Step Twelve

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."


Step Twelve Contents:

Part 1 and Questions for journaling
Part 2 and Questions for journaling
Part 3 and Questions for journaling
 
 

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Step Twelve ~ Part 1

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."

THE TWELFTH STEP PRAYER

"Dear God, My spiritual awaking continues to unfold.  The help I have received I shall pass on and give to others, both in and out of the Fellowship.  For this opportunity I am grateful.  I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day on the road of spiritual progress.  I pray for the inner strength and wisdom to practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say.  I need You, my friends, and the Program every hour of every day.  This is a better way to live."

The Twelfth step is really in three parts..and I will write on the first part..so ..it begins, "Having had a spiritual awakening as the results of these Steps"...Now that says alot and we might spend the rest of our lives discovering just how much.  Our part is waking up to who we really are and becoming aware of our relationship with a Higher Power.

Before OA, I went to church and had a strong belief in God...but it was a religious God.  After months of attending f2f meetings, I was still judgmental of the members that also attended... all I saw was "FAT" people sitting around a table talking about a Higher Power and how He was helping them.  All I could think about was, "If He is helping you so much...why aren't you thin?"  Well...HP heard me and gave me a challenge...One evening, I was tempted to overeat and did so...saw myself in a mirror "stuffing" my face and   became thoroughly disgusted...dropped to my knees and prayed - at that moment - HP heard my cry and sent a message (about AA) through a television commercial...Then a phone call from an OA member....I felt the warmth of my Higher Power arms around me and knew all was going to be okay...I felt like I had experienced an awakening just as Bill W did when he founded AA.  That's when my spirituality was born.

The Steps of the program has taken me through surrender, self-examination, willingness to let go of my own character defects, and the sincere attempt to make amends where needed in order to improve my relationships with other people.  I feel I received a wonderful gift by
being awakened to who I really am and becoming aware of my relationship WITH a Higher Power.

A Spiritual awakening doesn't occur just because we want it... Sometimes the awakening happens suddenly, but more often it is a gradual process.  There are some things that can be done in preparation. We can contact other people, who has spiritual strength in their lives...we also need to have an open mind and if there has been preoccupation with material
needs and desires...we need to wake up to the fact that we may have been missing something.  A spiritual awakening may come when we are bored and feel suffocated by our attempts to satisfy a physical craving...I feel that is what happened to me.  I knew I had reached a dead end road...hit bottom...and my Higher Power showed me through that TV commercial...an alternate route.  When I accepted the challenge (which the spirit offered) I found answers to boredom and emptiness...and days that were blurred with overeating were replaced with new activities and experiences.

There are times, the connection with my Higher Power isn't as strong as I would like...but when there isn't that "connecting feeling"... He isn't the one that moved...I AM.  When I keep the connection on a daily basis - Which I try to do with prayer - ALL goes well!

Here are some questions!
 
 

Step Twelve ~ Part 1: Questions

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."

1.  The longer we are around the program, the more firmly we believe that the spiritual awakening is what triggers all of our improvements.  When you worked Step twelve, was your spiritual awakening sudden or gradual?

Does your body and emotions have a new life and spirit...if so...how...if not...why?

2.  Abstinence from the kind and quantity of food that was slowly but surely destroying us means that we can feel good physically.  After an abstinent day, did you wake up the next morning alert and alive, with inner joy?

Did you experience emotions again which have been suppressed by eating excess food and calories?

3. Waking up is full of surprises! Did you realize that many of your old ideas had become excess baggage?

Did you decide to get rid of them?

Did you also discover that you might be better off without some of the people you thought you needed, and that you were turned into an individual that you formerly did not  understand?

"The purpose of praying and meditating is to keep our minds receptive to guidance."

Thank You and Hugs til' next time!

Sunny
 
 

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Step Twelve ~ Part 2

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."

Carrying the message to other compulsive overeaters and sharing the new life I found in O.A. is a way for me giving service, and at the same time continuing my own growth and recovery.  When I work with a newcomer, I hear and see myself as I used to be.  I am reminded of who I was and where I came from.  Telling someone else about the program
reinforces my own conviction of its importance in my life.  I have an active participation in face-to-face meetings, and make frequent telephone calls - not expecting return calls - because making calls doesn't mean I will receive any.  Other ways one can share the program is to provide program literature to read, listing meetings in the area, offering a ride to a meeting, chairing a meeting, and be a good listener to anyone that needs help.

Sometime our enthusiasm for O.A. is met with skepticism, and we can assume that person is not ready to hear about the program.  But...at the very least, there has been a seed planted, and who knows when (or if) it will bear fruit?  But we would have done our part in carrying the message, whether or not it is favorably received.

Basically...the O.A. program is one of attraction rather than promotion...and it is not for everyone...ONLY FOR THOSE WHO WANT IT!  When we are working the steps, we are walking examples of the program in action!
 

Step Twelve ~ Part 2: Questions

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."


1.  How were you introduced to O.A. or the Loop, and are you reluctant to talk about it to people not familiar with the program?  Are you hesitant to talk about a Higher Power and spiritual aspects of the program?

2.  Did you embrace the program immediately, or was there a period of time required before you were convinced that O.A. could help you?

3.  Do you make an effort to talk to newcomers that come into the program?  Do you share on an increasingly deep and meaningful level with your program friends?  Do you sponsor or give guidance with the steps?

4.  If you have benefited from the time and attention that a friend and sponsor, who has been patient and helpful with your efforts to maintain abstinence and follow the steps, do you pass along the same patient assistance to another compulsive eater?

Together we can do what we cannot do alone!  We can only share what we have! YOU can share only what YOU have...

Good Luck and Thank You,

Love,Sunny
 


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Step Twelve ~ Part 3

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."

The third part of this step is "and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

Wow...quite a job to undertake...to practice these principles in all our affairs. This is naturally what we strived for in Step Twelve... but, I know I will never perfectly achive it.  Some days I do feel the satisfaction of making progress...and then there are other days I might feel I am temporarily losing ground.  But with the program, I get a framework for actions...decisions...and plans... which IS a goal to aim for but sometimes missed.  The principles gradually become part of my personality and, because they work, they have a marked influence on how I think and act each day.

Honesty is so important!  It was so hard for me to admit I had a problem with food. After all, food was an object and ridiculous to not have power over it...but when I did finely admit there WAS a problem and I WAS powerless...and MY life WAS definately unmanageable and a mess...That WAS the beginning of my honesty...first with myself...and as a result...honest with other people. I didn't have to fake anything anymore...because I knew I was accepted in O.A., by everyone, just as I am...and also didn't have to worry about pleasing someone else.  I learned that turning over, what I could not handle, didn't mean that I do nothing and expect God to do  everything for me.  I knew I had to do the footwork ~ for example ~ having and writing a food plan,  making telephone calls, being of service in any way, and now I belong to several groups on the internet.  To do anything I can...but trust a Higher Power to take care of the out come.

Practice the principles means that I do what I need to do in order to abstain from eating compulsively...and live in harmony with myself and those around me.  It means I allow others to think for themselves.... feel their own feelings....and live their own lives.  It also means that I must be honest at home, at work, as well as in O.A. meetings...or here on the Loop.  It means that I need to apoligize when I make a mistake or if I hurt someone else...in any way.

Best of all ~ Practicing the principles of the Twelve Step program, means that life takes on a new meaning and new joy!
 

Step Twelve ~ Part 3: Questions

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters,
and to practice these principals in all our affairs."

1.  When you were overeating, how much time did you spend daydreaming about a fantasy future or worrying about impending disaters?  Did you hash and rehash past problems?

2.  Were you and are you honest with yourself and your sponsor about your feelings and behavior with what you're eating?

3.  How often are you fully alert to the present moment?  Do you cling to regrets and resentments?

4.  Knowing you do not have to spoil today with worry about what you might not have tomorrow ~ do you feel you will ever have perfect security?  Do you stay in contact with your Higher Power throughout each day and live One Day At A Time...just 24 hour?

Remember ~ the message we can share with other Compulsive Eaters is ~ we can live each day without excess food, provided we concentrate on TODAY ~ NOW ~ this MOMENT!

Love to all,

Sunny

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