Step Eleven

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve 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.


Hi, my name is Thumper and I'm a compulsive overeater. Prayer and meditation has never come natural for me. It makes me very self conscious and sometimes even a little silly. The biggest exception to that is when I'm at an OA meeting because in those situations, I'd be even more self conscious if I wasn't praying cause I'd probably be the only person there not doing it! But whether it makes me feel silly or not, I've learned from many years experience that it works. Whether or not I make conscious contact with my HP when I start my day has a direct bearing on what kind of day I am going to have. When I go through that process, no matter what kind of curves life throws me during the day, everything works out with a minimum of worry and stress on my part. And conversely, when I don't make this conscious contact, even when on the surface everything seems to have gone so well, I find myself depressed and generally unhappy with my lot in life.

So, knowing that, wouldn't you think I'd make a point of always beginning my day with this eleventh step? I wish it was so. I'm not sure what it is that's so persuasive about self-will that makes me believe that, just for the day, I'd rather run the show myself! Why would I choose misery over these few simple steps? Experience has shown me that my own decision making ability, without the help and guidance of a HP, is rather flawed, yet somewhere deep inside of me is a spoiled little brat who wants his own selfish way in life and who when he gets it, isn't happy with it anyway. It is only through the constant and consistent practice of Step Eleven that I am able to silence that spoiled brat and find any peace and serenity.

Step Eleven, like abstinence, is one of those things that gets easier and easier the more often you do it. And like abstinence, it is one of the toughest things to get back to doing once you have abandoned it. The secret, for me, is to do it every day, whether I want to or not.

Has doing all this praying and meditation turned me into a spiritual guru? I wish! : ) I pray, I meditate, and I keep my fingers crossed that those promised moments of intuition will come my way when I need them! I'm prone, when things are going well, to take credit for it. But when things take a turn for the worse, I find it so natural to say "Thy will, not mine, be done!" And my willingness to do my daily review seems to be dependent on that amount of self-will I allowed to rule me through the day and how many angers and resentments I was able to build up as a result. This step really does require me to take action at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day, and throughout the day itself. Failure to take any part of this step generally results in my having a miserable day.

The foundation of my recovery lies in the twelfth step, in my willingness to reach out a helping hand to those who still suffer. But without Step Eleven, there is no twelfth step for me because my own self-centered impulses will take over and once that happens, I have no desire or ability to be useful to others. Of all the steps, this is the one that has the greatest impact on how I feel about myself, my life, and my relationship with others and my relationship with my HP, at any specific moment.

I try to keep in mind though that the step says to "improve" our conscious contact with our HP. It doesn't ask me to do it perfectly. Although some people have been known to say "practice makes perfect," I'll settle for improvement.

Will you share your Step Eleven with us?


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