|06-08-2006, 09:38 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Personal Responsibility in the Twelve Steps
Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 6:07 am Post subject: Personal Responsibility in the Twelve Steps
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE TWELVE STEPS
The Steps are a powerful statement of personal responsibility. They
call for the us to admit powerlessness over alcohol. At the same time, the
Steps ask us to act to promote recovery from alcoholism. In doing so, the
Steps strike a balance between loss of control and the our choice to
reorient our life--a balance that has guided recovery for millions of
STEP ONE asks us to accept powerlessness over alcohol and the
consequences of alcohol use. The core of this Step is loss of control--the
inability to control the amount and frequency of alcohol use. Choosing a
new way of life requires us to admit loss of control. Then, this admission
makes it possible for us to abstain from alcohol and avoid the consequences
of its use.
STEP TWO makes clear what is needed for the us to refrain from taking
the first drink: "a Power greater then ourselves."
STEP THREE asks us to act on this realization--to turn our lives and
wills over to the God of our understanding. The important point is that the
loss of control extends beyond the our compulsive use of alcohol and to our
inability to consistently abstain from alcohol. The sanity of these Steps
is that they bring the fundamental choice--to drink or not to drink--to the
foreground once the consequences of alcoholism are accepted.
Here, again, is the issue of control. In order to "turn our will and
our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him." This is done in a
spiritual way, not in a dogmatically religious or subservient way. The
Higher Power is a source of inner strength, not external controls imposed by
an outside authority. Surrendering control reflects our desire for sober
living by accepting dependence on proven principles--the Twelve Step
program. STEP FOUR asks the us to make a moral self-inventory and
squarely face the consequences of our alcoholism.
STEP FIVE asks that we share the moral inventory with another person
and with our Higher Power.
STEPS SIX AN SEVEN ask us for a willingness to have our Higher Power
remove sources of conflict--referred to as shortcomings and defects of
character. Furthermore, we must ask a Higher Power to remove these
shortcomings and defects of character.
STEPS EIGHT AND NINE ask us take full responsibility for our actions
while we were drinking by making amends to people we have harmed. These
amends can also help free us from conflicts that could trigger a relapse to
Finally, STEPS TEN, ELEVEN, and TWELVE ask us to solidify the gains
make in the preceding nine Steps. This comes through continuing to take
personal inventories, promptly admitting wrongs, improving "conscious
contact" with God through prayer and meditation, and carrying the message of
the Twelve Steps to other alcoholics.
And this above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow as night the day, thou canst not be false to any man. -Shakespeare
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
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