Those who have been faithful to the end will reap the greatest benefits from the program. It has always been a little beyond me to understand how people could call themselves working the program when they haven't done the Twelve Steps. After all, this is a Twelve Step program. There are many tools, but the Steps are the essence, the sine qua non of the program.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive eaters, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
I don't know how to have a spiritual awakening without experiencing it. Long did I rationalize that such a thing was simply more emotion rampant, and I had enough emotions to deal with as it was. Or at least to stuff.
But early into program I discovered that I was having a spiritual experi- ence. In fact, I am still having it, day by day. I have had to face the old feelings that seemed so horrible, but I faced them with the strength of my Higher Power. I was given grace upon grace. I was overwhelmed with love. So now I believe it is my duty to tell others about this wonderful program of ours. I do this in several ways. The preferred one is by attrac- tion. I have been given a great gift, and it is a gift not to be hidden under a bushel. When I share my ESH, I am twelve stepping. This is one reason why I have led the step workshop so many times (well, three, anyway).
It has worked for me, and worked so well, and I just know it can for anyone who is willing to be honest and willing to work the steps.
Practicing all these principles in all our affairs means to me that I am not concerned merely with abstinence. I do have to have abstinence, or my words would ring hollow. But full recovery means bringing the fruits of that spiritual awakening to every part of my life. And the feedback I get from family and friends makes me think that I'm on the right track. Nowa- days, I almost never fly into a rage, for example. I try always to speak of my own ESH, and not just hand out genial advice. I can say that after nearly ten years of abstinence and program, I can look back and see for myself how much my Higher Power has done for me. And I can see that I was honest and willing enough to let this happen. It didn't take much, just a little, and HP got a foot in the door.
One of the best ways I know of to actually work the Twelfth Step in life is to sponsor. Now that you've given the Steps a whirl, you aren't a grad- uate. You have to keep on giving back, so more will come. So give Patt and Cate a break, and sponsor next quarter. I am going to.
STEP TWELVE ~ QUESTIONS
1. I kept a journal during the time of my beginning, and can look back and
see the spiritual revolution which took place in my life during those first
months. Could you share some of your story about your spiritual awak-
ening, and what it has meant to you? A short book will suffice.:=)
2. What plans are you making as a part of working this step to carry the
message of recovery to those still suffering?
3. Have you been able to see some changes in your life as a result of tak-
ing the Steps? Could you share some of these with the rest of us?
Thank you for letting me lead this quarter. It has been a privilege to work
Be Realistic, Plan for a Miracle.