In gratitude, harmony and support,
Are the Twelve Steps Dead?
The title of this post––“Are the Twelve Steps Dead?”––is a question that can be answered in a word: No. Thankfully, the steps are alive and well; and I, for one, am alive and well because of them.
I’ve been pondering this topic lately, and for good reason. In recent months, I’ve happened upon a number of online discussions about the Twelve Steps and whether they are relevant in the world of recovery today. A variation of this conversation questions whether Twelve-step programs work at all anymore.
I am always on favor of free expression and the exploration of ideas––including (and, perhaps, especially) challenging established institutions, protocols, and norms. However, it feels a little dangerous to me when a person who is sober or wants to be sober dismisses a time-honored program or practice as ineffective or obsolete.
Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but I shudder to think where I would be without Alcoholics Anonymous. Without the program, the people, and the steps, I doubt I would be here to take a stand. Without a “way” to understand and access my Higher Power, my life would be empty (assuming I were even alive).
Thanks to AA, I found my way to sobriety. Thanks to AA, I also found my way to New Thought spirituality. For nearly three decades, these two life-giving teachings have educated and sustained me. Every day. One day at a time. And it all comes down to the steps, first and foremost.
I begin my day with steps 1, 2, and 3. This simple practice is the foundation of my happy, healthy life. Whether thing are going well or I’m having the worst day in history, the steps get me going and carry me through.
Every morning, even before my prayer and meditation, I take a deep breath and work the first three steps. Sometimes it takes a minute. Sometimes it takes much longer. I don’t time it; I just do it. And I do it because I know that no matter what life presents in a given day, I am better prepared thanks to my program.
Today, I am recommitting myself to the practice of steps 1, 2, and 3 using using Lena’s book, Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety (Volume I). It provides the perfect framework for those of us who adhere to the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and New Thought. I am so grateful to New Thought Sobriety for publishing this wonderful guide!
The twelve steps are not dead. The twelve steps are ever alive, but they are only alive for us when we work them.
I invite you to join me on this journey of recovery and discovery. I encourage you to redouble your commitment to working the steps because we are stronger in numbers. When our personal program is strong, “the program” becomes stronger for everyone.