Well, here we are at the wrap up of a process that has culminated in a spiritual awakening. The word I like in this step is ďtriedĒ. It reminds me that I donít have to carry the message or practice these principles perfectly, or completely, but I need to try and do the best I can. I believe the program adage ďyou canít keep it unless you give it awayĒ. Service is a powerful principle of living life on a spiritual basis.
For me, carrying the message has been an area of great fulfillment, and has given my life a real sense of purpose. Iíve always liked qualifying in a meeting, helping other OAs work the steps, sharing about my reliance upon a higher power when I meet up with people who are struggling with faith. I took an intergroup commitment for which I did graphic design work, and wrote articles for the Metro Memo of my city. I take service commitments at some of the meetings I attend regularly. The funny thing about taking service commitments is that ability to assume responsibility is progressive just like recovery is. There was a time I could not envision myself taking any kind of a service commitment. Especially being the treasurer of a meeting. Now it feels very easy for me. Have patience with yourself when it comes to what you feel ready to do. That has applied to me also with directly sponsoring people. Someone it feels like something I really want to do, sometimes what Iím dealing with in my life just doesnít have room for regular contact with a sponsee. I donít berate myself in those instances, I can do other easier things to help OA.
On the topic of ď12 steppingĒ others, Iíve had some nice experiences with that. Iíve never really introduced OA to anyone who hadnít practically confessed to me that they want relief from their deadly addiction to food. Once at an AA weekend retreat I met someone who was a suffering Coca Cola addict, I shared my experience with OA with this person, and saw him come into OA, have geat recovery. Many times Iíll be chatting with a person carrying a large amount of excess weight, and in conversation they will mention that they once went to OA. That is my opening to share that I am currently an active member of OA. It has never been my practice to introduce the topic of OA to someone who I think needs it. Along the lines of the slogan ďOA is for people who want it, not people who need itĒ, when I hear someone mention, with regret, that they attended OA once but didnít continue, thatís my sign that they might be interested knowing that I have experience with OA.
In conclusion, I will share what I believe to be true for me, and others who have been given the gift of relief from the suffering of untreated addiction. If I am in recovery, and I also have a paying job, I really have two jobs. Recovery is a job, and sharing the message, being a power of example takes time and effort. I have work to do to share the miracle of recovery with others if Iíve been given that gift myself. Itís job that pays me immeasurable dividends. In this way, I practice the 12th step of Overeaters Anonymous.
Questions for reflection:
Having completed this 12 week step study, do you feel youíve had a spiritual awakening? What has been awakened in you as a result of working these steps for the past three months?
We all have areas of service we are comfortable with, and those that we are not comfortable with. Share on the area of service that, just for today, you are comfortable with and how that helps you in your life?
If you are convinced, finally, that no one expects us to do any of this perfectly, what area of 12 step work would you consider trying, that you havenít tried before?
In loving service,
I hope you are appreciating what a great personal achievement it is to go through all 12 steps of this program. It shows both self-care, humility, and respect for the opportunity God has given you to do the best job possible at this life.
If you recall, when I started this step study, I shared that I wasnít in a very ďtidyĒ place with regards to my abstinence. At the time, thatís all I could see, that my food wasnít squeaky clean and I was still carrying some extra weight.
Doing the first three steps with you was a very reassuring experience for me because it helped me remember what I still believe to be true, that thereís a way out of the stress of the disease, and I donít have to figure it all out myself. It gave me a chance to share with some of you individually, and impart some hope and confidence that it works if we work it. It reinforced my personal slogan, where thereís life, thereís hope.
Reading your shares really helped me get perspective on my own perfectionism. The more I read the more I became accepting of myself and my less than perfect ways. I think that was the biggest gift of this experience, that I came to see myself as a woman with something to offer, even it Iím not doing it all perfectly.
You helped me a great deal. Thank you so much. I needed it. God bless you all.
The Twelve Steps