Topic for the week: Step 11
We are all invited to share on Step 11. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.
*** Step 11 ***
“Sought through prayer and meditation to increase 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.”
This step is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 59). There’s more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting at the bottom of p. 85. There’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
*** Where to get the books, Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ***
You can find these books at many f2f AA meetings; you can order them online from many places. And they are available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org/
Thank you for the honor of chairing this meeting, Theresa, alcoholic, welcome newcomers.
For me Step 11 has been my refuge. When I do it daily my life is simpler and when I don’t the old ISMs seem to crop up unmercifully. If I don’t get back into the grove, it gets messy. I know when my thinking gets sticky I’ve taken back the reins and I am in trouble. Those old character defects start popping up until I remember I am not in charge and fall into line. The show runs much better when I let my higher power be in charge.
When I was new, I was challenged by this step so I started doing research on the topic, I’d go to seminars trying to find the combination that worked for me–it was a non-conference-approved book. “Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they have to offer.” Alcoholics Anonymous, p.87
It is no accident that the prayer of St. Francis is tied to this step, for if we can live by its tenets this little part of my world is better served. When I remember to add “if it be thy will” (12×12 p.102) to each and every prayer it reminds me who is in charge and that I have turned my will over to s/he/it.
We live our lives forward, trying to do the next right thing but if we look back at our lives we can see “that God ‘moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.'” (12×12 p. 105)
So, how does Step 11 work in your life? What have you learned from practicing this step? Or whatever is on your heart today.
The meeting is now open, I look forward to your shares.