The 12 Steps - A RESET
Jan 28, 2023
I don’t know why, but I felt like looking up the “12 Steps” from Alcoholics Anonymous. Not because I’m an alcoholic but because I have many addictions. Maybe we all do. I’m addicted to habits, thoughts, fear, attachments, comfort, preferences, and all other things I would allow to control me. There is a certain energy that comes from addictions, a drive that steers my behaviors and thoughts. It’s a draining energy. It dampens the life-giving power that we have to look outward and shine in the world and instead causes us to be consumed and internally focused on “me,” “mine,” “my,” and “i.”
But I don’t want that. I want to experience the energy I was born with, the energy that lit up a room just because I was there. We were all born with that energy. We are all aware of that energy. We see it every day flowing and beaming out of a baby, or a puppy, or a kitten. There is a light in every newborn creature that makes the world better, brighter, and happier. That light is ours to have and to emit. But often, our attachments and addictions dampen and darken that light until it is barely even recognizable. Much like a smoldering ember with no visible spark, we become just smoke and give off no light.
Like all the warning labels will tell you, smoking is harmful to your health. We are not meant to be smokes, agents of self and destruction. We are meant to be lights, agents of US and creation.
The 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonymous are a brilliant “reset” that help remove the debris and fan the flames of our light. They are a way, a path, to becoming our true selves and shining our lights for all the world to see, to enjoy. It’s powerful. I’m going to list them here. Just marinate on them. You can replace the word alcohol in Step 1 with any addiction, with any attachment, any opinion, or with any fear that may be controlling you. Just marinate on the steps and see if they speak to you, see if they fan your flame, and set your light free. It’s still in you. I know that because where there is smoke, there is fire.
The 12 Steps from aa.org:
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 doing 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.