Step 1: Honesty

REVOLUTION

My life is upside down!
My life is unmanageable.
My way is not getting me where I want to be.

Step 2: Openness

REVELATION

There is another way.
When everything is uncertain,
anything is possible!

Step 3: Willingness

REPENTANCE

To repent simply means to turn around or make 180 degree change. This entails a willingness to surrender the reins of my will and life
(thoughts and actions) and to receive guidance from outside the
(thinking) brain that
got me where I am.
Surrender to a Higher Power!

Steps 4-11: Action

RESTORATION

Take an inventory of, and be accountable for my behavior, thinking and emotions.
Ask for help and, to the best of my ability, right the wrongs I have done.
Clean house!
Make peace with self,
God and others!

Step 12:Freedom & Service

REDEMPTION

“We will not regret the past, nor wish to close the door on it.” p.83
Cling to the thought that, in God’s hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have — the key to life and happiness for others. p. 124
~Alcoholics Anonymous

 

More About Redemption

It is not about disowning your imperfections, nor about ignoring those shameful acts of the past, but more about allowing them to be transformed so they become useful for others.

A water-bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the bearer. ” What are you ashamed of ?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Author’s Bio:

Sandra Lenington, MA is an authority on the psychology of recovery with a purpose of assisting others to experience the psychic change that is sufficient to assure a life of irresistible joy and balance. As a life-long learner and lover of new and fun techniques, she insists that recovery be joyful…otherwise, why do it? The bottom line? If it doesn’t work, try something else!

She also trains other coaches and previously has worked as a physical therapist as well as having owned several companies that develop websites; she has worked for NASA as a research engineer. http://crossaddictionrecovery.com/12stepPrograms

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