Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The 12 Steps: A historic and analytic explanation

Series continued from January 29, 2009

"First Step"

Last month I decided to share this series I received some time ago. It breaks the 12 Steps down in a totally different way then how we are used to hearing it. Yes, I know, and I’ll say it again, the 12 steps aren’t for everyone; but it does work for many. I will run this series on the last Thursday of each month. So mark your calendars now. For those of you that are like me and just can’t wait a month for the next episode, you can get your very own copy of this series in a printable ebook of ‘The 12 Step Workbook” - just click on the book.

“I realize I'm stuck. It makes no sense to keep trying to solve my problems with "solutions" that aren't working.”

Original wording (AA):We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.
Codependency:We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.
Generic version:We admitted we were powerless over things we believed we should control -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
A new beginning
Somebody once said: If the only tool you have is a hammer, you try to solve everything by hammering.
Well, if the hammer is not solving the problem, it may very well be time to try something else.

The problem is, you may feel that the hammer really should be working… that it will actually work if you just try a little longer… There’s nothing wrong with persistence. But Step One introduces another consideration: accountability.

It’s not enough to just say: I believe it will work one day if I just keep trying. You need to set goals and deadlines. Not for the sake of putting pressure on yourself… but in order to face the reality of what is happening.

Step One is looking squarely at reality. If what you’re doing is not working, you acknowledge that. When you do, you are left with a feeling of emptiness – you don’t know what to do, or even whether there is a solution. It can be really scary. Surprisingly, the emptiness allows you to make room for new, unexpected ideas.
Will these steps work for me?

Self-knowledge is helpful when you want to make changes in your life. The "proactive 12 steps" will help you gain self knowledge. This, in turn, will help you make the changes you want.
But don’t just take my word for it. Keep track of what’s happening. Periodically ask yourself whether you are making progress. This means that you need to give some thought to how you will define and evaluate progress.

What if you’re dealing with addiction? When people say that the “twelve steps” helped them deal with addiction, they do not mean that they just read the steps. They credit twelve steps meetings and the peer support they provide. Even peer support may not be enough. If your habits are endangering yourself or others, you may need to see a qualified professional or go to a rehab program.

The first step is about facing the reality of your situation. It makes no sense to keep trying to solve problems with "solutions" that can't work. Whenever you realize this, you need to look for a different approach.

In other words, the first step is not just the beginning of this process. It is an attitude. It is about staying grounded in reality as you keep track of your progress.

To read daily motivations visit or to receive daily motivations via email join our Google group Back To The Basics Please

(Usual disclaimer applies: The suggestions on this blog are just that “SUGGESTIONS.” My words cannot heal your pain and or addictions. Nor can I change your life. Only you can.)

“Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness." -- Shakti Gawain

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." President Barack Obama - 44th President of the United States of America 2009

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