we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Step 12

Any step with a 1 in you can do by yourself. Anyone can be honest, reflect on their day, help someone else or meditate.

As I sat in a meeting last night we spoke about step 10, daily inventories. I thanked the speaker for providing their spin on the 12 steps. The words god, spiritual, higher power, he, steps and many others can be foreboding. And actually the interpretation of what you have to do for those steps varies quite widely. It’s your programme not your fellowships.

But the basic premise can be boiled down to the principles. And leaving behind my own interpretation, when I look at the principles, rather than my own interpretation, the principles provide a much clearer path and way of living than not sticking to the principles.

Principles of the 12 Steps

It seemed like a tall order and we couldn’t do it all at once. Many of the principles of the steps; we can apply immediately to our lives. We don’t need to wait for the steps to complete to begin putting things in motion.

I often ask myself the following questions:

  • Was I emotionally and ruthlessly honest with myself today?
  • Did I put my trust in something or someone else today?
  • What did I do today to put my recovery first?
  • Did I have the courage to admit I was wrong about something today?
  • Was I willing to let go of that wrong?
  • Was I willing to let something or someone help me?
  • Did I ask for forgiveness for something I did wrong?
  • Did I show or tell someone I loved them today?
  • Did I stick to what I needed to do today?
  • Am I still committed to change? Am I willing to go to any lengths?
  • Did I meditate, pray, or shout out my hopes to the invisible nothingness?
  • Did I help someone in need today? Did I speak to someone else as a friend?

This can seem like a lot, but in fact only takes 20mins or less of my day. The actions become natural overtime.

I’ve long thought of my balance between fellowship and service. And self will and unity. And fellowship, service, unity and step work.

It’s a hard balance. I seem to prioritise service and step work above all else. As I don’t believe service isn’t a result of the steps at number 12, but part of working then. And in particular, service leads to spiritual awakening. How long had I only been of service to myself and my needs?

Through the act of humbling, contributing, speaking, empathising, helping, listening, connecting, changing, putting the chairs out, reading – I open myself up a little more. And I let another person open up and share their vulnerability with me.

I can’t say this has always helped me feel less lonely though, and as I reflect on my balance of service and fellowship I really want a friend to have fun with. Fellowship isn’t always about friendship, but sometimes more like a spiritual practice together.

But all things come with time. As I put more in, I get more out and learn even more. And when it does feel lonely, I will be stronger and have faith that this rabbit hole is leading to the best ending.

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