Beginning your 12-step journey

There are over 200 fellowships around the world that have adopted the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Each fellowship has adjusted the language to fit with the primary problem of its members. Within each step lies a spiritual concept and a principle that is a part of daily life.

The essence of the 12-steps is to create a change that brings a power to your life. Developing a spiritual path is the core to a fellowship’s purpose. A spiritual way of life that strengthens your resolve to overcome addictions, abuse, alcohol, self-harming behaviors and a variety of problems faced in life.

If you search, there is a definite chance, you will find a fellowship for anything. Gambling, sex, food, cigarettes, trauma, alcohol, and a fellowship for almost every type of drug. The steps direct members to the same goal, find a god of your understanding and get to know her.

The first three steps lead you to accept you do not control the problem, that a god can, but only if you ask and accept that help. These steps are the foundation to success. They can be applied to everything and anything.

The spiritual aspect of the first three steps entails developing a belief in something beyond and within you. A something that will guide you to overcome the problems in your life and develop skills to manage anything. A. A. members like to say, “I can’t. He can; I think I will let him.”

Anyone can use these principles and spiritual practices. They are not exclusive to 12-steppers. All it takes is a moment of reflection, followed by application. Spiritual practices are a great foundation to life.

For those who utilize the principals and the spiritual concepts each day, may say, living without them would be like starvation. This is not about religion and dogmatism. Nor is it about believing only one way. The path to Divinity is not a singular one, nor do you have to adhere to any rigid rules or take an oath of singularity. Only fidelity to spiritual progress and growth is important. A desire is required, as is the willingness to look beyond your current way of life.

Before you begin your journey, there are a few supplies to pick up. A notebook, spiral or loose leaf paper in a three-ring binder is good. A spiral notebook is easier to maintain, no loose pages to lose. No tearing pages out, every word stays in the book. An ink pen, pencils, or a mix of both are great to have. Using different colors, drawing, scribbling, and writing are all allowed in your notebook.

If you do not like to write, get a tape recorder, with plenty of tapes. A word-processing program with a program like Dragon Speak or the video recording on your computer are also ways to keep a note of your journey. The choice is yours, and creativity is the key.

The concept of creating a new way of life can be exciting. Expectations of success are wonderful, until problem’s crop up. Obstacles do appear no matter how well planned your journey is. Doing too much at once, or expecting your change to happen easily will stop you in your tracks.

Failure is not a block to success. It is an expected part of the journey. You have permission to make detours and u-turns The path is not straight and clear. Your worst enemy is looking back at you when you look in the mirror. Beliefs are strong, behaviors perhaps stronger. It took you years to hone the skills that have brought you to this day. This is how we learn patience, tolerance, and understanding. Mistakes are expected, and no one started out knowing how or being perfect for the task set before him or her.

Permission to falter, become angry, sad, and joyous, to be human and learn is granted. Take it easy, one day at a time In the beginning, one second at a time Take a breath in and exhale like you are blowing out a candle. Repeat three times and then get back to it. As in all things, this is about learning and practice makes perfect.

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