Aug 25: Practicing the Principles in All Our Affairs

Practicing the Principles in All Our Affairs

For me, the Twelve Steps offer a “design for living” that means more than not having a drink or not using. Our new way of life in recovery requires us to change a lot of our old attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and behavior by applying these Steps and program principles to our lives.

There is no “treatment plan” other than working the Twelve Steps. All sponsors can do is share their experience, strength and hope concerning their own recovery. The Twelve Steps are about spiritual growth, not therapy. A sponsor is not our therapist.

To work a Step means to understand its principles and apply them to daily living. The term “work” is appropriate because the process involves a lot of effort.

According to AA cofounder Bill Wilson, their author, the Twelve Steps “are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

Today my path is the Twelve Steps. They are the heart of recovery. To work the program is to work the Twelve Steps. Applying them means practicing them in ALL my affairs – – –actually living them!

The principles of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous (Steps) are:

Step one: Surrender – honesty
Step Two: Hope – faith
Step Three: Commitment
Step Four: Honesty, soul-searching, courage
Step Five: Truth – integrity
Step Six: Willingness – acceptance
Step Seven: Humility
Step Eight: Reflection, willingness, judgment, compassion
Step Nine: Amendment, forgiveness, balance
Step Ten: Vigilance, maintenance,perseverance
Step Eleven: Attunement – making contact; spirituality
Step Twelve: Service, gratitude, action

My HP places before me whatever it is I am to learn each day and points me to the principles that will help me in this task! This process never fails me as I trudge the road of happy destiny. I just have to be honest, open-minded, and willing to go to ANY length for my sobriety – –which is my life today!

If anyone wishes to know more about these principles and how they came about – –go in your search line on the net and type in “The principles of Alcoholics Anonymous” and click on the site that spells that out.

All I can relay to you is that this program works for me – – – –and I did not receive the total benefits until I had THOROUGHLY and HONESTLY worked ALL TWELVE of The Steps! In the first couple of years in the program I worked the Steps at MY convenience – – – -even starting out with Step Nine, as I thought I didn’t need to do much more! I hurt a lot of people in this process, as I knew nothing about “how it works”! Basically I had to suspend what I thought I knew!

Also, I found that the first “go-around” of the Steps is basically understanding them conceptually. After that comes the practical application of the Steps in my daily living.

Today, when I am faced with any type of decision, and/or “opportunity for growth”, I pause – –as is suggested in our Big Book —- run it through the Steps, pray for guidance, then wait for the intuitive thought or solution to come through. Sometimes nothing becomes obvious —so my answer is “do nothing” – –at this moment! One thing that remains constant is CHANGE! Today I know that nothing remains the same —so tomorrow the solution may be placed in front of me – – –God’s will – –not mine!