“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs”
Step 12 is the step of fellowship. It’s the step where we take everything that we’ve experienced and everything that we’ve learned and we share it with other people. It is often said that we can only help others with things that we have experienced ourselves. This step is where we do just that.
If you look back at your own progress you will see the amazing journey that you’ve taken, in just this one area that you’ve decided to focus on, and the incredible progress that you’ve made. When we started this journey, more than likely, you were afraid, worried, and maybe even a little disbelieving. And yet, now, you can see what you’ve managed to accomplish. You can feel the new lifestyle that you’re working to create.
The best thing to do right now, the best encouragement you can give to yourself, is to share your journey with someone else. Notice, I’m NOT telling you to give them advice or tell them what to do, just simply share what you’ve gone through and the journey you took to change. That will be enough to help them, if they want it.
The biggest thing right now is to not let that wicked feeling of shame to enter into your thoughts. True, you may have been in a rough place when you finally started to work but that’s OK. It is NOTHING to be ashamed about. Remember, that everyone has had rough times, and keep focused on the fact that you had the faith and courage to DO something about it. That’s more than most people can lay claim to.
“The selfless service of this work is the very principle of Step Twelve. We received our recovery from the God of our understanding, so we now make ourselves available as His tool to share recovery with those who seek it. Most of us learn in time that we can only carry our message to someone who is asking for help. Sometimes the only message necessary to make the suffering addict reach out is the power of example. An addict may be suffering but unwilling to ask for help. We can make ourselves available to these people, so that when they ask, someone will be there.
Learning the art of helping others when it is appropriate is a benefit of the N.A. Program. Remarkably, the Twelve Steps guide us from humiliation and despair to a state wherein we may act as instruments of our Higher Power. We are given the ability to help a fellow addict when no one else can. We see it happening among us every day. This miraculous turnabout is evidence of spiritual awakening. We share from our own personal experience what it has been like for us. The temptation to give advice is great, but when we do so we lose the respect of newcomers. This clouds our message. A simple, honest message of recovery from addiction rings true.”
- Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text
I hope that one of the things that you learn from your journey through the 12 Steps is that you are NEVER alone. No one in this life is ever completely alone. All it takes is for you to lift your head and look around. Others may be going through the same thing right at this moment, or they may have survived what you are going through, and if you don’t see anyone nearby, there is ALWAYS your Higher Power that is looking out for you.
Keep this step at the forefront of your thoughts. It reminds us to practice the steps in EVERY aspect of our lives and to ALWAYS help when it is right to do so. I believe that this is a true blessing of the 12 Steps. The willingness, confidence, and ability to help another person, no matter what their situation might be.
Step 12 is that daily encouragement that we all sometimes need. We are reminded that BECAUSE of the spiritual awakening we have experienced in going through our own steps, we are able to take and share that same experience with others in desperate need of it. Indeed, BECAUSE of our spiritual awakening, we will be better each and every day and apply the lessons learned from our journeys.
Today I’m going to leave you with two of my absolute favorite quotes. :-) The first I’ve used before because it is simply awesome and gives me chills every time I read it. The second is from the movie Holy Man with Eddie Murphy. It is his goodbye blessing to a man who made his own spiritual journey and came to see the world with new eyes.
May your own eyes come to see the real world and your place in this beautiful story.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson
And always remember this one…my own blessing for you each and every day.
“Your good is better and your better is blest.”
- G – Holy Man