Dear Fellow Travelers,
Step Twelve Essay
A water butt is of no use unless it allows the rainwater that collects within it to run out. If the water were unable to flow it would become stagnant and incapable of sustaining life.
So it is with the knowledge and teachings of the 12 steps.
Just knowing and understanding the principles and the message of OA is not enough, we have to practice them in our everyday lives. Procrastination is a common characteristic of the disease and ironically a word I had never heard of until joining OA.
Although many of us entered through the doors of OA in search of an answer to our increasing waistline, in working through steps one to eleven we have received far more. We have learned that we cannot make this journey alone, we have discovered that there is a power greater than ourselves that can do for us that which we cannot do for ourselves. We have learned to examine ourselves with honesty and a willingness to make amends for our shortfalls, and more importantly we have learned to forgive those who have trespassed against us; more to the point we have learned to forgive ourselves.
We have become adept at recognizing our needs and willing to set boundaries in the areas of our lives where they are necessary for our recovery. We have learned to face changes and challenges with confidence and courage. We have learned to put our former traits behind us and embrace new qualities to enhance our journeys and our lives. We have learned to accept failures as learning curves and building blocks upon which to create a steadfast foundation for our recovery. We have learned to love others and ourselves unconditionally; we have learned to cleave to God and the principles of the program for our sustenance.
In essence not only have we found physical recovery; in all its forms, but we have experienced a spiritual and emotional recovery too.
Like the rainwater, we will only retain all that we have become if we let it flow from us. The life giving properties remain only as long as the message is tendered to those who still suffer and those who have not yet realized they are suffering. Taking one day at a time we are being asked to apply what we have learned through God and the twelve steps and to deliver the good news and hope to those who still suffer.
Remember "The Dead Sea is the Dead Sea, because it continually receives and never gives." ~ Source Unknown