The 12 Steps. You’ve heard of them, you may have done them, you may be ready to do them again, you may wonder what all the fuss is about with these steps anyway.
In Chapter 5 of the Basic Text of Alcoholics Anonymous, in How It Works, there is a line that says “Here are the steps we took“. Note that it doesn’t say, “here are the steps we thought about”. The 12 Step program is a program of action. If you’ve never done them, or you are ready to do them again, or you need some coaching and discussion about what action to take, we will guide you every step of the way at Serenity Vista.
We know these steps inside out, and upside down, how they work, and why they work. You alone can do them, but you can’t do them alone. Oh, and the elevator is broken.
Below are the Original 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps of all other 12-step programs — Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Nicotine Anonymous, etc. — are all based on these original steps. When they are taken, (not talked about or pondered, but actually taken) they lead to serentiy, and a life that is not only manageable where it wasn’t before, but also joyful.
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.