So what are the 12 steps?

Last post, I mentioned that I found a few of the 12 steps of A.A. particularly hard or scary. A friend said she wondered what they are, so here you go:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. 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.

Part of my plan for this year of reflection on sobriety is to talk about working through each of these steps. I have been thinking quite a bit about Step 4 since my post last week, and I hope to share some more of those reflections next week.

But I am tired today, so I will close by appreciating the hummingbird I saw dash from flower to flower this evening, stopping briefly at the neck of each flower for a sip, and then on to the next before buzzing close by me in search of more nectar. How wonderful to be in its presence, to be surrounded by nature in all its glory!

May you see the small beautiful joys around you, whether you are lucky enough to be living in the country like me or find small bits of nature in your urban jungle.

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