You may or may not be familiar with The Twelve Steps which is a framework used by Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other such groups that help people come to terms with addiction whether in themselves or a friend or family member. I have been intimate with The Twelve Steps for some years and they have helped me come to terms with a family member who has an addiction. Whilst meditating on these 12 Steps it occurred to me that these are relevant for anyone to live life by. Not only can they free you from the power that addiction can have over your life, but also they are a great framework to enhance quality of life. Below is my take on The Twelve Steps, I have removed the word relevant to the addiction, but have left the word God. This is to be taken a Higher Power that you are comfortable with, whether that be a Deity to whom you worship, a Spiritual belief system such as Buddhism or your Higher Power that is deep within yourself.
- We admitted we were powerless over our lives. We have choices that we can make, but even when we make them life has a habit of changing them. Yesterday cannot be changed; we cannot predict the future the only moment we can be truly in is the present one.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. This Power can come from our inner most being, it can be a religious or spiritual belief, but it must connect us fully to the world we live in – everything is connected.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Here is my take on God, there is just one Source or God. I feel we would be deluded if we thought that anything that could create things of such magnitude would then discriminate on the basis of skin colour, which football team you play for, geographical region, how much oil is owned or any other variable that mankind has devised in his destructive behaviour. However, we all find different ways of connecting with the Source, but if we strip each religion back to its bare bones there are many common denominators between them all. Whether you choose to follow the teachings of Mother Mary, Jesus. Allah, Buddha, Mother Earth and Father Sky or actually, as is becoming chosen by more lightworkers, learning from and respecting them all. If you open yourself to the love of the Universe, at your inner most core, your life will become enriched.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We cannot help or have the right to criticise others if we have not first discovered who we truly are.
- Admitted to God, as we know him, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. We all do wrong, if we acknowledge where we have done this and learn the lessons from it we will be better able to move on with our lives.
- Were entirely ready to have God, remove all these defects of character. Let the light of loving kindness into your life. If you are kind to all sentient beings and love and respect Nature then you will find you are living a more positive life, this in turn will lead to a happier life which in turn will lead to you having a profound effect on those around you which could ripple out further that you could ever imagine.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. By working on unconditional loving kindness, your shortcomings will fade, but we are human, we all have flaws, we can learn from our own and others shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. Hand write your list and use your heart centre to send love and blessings to all as you do so. Write in truth.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Making amends for our wrong doings will makes us feel lighter, guilt is a heavy bag to carry around on your back every day. But it will also help the beings you have wronged to heal their own hurt and issues.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. We need to revisit ourselves regularly or we can find old destructive habits, ways and thoughts creeping back in. Stop take a breath, take stock and readjust.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Meditation has many health and spiritual benefits, it is proven to lower blood pressure, slow down brain activity, improve pain and anxiety and so much more. So whether you have a belief system or not meditation is a very good way of enhancing your life experience.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs. When others see that you are living a happier life and are generally a better version of yourself they will be interested in how you achieved this. You can then share your secrets with them, much like I am trying to do with you.
Good luck working your Twelve Steps.