Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Are the 12 Steps the end or the beginning? Yes!"

     Of late it seems that many of my sponsees and contemporaries in this 12 step program are being caught unaware or being startled at the fact that they may have put together a lot and I mean a lot of days without drinking yet their lives are totally; "...unmanageable."  They seem to have been living under this idea that the 12 Steps brought about the end of their struggles as opposed to the reality that the 12 Steps actually open them up to many and more problems and at the same time give them aid in resolving all these new found problems.

     For example.  In my own case, I spent the first ohhhhh 20 to 30 years in this fellowship thinking and acting (and believing) that I had finally peeled enough layers of onion  back to have exposed and treated all my "underlying problems".....ah the naivete of long term dryness.  I was to realize that there were deep issues within my psyche that I may have been denying or just did not know that I did not know.

     Fear of economic security was one.  I had retired from the US Navy and the US Postal System and decided to move to where I reside now, Punta Gorda, Fl.  That retirement and subsequent move went seemingly well and easy.  Then I went from elation of deed in my life to total paranoia about how was I going to "make it".  It took a few months of daily meetings, a lot of sharing very openly and the direction of a new found sponsor to help me see that I was just OK and that The Divine was truly "doing for me that which I could not do for myself".   Numerous other areas have popped up to keep showing me that I am truly a work in progress.

     While it is true that I have not had to fight the fight of drinking physically, the emotional and spiritual drinks I have taken in the last decades continue to be that which I must be" eternally vigilante" of.  I have had to face health issues which I never ever thought I would have.  The same goes with intricate relationship issues with my family.  The list goes on, " infinitum".  My only answer to all these problems and solutions is the awareness and knowing of a Power Greater than Myself.

     As these people in my life circles continue to bring their maladies to light and seek guidance I have become aware that the 12 Steps are truly a beginning and an end to my life today in this present moment.  They have and still do give me a solid basis of living a healthy life in all manners and they also give me strength and courage to seek else where for answers to life problems that the program willingly admits "it" has no answers.

     Therefore, for me the 12 Steps do represent a beginning of life as I know it today in this present moment by helping me make wise informed decisions.  If the philosophy and activity of the 12 steps don't help resolve my issue then they prompt me to seek a Higher Authority whether that is a Divine Source or another human enterprise which I could use.  Pride at least in this present moment does not prevent me from asking for help, just for this moment.

     So the question of "Are the 12 steps the end or beginning?" can be answered with a yes to both counts.  Their spiritual principles helped me end my way of life that was killing me and their principles now help me to live a way of life I never knew and continue to do so today, one day at a time.

Love and light,