The final Step in the A.A. program is:
“12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and practice these principles in all our affairs.”
For me, everything in this step is meaningful:
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps: There is no doubt that working on my sobriety through the A.A. program meant developing more of a spiritual life. As I’ve mentioned in a number of posts, there is a lot of “God” in A.A. For some, that is a difficult part of A.A. For me, I knew my life was crazy and I really wanted to get sober, to get healthy, to be able to make better choices, to be able to live my principles. Turning my “will and life over to the care of God as I understood Him (Her)”, which is Step 3, was the way to get sober and stay sober. Thanks be to my Higher Power!
- We tried to carry this message to alcoholics: I tried to share my stories – my experience, strength and hope – with other alcoholics/addicts in A.A. meetings, in gatherings with other alcoholics, and in Women for Sobriety meetings. As I got more sober time in, I stopped going to meetings very often, but still thought of the 12 Steps and worked on living a sober life. As I approached my 25th anniversary of sobriety last year, I really wanted to reflect on the changes in my life, and share some of those reflections. This blog has been a way to give back, to carry the message to other alcoholics/addicts and the people who love them.
- And practice these principles in all our affairs: This how I try to live my life: with intention, with thoughtful kindness, and through ongoing connection to the spiritual. I don’t claim to get it right all the time, but I try, I “practice” these principles. For me, one of the easiest ways to connect with Spirit is to go outside. Just breathing the sweet ocean air and reaching through my feet to Mother Earth connects me to Spirit in a wondrous way – how lucky am I! I could never have found my way to this joy if I was still drinking and drugging.
There is no doubt that working the 12 Steps, and continuing to practice what I learned through A.A. has given me gifts again and again in my sober life. I am so very grateful.