Today's Step | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups - Part 4

Today’s Step

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    Day 5

    Showing up

    “If you can’t hide it, paint it red!”

    We begin this step simply by suiting up and showing up. We should not expect the process of recovery to be accomplished in one fell swoop. Most of our defects have taken time to develop, and will take time to resolve. None of them are one single thing—simply physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. They are a complex combination of all these aspects.

    In addition, while we may identify with similiar problems presented in the stories of others, our defects and shortcomings remain uniquely our own, because they’ve deveoped within the framework of our own lifestyles and relationships.

    As we work Step Six, we need to concentrate on our own defects, not those of others. It’s so easy to point the finger and rationalize that it’s because of what they did that we behaved the way we did. On the other hand, it’s also true that our behavior hasn’t been the cause of all the pain and discomfort that has befallen us and those close to us. But, for now, our focus in recovery must be soley on ourselves.

    Today’s Step: I have patience to keep the focus on myself.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 6

    Getting Things Done.

    “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” Don Marquis

    Time now to look over the inventory we compiled in the Fourth Step and decide which of our defects we’re willing to have removed.

    Our goal is freedom from addiction, and we cannot accomplish this without throroughly clearing away what we’ve come to see as the wreckage of our past. The first step, of course, is to stop doing what we were doing, because until we succeed in changing our behavior, we have no change to recover. Our rationalization may have been, “I’ll stop when I finish this job,” or, “I’ll stop if he/she comes back to me,” or, “I’ll stop right after the holidays.”

    All of these delays add up to procrastination. So, if we see procrastination as one of our defects, we have to ask ourselves how we’d act if we did not procrastinate. What would our behavior be like? One was is to give serious thought to how those who succeed in doing things when they should be done manage their time, and then try to imitate their behavior. We call this “acting as if.”

    But if our reply is, “I’ve always been a procrastinator. I just don’t think I can change at this stage,” what we’re really saying is, “I’m unwilliing to follow your path because my case is different.”

    Today’s Step: My procrastination is history! Today I am ready to have this defect removed.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 7

    Putting our Money Where Our Mouths Are.

    “Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” Samuel Butler.

    From here on in we’ll assume that most of us are satisfied with our concept of a Higher Power.

    We’ve already established that those who do not subscribe to the Judeo-Christian ethic may just as efficaciously put their belief in a “cosmic consciousness,” or the law of cause and effect, or whatever they choose. The important thing here is to accept the fact that all by ourselves we cannot accomplish this challenge.

    This is when we leave our fantasy world and enter the world of reality. We stop dwelling on the harm that others have done to us, and start looking at the ways we’ve responded. In the process, we let go of the notion of ourselves as helpless victims, and we also let go of the resentments we thought justified our anger. Then we look again at our inventory and rank our defects in order of priority. And we tackle number one first.

    Time after time, we’ve tried making bargains with ourselves and with our Higher Power to get out of any scrapes. We’ve promised that once we’re free of our predicament, we’ll never repeat the actions that brought us to this state. Yet, time and again, we’ve fallen into the same old behavior. Now, however, we’re ready to step out the door into a new existence.

    “Entirely ready,” this Sixth Step says. What a heavy order! This means we embrace this step with no reservations. We’re now ready to put our money where our mouth is.

    Today’s Step: I embrace a Higher Power as the key to removing my defects.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

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