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

TWELFTH STEP GUIDE

 

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

 

If we have worked and lived the previous steps in a thorough and honest manner, the following is apparent.

 


Step 1                

 

 

Step 2

 

 

Step 3

 

 

Step 4

 

 

Step 5

 

 

Step 6

 

 

Step 7

 

 

Step 8

 

 

Step 9

 

 

Step 10

 

 

Step 11

 

 

 


We admit that we are powerless over not only alcohol/drugs, but also others and that our lives have been, are now, and shall remain unmanageable by us alone.

 

We are coming to believe that God can restore us to sanity as we rightly relate ourselves to Him.

 

We make a daily decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.

 

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves by uncovering our acquired character defects as well as our assets.

 

We admitted to God, ourselves and another person the exact nature of our wrongs.  We started to clean our house.

 

We became entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character as we practice to correct them daily.

 

We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings as we became more aware of the fact, “I, of myself, am nothing.  The Father doeth the works”.

 

We made a list of all those we had harmed and became willing to make amends.

 

We made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.  Finally, we put the past in the past!

 

We continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, promptly admit it.  Thus, we are cleaning up the wreckage of the present, now.

 

We are seeking through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact of God within and without by praying only for His guidance and the power to carry it out.


At this point in our recovery process, we must be practicing the first two maintenance steps, Steps Ten and Eleven, to the best of our ability.  In addition, we constantly check to make sure that Steps One through Three are evident in our lives on a daily basis.  If this is true, we are ready for Step Twelve, the last maintenance step.

 

Step Twelve can easily by grouped into three areas.  The first area concerns a spiritual awakening.  The second asks us to carry this message to all alcoholics/addicts.  The last suggests we practice these principles in all our affairs.  What an order—but we can carry it out if we look at those three areas and what they mean.

 

The first portion of Step Twelve is—“having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps…”.  This implies, in  no uncertain terms, that as a result of practicing all the steps, we have each found something called a spiritual awakening.  This spiritual awakening, which has come slowly and sometimes painfully as we were living each step in sequence, is nothing more than a transformation to a new state of consciousness and being.  At this point we find ourselves in possession of a degree of honesty, tolerance, unselfishness, peace of mind, and love which we had thought ourselves quite incapable of attaining.

 

In addition, we are now aware of the havoc that the false self has caused us and are now determined to keep the “thinking mind” in its proper role as our servant instead of our master.  Each time that we gained deeper and deeper awareness of God’s presence within, our consciousness was raised.  This program asks for progress, not perfection.  So we must now continue daily to realize a deeper awareness of God’s presence within us, or we will once again separate ourselves from Him.  We are on a lifetime spiritual path.  But at this point, our spiritual growth is fragile and we should guard it closely.  Seek truth and then live it.  Truth shall set us free.  Therefore, in order to allow this gift of a spiritual awakening to grow, we should look at the remainder of Step Twelve and find out what we should be doing.

 

The second part of Step Twelve is—“…we tried to carry this message to alcoholics/addicts…”.  As we carry the message to the next suffering alcoholic/addict, this finally translates the twelve steps into action.  In order for us to properly twelve-step other alcoholics/addicts, we should have a thorough foundation of this program and make sure that our own recovery process is in order.  The message we carry is one that shows how the steps transformed our lives—from what we used to be like to what happened and how this transformation occurred.  In other words, we must practice this program daily before we can have a message to give away.  Those of us who have done this spread the message of hope with love, never forgetting that this program is a spiritual program—period!

 

Many program members declare that no satisfaction has been deeper and no joy greater than in a twelfth step well done.  The unconditional giving and helping of others to move from darkness into light, to see their lives filled with new purpose and meaning and, above all, to watch these people awaken to the presence of a loving God in their lives—these things are benefits that we receive as we carry the message.

 

There are other kinds of ‘twelfth step work’.  We sit in meetings and listen, not only to receive, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring.  If called upon to speak, we again try to carry the message.  We can also give of service to the program by making efforts; being a group secretary, treasurer, cleaning up, and in general doing whatever the traditions suggest that needs to be done to keep the program together.  Sponsorship, if approached rightly, “freely you have received, freely give…” is the core of this part of Step Twelve.

 

The third part of Step Twelve—“…and to practice these principles in all our affairs”—is the final section of Step Twelve.  The program of recovery that each of us has developed in the doing of the steps means absolutely nothing if we do not practice these principles in all our affairs.  At this point in time, many things may be going well for us.  Beware—we temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied there is no need for all the program’s twelve steps for us.  Maybe we are doing fine on the first half of the first step and that part of the twelfth step where we “carry the message”.  If this is the case, we are “two-stepping” back to ‘twelve-stepping”.

 

Our troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles in all our affairs”, well grounded programs seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith.  If we find ourselves still challenged by the lesser and more continuous problems of life, our answer is in still more spiritual development.  As we grow spiritually, we find that the old ideas and negative thinking associated with the false self slowly disappear.  So in order to grow, we must continue to practice the program’s principles in all our affairs.

 

The purpose of writing the twelfth step is to help us identify which areas of our own personal program need to be strengthened.  In each of the three areas—spiritual growth, carrying the message, and practicing the principles in all our affairs—we need to take a long hard look and see how they can be improved upon.

 

The following questions are to help you improve your program by recognizing the areas that still need honest, thorough practice.  Remember, your program of recovery does not end with the twelfth step.  It is just the beginning!

 

1.      What does “having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps…” mean to you?

 

2.      In what ways have you had a spiritual awakening?

 

3.      Has your awareness of God’s presence within increased since you started to practice this program?  How?

 

4.      What does “…we tried to carry this message to alcoholics/addicts…” mean to you?

 

5.      What is the message that you are trying to carry?  In what ways are you carrying it?

 

6.      What is meant by “two-stepping”?

 

7.      What does “…to practice these principles in all our affairs” mean to you?

 

8.      What are these principles that you should practice?

 

9.      Why is practice so important to your continued spiritual growth?

 

10.  If you are still having problems with life, what is the answer?  Why?  (see the 12th step in 12 & 12)

 

11.  What is meant by “twelfth stepping”?  How can you successfully do this?

 

12.  Explain why you have to stop fighting anybody or anything.

 

13.  What does “understanding is the key to right principles and attitudes, and right action is the key to good living…” mean to you?

 

14.  Describe the essence of each of the twelve steps.

 

15.  How does this program of recovery work?

 

16.  Why does it work?

 

17.  Now that you have finished doing the twelve steps once, how are you going to expand your program from this point on?

 

18.  Has this program changed your life?  In what ways?

 

19.  Describe your view of yourself at this point.

Carrying makes us strong and practice makes perfect.

Work the steps, call your sponsor, just don't take that first drink, call before you fall, if you don't think about it, you'll drink about it.