Step 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.”
Joy of living is the theme of the Twelfth step. Action its keyword. Giving that asks no reward. Love that has no price tag. What is spiritual awakening? A new state of consciousness and being is received as a free gift. Readiness to receive gift lies in practice of the Twelve steps. The magnificent reality. Rewards of helping other alcoholics. Kinds of Twelfth step work. Problems of Twelfth Step work. What about the practice of these principles in ALL our affairs? Monotony, pain, and calamity turned to good use by the practice of the Steps. Difficulties of practice. “Two Stepping” and demonstrations of faith. Growing spiritually is the answer to our problems. Placing spiritual growth first. Domination and over-dependence. Putting our lives on give-and-take basis. Dependence upon God necessary to recovery of alcoholic. “Practicing theses principles in ALL our affairs.” Domestic relations in A.A. Outlook upon material matters changes. So do feelings about personal importance. Instincts restored to true purpose. Understanding is key to right attitudes, right action key to good living.
(From, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions Table of Contents).
This step is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 60). There’s more in Chapter 7 (Working with Others), starting on p. 89, which is all about the 12th step. There’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Holy Cow Batman, There’s a lot to talk about in this step. Please feel free to pick the line that speaks to your heart and share on it.
For me service is not about fixing changing or helping anyone, service is about myself. It’s about giving what I have to offer without expecting recognition or reward. It is about doing what needs to be done, as I am asked, to the best of my ability. It means giving 100 percent of my attention to what I am doing, as long as I can do so without causing myself harm. Anything more is an attempt to gain control, and anything less is a dis-service. There is a fine line between being of service and trying to help someone.
For many years I have alienated people by being helpful – controlling in their eyes. It’s been a journey to learn how to be of service, to listen — truly listen — to what someone actually needs, and do JUST that. It’s also become a journey to freedom. Freedom from the insanity in my head of trying to figure out what people want. I have and am learning to ask what someone needs.
Please feel free to share on any part of this step that resonates with you. Ladies, the meeting is now yours.