Archive for category Step 12

Get a life…

Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk 1915 - 1968The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived.

- Thomas Merton

Sure, I had heard about spirituality and living a spiritual life but I paid little attention to it. What could it possibly have to do with me? What could it do for me that I couldn’t do for myself? As the consequences of my addictive behaviors grew and swept away everything I thought I had accomplished I felt a deep hopelessness and despair. I truly understood the phrase ‘incomprehensible demoralization’, used in the book, Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous provided me with the tools to begin living this spiritual life which is the solution to my problem.

The 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a spiritual program of action, not a program of study or discussion. Going to meetings and talking about recovery is not sufficient. The spiritual principles I experience when working Steps 1 – 9 must continue to be put into action in Steps 10 – 12. This is a daily process of being present in each moment in a spiritual way. My humility, gratitude, tolerance and love exist only in this moment, not yesterday and not tomorrow but right here, right now. Contrary to a sometimes misunderstood term used in AA these are not spiritual tools laid at my feet to be used when times are tough. They become part of me, of who I am, to be used in every and all aspects of my life. They are my life; my spiritual life.

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Service

“I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. I sought my God, but my God eluded me. I sought my brother and I found all three …”

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The results of a scientific, 10 year study recently published in a special issue of the journal ‘Substance Abuse’ finds that recovering alcoholics who help others in 12-Step programs furthers their own time sober, consideration for others, step-work and long term meeting attendance. Wow! No sh*t? More than 10 years ago an AA speaker named Don P., from Denver, CO said that if you wanted to get closer to God, get closer to his children. This idea is well known to any newcomer with a sponsor. It is the foundation for the AA program of recovery. Throughout the book it is suggested that the reason we work the steps is to have a spiritual experience which allows for an entire psychic change. Being spiritually fit we are able to help others. By helping others we enlarge our spiritual life. This is a design for living that works.

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Ellie Wiesel on Gratitude

Ellie Wiesel is a Buchenwald concentration camp survivor, writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner. In the photo he is in the second row, 7th from the left. This quote is from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.

We know that every moment is a moment of grace, every hour an offering; not to share them would mean to betray them. Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately.

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Service

a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

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Find Yourself

a quote from Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

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The Seeker

A Sufi story…

Past the seeker, as he prayed, came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them, the holy one went down into deep prayer and cried, “Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?”

And out of the long silence, God said: “I did do some­thing about them. I made you.”

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