It’s in Giving That We Receive – December 2012 Forum (the Al-Anon monthly magazine)

This time of year is a good time to go over the 12th step.  Whoa I know – going over a step!  We have not done this for a while and I think its time that we get back to it.  I missed almost all of them after the 4th step – but that’s OK.  End of this month starts a new month, a new year, a new chapter – we can start the steps over again.  No where in my book does it say do these once.  it is an ongoing life change that takes practice.

So here we go, step 12:

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

This month marks a few anniversaries.  It is the one year of my recovery, and the first year of this Blog.  Amazing how fast time flies.  I started my recovery with the 12th step.  I started by reaching out to others after my very frist meeting.  The power of AA and Al-Anon gave me the strength and courage to speak out about how I was feeling.  Something I had never done before – I kept my feelings hidden.

So the 12th step helped me dig out of this hole I was hiding in to say hello to the world.

Hello my name is Courtney.  I am codependent and powerless over my husband’s drinking.  I am powerless over others lives and I need help

That was hard for me to deal with, I felt powerless over the whole world, yet I was fighting tooth and nail to control it.  I felt useless yet wanted everyone to come to me with their issues cause I could fix them.  I felt alone yet never spent any time looking at what I wanted for myself.  Now – I can see how I can admit I am powerless and pray for help and guidance.  I can admit that my life had become unmanageable cause I let it get there.  I know now that I have the tools to survive being on my own, I just prefer not to be.  I have a better understanding of how to detach with love – other have to beat their own battles.  I can’t do it for them.

So in giving love and understanding to my husband, in giving love and thankfulness to my parents, in giving prayers of happiness and contentment to the people who I would rather punch in the face – I am giving them the gift of my true love. A love that I pray that God will give onto them.  A love that I am powerless over whether they accept it or not, powerless over if they pray or not, powerless over if they believe in God – but what I am not powerless over is the fact that I GAVE.  I gave them that love – the rest is up to them and I have to let it go and be in the hands of God.

The 12th step to me now means giving back without expecting a return.  I can’t control what I get in return.  But I can be content in knowing that I did my best in to share with others my spiritual awakenings – what happens after that is in Gods hands.  And that – the love of God – is my gift.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too.

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