“The GOD Inspired Twelve Steps”
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been reprinted and adapted with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (“AAWS”). Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that Alcoholics Anonymous is affiliated with this program. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of A.A.’s Steps or an adapted version in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but which address other problems, or use in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise. Although Alcoholics Anonymous is a spiritual program, A.A. is not a religious program, and use of A.A. material in the present connection does not imply A.A.’s affiliation with or endorsement of, any sect, denomination, or specific religious belief1.
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
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
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..
Suggestions on how to practice “The GOD Inspired Twelve Steps”
Each of “The Twelve Steps” have “Equal Importance”. They are in a particular order for good reason. Let it be suggested, that you follow this order when doing your “Twelve Steps”, so that you do not interrupt this Spiritual process. Somehow, by some miraculous means, it works! Let us also suggest that the first Three Steps be done quickly, and should be completed within minutes of each other. Then, when you reach Step Four, begin at your own, comfortable pace. Each Step requires us to do something, actively, and to be physically doing something. This is not “A Process” by which we “sit back, and wait for things to happen” around us. We must be active within our community in order to improve the quality of our own lives. It is through the art of giving, by which we feel better within.
Step 1: This Step requires that we admit to oneself, to GOD, and with maybe a friend, or loved one nearby, that our life is unmanageable. Every person has an area of their life that is unmanageable (out of their control). This First Step is admitting that your life has an area from which you have “no control” over. Any area will do! Now, move on.
Step 2: This Step requires the “smallest amount” of trust, belief, and faith that GOD EXISTS. Then, we trust that in some small way, GOD WILL RESTORE us to sanity. Now, move on.
Step 3: This Step requires that we now must turn to GOD, and give HER our life. That we will try to make the best of decisions, with a pureness of heart in doing what HER WILL FOR us may be. Now, move on, while constantly being in prayer, seeking HER GUIDANCE, for the remainder of our life!
Step 4: This Step requires us to list, on paper, our character defects, i.e. stealing, lying, and cheating. This is also, where we would list our even more serious shortcomings. These are very private details, for with most of us, ONLY GOD and ourselves know the nature of our thoughts, and behaviors, until now that is. Be through! If you remember something later, you can always go back and do the steps Four - Twelve on that particular issue that you forgot. For most of us, this is the first time we have ever seen on paper, a list of all of our shortcomings. Do not leave this document around for others to read! Hide it in a safe place! There is something remarkable about the process of writing down our “shortcomings” upon paper.
Step 5: This Step requires us to take The Step Four list that we became absolutely truthful with ourselves, and most importantly with GOD about, and now we must share it with another person with whom we absolutely trust, that they will not ever share these truths about us. When we share with GOD, it “should be done” in a quiet, private place, just between GOD and our self. Then, we share our list with the trusted person. P.S. Be sure to keep your Step Four list locked away so that nobody else can read it. When we are finished with all “Twelve Steps”, we can burn this list, as this is the best option of disposal.
Please, do not choose your spouse, mate or partner. Too much harm to them would come from doing so. Choose someone else instead that you can also trust. If you do not know of someone, then possibly choose a clergy person, minister, rabbi, or such. They are “bound by law” not to share personal information. Be forewarned however, they are required to report cases of abuse to authorities.
Step 6: This Step requires us to be entirely ready, and humble enough, to have GOD REMOVE those defects in our character, to let go of those defects that we enjoy having sometimes.
Step 7: This Step requires that we ask GOD a favor, humbly please, TO REMOVE our shortcomings. Then, we must have faith that GOD WILL REMOVE our shortcomings (character defects); those that GOD FINDS that somehow stand in the way of our being useful to those around us. This does not necessarily mean those that we find annoying, possibly even harmful, or even destructive. Then, every so often, as you see necessary, continue, to ask GOD, asking HER TO HELP you to REMOVE the very same shortcoming(s) that we asked HER TO REMOVE earlier, in addition to any other new shortcomings that you have.
Step 8: This Step requires us to refer to our Step Four list, to get the names of persons or institutions we have harmed. Then, we reflect upon our life so far, and we compile a list of those whom we have harmed, and put those harms down on paper. We may say to ourselves, or to others, that “So and so hurt me by doing such and such”. This may be true, however, we are to find “our part” in each situation, or “what harm did I cause there” in each situation. Those are, some of “the things”, that we must list also. Very rarely are we truly a “victim” in a situation. There are cases when we are “harmed”, sometimes terribly, and we had “no-fault”. We should not list those. We then share this “harms list”, just as we did in Step Five. We take this “harms list” that we became absolutely truthful with ourselves, and most importantly with God about, and now we must share it with another person with whom we absolutely trust, that they will not ever share these truths about us. When we share with GOD, it should once again, be done in a quiet, private place, just between GOD and our self. Then, we share our list with the same trusted person that we had in Step Four, if at all possible. Once again, there is something truly remarkable about the process of writing down our shortcomings, harms, and amends upon paper. For some people, it becomes a daily habit.
Be sure to keep the Step Four and Step Eight lists locked away so that nobody else can read them. When we are finished with “The GOD Inspired Twelve Steps”, we can burn those lists, as this will be the best option of disposal. However, keep in mind; we continue to practice “These Steps” on a daily basis. We will always have small harms, or shortcomings, that we will continue to work on in our life.
Step 9: This Step requires us to make direct amends to each person, or institution, that we have harmed. Some amends take many years to make, while others happen quickly. Some amends “cannot be made”, because it is either financially impossible, or making the amends will cause harm to them, or those around them, or even to you. Some amends simply “cannot be made”, except by making sure that we do not ever harm like that again. There are amends too, that “should be made” to someone who has now “passed away”. For those types, a simple amends letter tied to a helium balloon would be sufficient. For those others for which “no amends is possible”, simply having had the willingness to do so will need to be sufficient, before GOD, and for you.
Step 10: This Step requires us to take a daily inventory. Often, people will do this upon awakening each morning, while others prefer to do it upon retiring at night. Either way, reflecting upon our daily life will help us to locate harms we have made, and not let “them” go very long, without an amends “being made” to correct the harm. Some people prefer putting pencil to paper and writing out their harms, while others do a good job of keeping track in their heads. Whichever works best for you? This is about keeping “Your side of the street clean”, and not about changing the ways that other people are. We simply “cannot” change anyone else. We can only change ourselves.
Step 11: This Step requires that we, on a daily basis, actively seek through prayer and meditation “to improve our conscious contact with GOD, as we understand HER, praying only for the knowledge of HER WILL for us, and the power to carry that out.” Remember, it is okay to pray to GOD, asking a selfish type of prayer, if by doing so, it will be of benefit to those around us. Otherwise, it is best to pray only for the needs of others.
Step 12: This Step requires that we carry this works to others. To “share with others”, what we have been “so graciously given”, and then to practice “These Steps” in all of our affairs. Faith in GOD, without works of charity, is dead faith. For how can a person have such wonderful things bestowed upon them, but never have the desire to share them.