12 Steps

The AA Twelve Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The following are examples to alternatives to the above approved steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Kindly note that we do not endorse or use these at our meeting, we provide them merely as a courtesy, and for personal and instructive purposes.

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Agnostic Twelve Steps

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol―that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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“A Humanist Alternative to A.A.’s 12 Steps” by B. F. Skinner (Harvard University)
From July/August 1987 Humanist Magazine.

1. We accept the fact that all our efforts to stop drinking have failed.
2. We believe that we must turn elsewhere for help.
3. We turn to our fellow men and women, particularly those who have struggled with the same problem.
4. We have made a list of the situations in which we are most likely to drink.
5. We ask our friends to help us avoid those situations.
6. We are ready to accept the help they give us.
7. We honestly hope they will help.
8. We have made a list of the persons we have harmed and to whom we hope to make amends.
9. We shall do all we can to make amends, in any way that will not cause further harm.
10. We will continue to make such lists and revise them as needed.
11. We appreciate what our friends have done and are doing to help us.
12. We, in turn, are ready to help others who may come to us in the same way.

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SOS 12 Statements (by an SOS member, note SOS does not use steps)

1. I have a life threatening problem. My past efforts to establish sobriety have been unsuccessful. I believe that I have choices and that my life no longer need be unmanageable. I accept responsibility for myself and my recovery.
2. I believe that a power within myself in tandem with supports and strengths beyond my own awareness and resources can restore me to a healthier, more balanced, and positive state of mind, body and soul.
3. I make a decision to entrust my will and life to the care of myself, the collective wisdom of those who have struggled with the same problem, and those in support of me.
4. I make a searching and fearless inventory of myself, of my strengths and weaknesses. I choose not to permit problems to overwhelm me, rather to focus on personal growth and the unconditional acceptance of others and myself.
5. I admit to myself, and if I choose, to another person or persons the exact nature of the negative, injurious aspects of my thinking and behavior. I explore the goodness within myself: the positive, courageous, and compassionate.
6. I focus on healing, abolishing self-blame and shame, and understanding the boundaries of my responsibilities. I remain open to the help and support of others as I address the challenge of change.
7. I embrace introspection and work towards alleviating my shortcomings. I strive for personal growth and fulfillment over perfection, and to become integrated with collective humanness.
8. I will consider those that I have harmed and those that have harmed me. I will become willing to explore my feelings regarding those harms.
9. I will make direct amends, as I deem appropriate and not injurious, to those whom I have harmed or negatively impacted and to myself.
10. I will continue sincere and meaningful self-evaluation, and strive for personal betterment.
11. I will seek to improve my awareness and understanding of myself, my addiction, and of other individuals and organizations with the common goal of arresting alcohol addiction.
12. With newfound acceptance and insight I will try to keep awareness, and compassion for others and myself, in the fore.

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Pagan Steps

1. We admitted we had a problem and that we were squandering our power.
2. Came to believe we could realign the power within and the power without such that each served to enhance the other.
3. Made a decision to connect the powers within and without and see them as One.
4. Took an intelligent look at our behavior, seeing its relationship to family patterns and dysfunctional culture.
5. Shared our searching with others, seeking feedback.
6. Made myself ready and willing to let go of old patterns.
7. Learned to ask for help.
8. Made a list of harm done, and searched for ways to restore balance.
9. Carried out rectification and balancing wherever possible.
10. Made the commitment to continue the process of recovery, knowing that change takes time.
11. Pursued the strengthening of our connection with the web of life through appropriate activity and spiritual practice.
12. Having experienced a stabilized change from our awakening, we sought to help others along the path.
13. I examine my life story and my addiction (and codependency) in the context of my role in a patriarchal, capitalistic system.?
14. I use the events life brings as lessons for growth and accept my mistakes as part of my humanness.
15. We grow in our awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things and, when ready, take an active part in helping the planet become a better place for all people including ourselves.

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THE 12 (suggested) STEPS OF “12 STEP FREE”

1. We admitted we could exert significant power in our lives – that our lives can become very manageable.
2. Came to believe that exerting our power could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to use our will meaningfully.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our strengths.
5. Admitted to ourselves and to other human beings where appropriate the exact nature of the good in us.
6. Were entirely ready to remove from our lives all unsavory characters with excessive defects.
7. Humbly asked ourselves to forgive our own shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we wanted out of our lives and became willing to pay the price in shunning and rejection from them all.
9. Made direct amends to ourselves for falling for stepper hype.
10. Continued to take personal inventory of our strengths and when we found a new one promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through posting on 12SF and new activities and new friendships to improve our conscious contact with real human beings as we understood them, posting only for knowledge of how people can screw you over and the power to move on.
12. Having had a newfound awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message of true friendliness to people of our choosing and to practice these principles in all our affairs – if we choose to have affairs.

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A Witch’s 12-Step Program

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (drugs) and that our lives had become unmanagable.
2. Came to believe that the Goddess could restore our balance.
3. Made a decision to use our will to turn our lives over to the care of the Goddess, as we understand Her.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Laid our harmful thoughts and behaviors at the altar of the Goddess, submitting to Her gaze, and our own gaze, and that of another Priest/ess.
6. Were entirely ready to excise these harmful thoughts and behaviors through consecrated service to the Goddess.
7. Humbly offered our harmful thoughts and behaviors as a sacrifice to the Goddess and Her service.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to balance our Karma.
9. Balanced our Karma with such people wherever possible, except when to do so would incur greater karmic debt.
10. Continue to bring our human mistakes to the altar of the Goddess for Her sacrificial service, as soon as we have awareness of such.
11. Sought, through prayer, meditation, ritual and observance of the Wheel of the Year to improve our concious contact with the Goddess as we understand Her, praying for strength of will, and the conviction and power to carry our will AND IT HARM NONE.
12. Having has a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we offer this message to any Witch who asks, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Adaption copyright: Morningstar, 1993.

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A Wiccan 13-Step Path

1. We admit that we have a problem with _____, and NOW is the moment to reclaim our Will and Balance.
2. We come to believe that the Goddess and Magick, outside and within, can restore our Balance and Will, so that we may feel whole again.?
3. We will become open to receiving help from the Goddess, and from others who want to understand.
4. We name the Darkness and the Light; the weaknesses and the strengths, within us, and recognize where they have become disruptive; we realize that ______ cannot fill our void or restore our Balance.
5. We seek to restore Balance, and learn to let go of that which disrupts us.
6. We make a list of ways we have acquiesced to oppression and repression, and how this has caused us to harm ourselves and others.
7. We will say NO to these oppressive and repressive ways, and attempt to live in Balance.
8. We become open to change, and realize that it is necessary to cultivate patience.
9. Having experienced these changes, we continually seek Balance in our lives through our connection with the Web of Life.
10. We continue to be conscious of our Will, our actions and our thoughts; acknowledging our mistakes, and enjoying our successes.
11. We use the events life brings us as lessons for growth, and accept our mistakes as part of life.
12. We believe that we are doing the best that we can, in the Now, and this is enough.
13. We accept ourselves the way we are, trust ourselves, and deeply realize that health, happiness, freedom and love are Her rituals.

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THE NINE-STEP FREEDOM TRAIL

1) We came to feel enslaved by excessive behaviors which were harmful to us, throwing our health and relationships out of balance through
addictions, compulsions, or both.
2) We realized that resources were available to help us win our freedom, if we were willing to use them.
3) We became willing to reach out for help, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
4) We sought help from our Deities, fellow humans, healers, clergy, groups, or whatever source necessary, to aid us toward freedom and health.
5) We established a pattern of life-affirming behaviors, avoiding the sorts of isolation which would make us vulnerable to relapses, creating a foundation of supports which could help us recover from whatever lapses we might have.
6) We considered, acknowledged, and took full responsibility for the harm we had done to others and ourselves in the time of our slavery.
7) We considered and discussed with a neutral adult, the harm we had done, and how we might make restitution or otherwise restore balance, facing the fact that in some situations no direct redress was possible.
8) Where possible, and using whatever supports necessary, we endeavored to restore balance in those situations and relationships previously harmed by our servitude to addiction or compulsion.
9) Remaining constructively vigilant in our self-regard, we continued to grow strong in health and freedom, eventually becoming a source of support for others seeking to bring their own lives into healthy balance.

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Spiral Steps

1. We admitted that we had a problem and made the decision to reclaim our lives.
2. We came to believe that there was hope for healing, health and balance.
3. We now honor our connection with the divine, as we understand it, and we accept the process of change.
4. We make a searching, fearless and honest inventory of our behavior and beliefs. We consider their effect on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves and their impact on our relations with others.
5. We admit to ourselves and to another human being what is both healthy and unhealthy in our lives and we make a daily commitment to heal ourselves in body, mind and spirit.
6. We are willing to seek our Highest Good and to grow both spiritually and emotionally.
7. We let go of dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors and we consciously welcome joy, love and peace into our lives.
8. We make a list of all beings we have harmed, including ourselves, and we become willing to make amends to them all.
9. We work to restore balance in our lives. We make direct amends to others wherever possible and we value and care for ourselves.
10. We continue to take personal inventory and promptly acknowledge both our mistakes and our achievements whenever they occur.
11. We continue to grow in compassion, strength and understanding. We learn to celebrate our lives and our connection to all living things.
12. Having had a spiritual and emotional awakening, we work to help others along the path and we practice these principles in all our affairs.
13. We seek to find our calling and to develop the will and the wisdom to follow it.

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John L’s Steps for Recovery From Alcoholism

1. We admitted that we were alcoholics — that we suffered from an addiction which is invariably fatal unless arrested.

2. We hoped for recovery from our addiction.

3. We committed ourselves to lifelong abstinence, staying away from the first drink, a day at a time.

4. We joined a fellowship of recovering alcoholics, who help each other maintain sobriety.

5. We honestly evaluated our lives, acknowledging both our strengths and our weaknesses.

6. We did our best to build on our strengths and to overcome our weaknesses.

7. We got our lives in order — dealt with the wreckage of the past — made amends whenever feasible.

8. We strived to be in good health: We stopped smoking, exercised, got enough rest, and ate nutritious food.

9. We determined to live in the real world, here and now, whether pleasant or painful. We pledged allegiance to reason and evidence, rather than superstition and dogma.

10. We abstained from mind-altering drugs, including those prescribed by physicians.

11. We continued to share our experience, strength and hope with other recovering alcoholics.

12. We carried the message of sobriety to alcoholics who were still drinking.

— John L. (sober since February 1968)
7 December 2010.

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By Julian Taber, PhD
“Here are the basic concepts I find in the Twelve Steps:
1. Admission of weakness and loss of control.
2. Humility, obedience and submission to reality.
3. Acceptance of guidance, concern, and help from others.
4. The determination to gain self-knowledge and understanding.
5. Confession and acceptance of past errors.
6. A passionate desire to set things right with others.
7. A willingness to work to change and improve.
8. Making actual, meaningful study of those harmed in the past.
9. Making actual, meaningful restitution in full.
10. Life-long self-study, growth, and positive change.
11. Study and awareness of all the forces that control life.
12. Compassion and service to others.

“-So, the goal is to learn to live a life based on obedience to an unalterable higher order of things, upon honesty, discipline, simplicity, compassion, humility, service, and abstinence.
Nature itself, although always our higher power, does willingly reveal its secrets to those who ask simple, honest questions in the search for measurable results.”

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2 thoughts on “12 Steps

  1. Dr. Bob’s Final Words for AA

    “Our twelve steps when simmered down to the last resolve themselves into the words love and service. We understand what love is and we understand what service is so let’s bear those two things in mind. Let us all remember to guard that erring member the tongue and if we must use it let’s use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance. And one more thing … none of us would be here today if somebody hadn’t taken the time to explain things to us; to give us a little pat on the back; to take us to a meeting or two; to do numerous little kind and thoughtful acts on our behalf. So let us never get such a degree of smug complacency that we’re not willing to extend or attempt to extend to our less fortunate brothers and sisters that help which has been beneficial to us.”

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