I am WILLING, I see that no human power (including my own) can remove my shortcomings, so I seek the HUMILITY before God offered by Step Seven.
That HUMILITY allows me to understand that I am not the only one who is broken. So I practice FORGIVENESS for the people I list in Step Eight, some of whom have hurt me too.
FORGIVENESS makes it possible for me to seek JUSTICE for all of them, to try and mend the damage I’ve inflicted without expecting something in return.
With JUSTICE comes a clean slate, but Step Ten reminds me I must PERSEVERE with these principles and address mistakes as I make them.
As I PERSEVERE with my new beliefs, the notion of self-reliance diminishes. I seek the GOD-CONSCIOUSNESS offered in Step Eleven – trusting that I too can live in the sunlight of spirit.
From that GOD-CONSCIOUSNESS comes the revelation of different live based on LOVE & SERVICE To carry the message of a spiritual awakening as directed in Step Twelve, making time for others as time was made for me.
In Love & Service, I am recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body, having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps and continuing to practice these principles in all my affairs.