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Twelve Steppin' for Haters: A New Way to Look at the Big 12

Discussion in 'Narcotics Anonymous' started by Torushima, May 15, 2011.

  1. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    No. Just.. no.
     
  2. AumuA

    AumuA Well-Known Member

    What I mean to say is: I'm on the cusp of step 8, having just finished steps 6 and 7, and I could tell you about what I think about them, but really.. I feel that it would be useless to you. Because my understanding of these steps is my understanding, which has come step by step after doing them. Of course I had my ideas about each step before I actually took it, and I love my own ideas as much as anyone here. I am far from perfectly open minded, or perfectly anything. I am learning and it's a process, but it's my opinion that taking the action is the only way to gather the understanding.
     
  3. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    true understanding comes from having an experience with the work, yet each step was always preceded by discussion/direction from my sponsor...and the Book. I went to a step meeting on Monday where the speaker discussed his experience/understanding of Step 3. Experience, Strength, and Hope...that's what we're asked to share.

    if someone asks me about the steps...I get to share my experience (not my personal opinion), but I'm not so arrogant as to tell him what his experience will look like. Gratefully, no one ever shut me down because I asked what their experience of Step 9 was. Step meetings would be pretty damn silent if this was the protocol.

    I can read a recipe all day but don't know what the cake tastes like till I actually do the work. but, it starts with a recipe. all Jing is askin...is for the recipe. and I think its fantastic.

    First time I ever walked into a meeting, I had no idea what was going on. I asked many questions. still do.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  4. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the insight, everyone. I'm thinking about your insights daily and dig 'em, each and every one of them.
     
  5. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    Jing - I encourage you to keep askin questions. there are other folks here with experience with the steps whom I confident would be happy to share their experience with you.

    don't disappear. You have much to offer. Many of us here at ODR have gotten and stayed clean by working the steps...but personally i love to hear from folks that find their own way that works for them and finds them peace. AA/NA ain't for everyone.

    I sincerely appreciate your open mind and biting wit. please stick around. ask questions....share experience.

    much respect
    j
     
  6. Allgood

    Allgood Well-Known Member

    Amen - Sharing our experience is the ONLY way for me to carry the message of hope to a fellow suffering substance abuser.

    Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God (insert YOUR power here ..... spirit, karma, universe, love, etc) remove all these defect of character.

    There are really three parts to this step to break down.
    One: "We were ENTIRELY ready" -- well, what does this mean exactly one may ask. The dictionary defines entirely as "wholly or fully; completely or unreservedly". If we have worked the first 5 steps preceding this step honestly and thoroughly, leaving absolutely nothing out, then we should be fully and unreservedly prepared to embark on what the remainder of this step suggests we do. So the good news is that it just happens .....we become entirely ready by the honest action taken in the first 5 steps.

    Two: "to have God remove" -- by this step the God (again, insert your understanding here) idea should not be a debate if we have been honest with steps 2 and 3. I use this word God because it is a simple, 3 letter word .... that when we say it in a group of fellow substance abusers ...we all can recognize that I am speaking of something that is intangible and beyond my level of intellectual understanding. It can be whatever you want it to be, so long as it is not another sentient being. Once this understanding, or lack therof, is able to be felt in one's heart ....... the believe that this power CAN remove our character defects becomes extremely plausible.

    Three: "all these defects of character" -- if we have completed and honest and thorough inventory and admitted our faults to God (with another human being as a witness), then our defects of character should be glaringly obvious. They are on paper in black and white ......no longer a thought in our mind which can be easily manipulated or deflected by our disease.

    Notice that there is no real action in this step. It is just asking us to make sure we are fully prepared for the action to come in step 7. So its more of a reflection step ...... allowing me to pause, breathe, and be sure that I have (to the best of my ability) been honest and thorough with the preceding steps. I guide sponsees through this step immediately after they have read aloud their inventory. This step is never completed ....it is a lifelong reflection that being human constantly demands.

    Step 7: "Humbly asked Him (Her, It) to remove our shortcomings."

    Now the action ...... which, for me, was presented in the form of a prayer on my knees: "My Creator (insert personal preference), I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you (it) and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen"

    It's important to understand that after taking this step our defects of character (shortcomings) do not just magically disappear or fade away. It take MORE action ......which is why there are 12 steps, not 7. Some of my character defects were removed rather quickly, many I still work to improve on today ....... I am extremely grateful for these defects of character as it allows me to constantly look and improve my sense of self. I get to do this work as adirect result of my character flaws. Nothing to work on if we are "perfect beings" right? How boring and purposeless life would be......i can imagine.

    What does humbly mean in this context? For me, it simply meant that every word I utterred in that prayer I truly meant. The words came from my heart, not my head. Anyone can spit out a prayer and say they did the 7th step ......very few honestly gather that strength directly from the soul. And live it with every fiber of their being. In my experience.

    The MOST important result from these two steps is the strength and energy that seems to effortlessly arise to the surface of my consciousness to move on with steps 8-9. I immediately WANTED to go out and clean up the wreckage of my past that was so damaging to many of my important relationships. The well being and health of others suddenly was much more important to me than any consequence that may have resulted from my behavior. Now that my friends is POWER ......and it is much greater than me or any of us. The steps allow us to tap into this energy and use it gracefully......

    Much love and peace ..
    T
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  7. gettingbetter

    gettingbetter Well-Known Member

    Jinger - I am on my way to do five, six and seven this evening (for the second time) and for some reason I'm a nervous f'ing wreck.

    But they aren't individual items to be understood in my experience. Everything transitions and blends, one to the other, like most people here have said. It's the main reason I've always written my thread like a life story and not just an instructional step-based deal. It didn't work like that for me. It's like life ties into the spiritual understanding ties into the work you're doing and the actions you're taking and it all clicks together.

    Analogy: for me to look at the steps individually would be like picking up any book and opening to the beginning of chapter 12 in a very plot-driven novel. I would have no idea what was going on if I just read chapter 12. I might pick up some brief understandings but I wouldn't experience the book.

    The only thing I truly had to believe step-wise was that I was a drug addict. I didn't have to believe anything else to just do the work that came after.

    Gonna go buy my friend/second sponsor/tonight's fifth step witness a gift for listening to my BS after not seeing her for months. Wish me luck and I'll let you know how it goes Jinger. Also gonna make Chekov proud here at some point :)

    You're asking good questions and I sense a real natural curiosity and I think that's great cuz we like gentle curious discussions here, least I do :) According to my fourth I'm all about keeping harmony. Hell, is that a defect? Who cares right now, I'm totally stalling -

    yikes
    dani
     
  8. Rulebrkr

    Rulebrkr Well-Known Member

    Oiy ****. I am as skeptical as Jinger on this. Especially all of the God stuff. But - awhile ago I went to one meeting and I've never felt more love and acceptance for me, drunk off my behind and scared as heck. I def don't get that from fam or hubby. And as I mentioned on hadenoughs thread I'm pretty tied to the house with few friends and no hobbies (not to make this about me).

    Point is that level of acceptance was soooo dayum overwhelming to me that I need to give it a shot. I turned my back on a lot of things when younger and have always felt the void, now even moreso.

    So I found meetings near my work, since as I said I can't leave once I go home. The question is: how anonymous is it, really? I mean, I run a part of a large company downtown and can't even imagine the **** I will face if I'm recognized. And then ratted out.

    Sorry jinger - my intentions were not to derail but I felt this fit here as opposed to a new thread. If ya feel differently lemme know and I can start anew.
     
  9. Torushima

    Torushima Well-Known Member

    Well, now that we got all of the self-righteousness and indignation out of the way we’re on to something—dialogue, learning stuff. Cool! That’s what I wanted. Thanks, everyone, who has offered positive and constructive insight. To those who haven't, well, you can just...

    [The following sentence has been removed for objectionable content]

    I’ve read what everyone has written about the Steps—the lessons that adherents have shared, I think, are all congruent in the sense that the Steps can be viewed as flexible and open to interpretation—one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. I like that, that’s what I was looking for. I like some of the Steps, they make me feel warm and fuzzy.

    Some of them.

    I’m going to incorporate My Favored Steps into my regimen of Other Viewpoints. They can huddle alongside Buddhism and Secular Humanism and Maslow for warmth. Perhaps they'll cohabitate eventually and give birth to a healthy interfaith child, like Arnie and his schleppy concubine. And then that love child will grow up to be a happy, well-adjusted member of society. What else can I say? I’ll take some, ignore the bits that I find disagreeable.

    It's called compromise, yeah? Recovery, I think, is about listening to other people and swallowing a slew of viewpoints.

    Isn’t it—gasp—remarkable that we can do that: it’s not a black or white issue. You know, here’s the thing—the only thing that I find disagreeable about the entire Twelve Steppin’ Ballgame™is the controversy and rotten attitudes surrounding them:

    “I hate it because of the religion,”—Left Wing Attitude

    “You’re hostile to them because you’re questioning them and want clarification,”—Right Wing Attitude

    Oh, we’re so polarized in our discourse that we can’t even see clearly sometimes. Thanks everyone for sharing—I appreciate it. You’ve helped me immensely. I hope that in the future, dialogue can continue. Over and out.
     
  10. Rainier

    Rainier Well-Known Member

    Well, the idea is that it should be completely anonymous, but in practical application, it does not always work that way. My sponsor, for example, used to work for a local organization that does drug treatment. And had things that she said in meetings get back to her boss. In fact, she got fired over something that happened in a meeting. Which, in the end, was no great loss for her, but it is indicative that the principles of the group are not always adhered to.

    So I'd be cautious, if I were you.
     
  11. Sluggo

    Sluggo Well-Known Member

    its just common sense. AA meetings are filled with folks in all phases of recovery, some still using and some are court-ordered to be there. not everyone sitting in meetings gives a crap about anonymity, or even knows that its a principal to be respected. I'd never share anything in an open meeting that would be better off shared in private with a sponsor.

    I trust my sponsor and feel completely confident sharing anything with her, and know it would not be repeated.

    AA meetings are certainly not a hotbed of mental/spiritual well-being.
     
  12. Allgood

    Allgood Well-Known Member

    On a non-12 step note, youtube Dr. Gabor Mate. This is a doctor who, in my opinion, completely understands our condition and approaches treatment from the most compassionate standpoint I've ever seen. His book "In the realm of Hungry Ghosts" is a must read for all of us looking for freedom from the prison of our minds.

    Here is one to get you started. Guy absolutely rocks. I'd love to hear some feedback. Perhaps I will start a new thread, apologies to the originator

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk4B7BFxYR4

    Much love
    T
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011

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