Yesterday I presented the 1st Part of this article, Second Chance to Live – Action Steps Revisited – An Overview Part 1. In today’s article I am going to share a synopsis of the 12 Steps. Attending 12 Step support meetings, listening to members share their experience, strength and hope, working with a sponsor, working through the 12 Steps with a sponsor and through being honest with myself I have grown in my ability to accept myself when family and friends can not accept who I am in my reality.
Working in partnership with a loving God through the 12 Action Steps, attending meetings, listening to members, working with a sponsor, working with a sponsor through the 12 Steps and being honest with myself have all encouraged, motivated, empowered and given me hope. My trust in a loving God, the process and my willingness to learn through my experience with my relationship with a loving God has given me the power and the ability to pursue my bliss and follow my dreams.
In the spirit of sharing the power of these action steps I have compiled a synopsis of the action steps. I will include that list below. As you read and meditate on the steps in the list and questions come to mind, please send those questions to me my friend. All questions are good questions. You may do so through a comment or a confidential email. The instructions to send a comment or an email are below the steps.
Synopsis of the 12 Action Steps — 12 Step Programs
Synopsis of the 12 Action Steps — the 12 Steps
1- You may be powerless over many things but you are not helpless. Although your life may seem unmanageable now, you no longer need to feel like a victim.
2- You do not have to be alone anymore to figure it out on your own.
3- By making the decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of a power greater than your self, you will find an unlimited source of encouragement, motivation, empowerment and hope.
4- You can find out what you have been doing to sabotage your life. You can look for patterns that have undermined your life. Consequently, you will be able to stop shooting yourself in the foot of life.
5- You no longer need to hide in the shadows. You can begin to trust. By admitting to a loving God, to yourself and to another human being what you found in step 4 that has been sabotaging your life, you can find a new freedom — a freedom that you never knew existed. Through the process, you can make peace with God and with yourself.
6- You can become entirely ready to let go of the behaviors that you have been using to defend and in the process sabotage your relationships and yourself. Be encouraged my friend.
7- You can be actively involved in the process of seeing the behaviors that have sabotaged your life removed by humbly asking a loving God to remove the behaviors that sabotage your life and relationships.
8- In working in partnership with a loving God you can make a list of the persons — including yourself — who you have been harmed by participating in behaviors that have sabotaged your life and your relationships. By making a list of the people you have negatively impacted or harmed (that you have gleaned through completing your 4th action step) you become willing to make direct amends to them all.
9- You make direct amends (once you have completed the first 8 action steps and you have talked with your sponsor) to the people who have been negatively impacted by the behaviors that you have previously used to cope. Consequently you can make peace with your fellows, and in the process make peace with yourself. By completing this step — making amends — you can be released from the burden of guilt and shame. You can find a new freedom and happiness.
10- On a daily basis, you continue to take a personal inventory and when you recognize that you have harmed others you promptly admit those wrongs to the person (s) that you have harmed. On a daily basis, you continue to be accountable to and for your behavior. You choose to keep your side of the street clean.
11- You do not have to live life each day by yourself. You can rely on a power greater than your self to guide and direct your steps. You don’t have to lean on your own understanding. You can pray for the knowledge of God’s will — for you — and the power to carry that out. You can trust the process, a loving God and your ability to learn from your circumstances and experiences. In the process, you will be empowered to live the life that you have imagined.
12- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of working these 12 action steps you attempt to carry the message of the 12 action steps to other people and continue to practice the principles of the 12 action steps in all your affairs.
Note: The 12 action steps are not meant to be punitive in nature. Instead, the 12 Action Steps are designed to empower you and I to live life on life’ terms — while succeeding. The 12 action steps — by divine design – are meant to free the individual of self-defeating behaviors that sabotage and undermine their lives and their relationships. The 12 action steps — by divine design — empower the individual to be of maximum service to God and to their fellows.
In my experience, I have found that when I choose to take the focus off of myself and place the focus on another person, place, event, institution or thing I miss the benefit that can be gained through working the 12 action steps with a sponsor. I have found that when I am drawn to take the focus off of myself and place the focus on someone / something else that I need to work the 12 action steps. I have found that my triggers and reactions are my triggers and reactions.
In my experience, I have come to realize that the 12 Action Steps are not meant to point out where I am not measuring up. Instead, the 12 Steps are meant to set me free from limiting behaviors and limiting beliefs that sabotage and undermine all of my relationships — with the God of my understanding, other people and myself. The 12 Steps empower my ability to be of maximum service to a loving God and my fellows.