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    Day 1

    The Twelve Steps

    “He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit.” anonymous

    Interestingly enough, when the steps were first put together, they numbered only six: complete deflation; dependence and guidance from a Higher Power; moral inventory; confession; restitution; continued work with other alcoholics.

    These were devised in the days when Alcoholics Anonymous was in its infancy and meetings were attended by only a few people in New York and Akron. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous had not yet been written, so their message of recovery was being carried ony by word of mouth.

    How fortunate we Anonymous groups are today that, when the book was finally written, the steps after much forethought were expanded to twelve They now proved to be comprehensive enough to be applied to a wide variety of ills, disorders, compulsions, and addictions. Countless people in other kinds of self-help programs have been able to avail themselves of a gold mine of assistance by following this formula.

    As you can see, early on, the need for restitution was a prime factor in the A.A. recovery program. We have also found this to be true in the recovery process of every addictive disorder we have encountered. The catharsis in facing those to whom we have done harm is so powerful a healing factor, that we doubt very much if those who do not practice it can achieve total recovery.

    Today’s Step: I cherish the wisdom of the steps as they are written.

    Step by Step, meditations for living the Twelve Steps. Muriel Zink



    Day 2

    Effort and risk

    “Resitance causes pain and lethargy. It is when we practice acceptance that new possibilities appear.

    We know that Step Nine entails both effort and risk.

    Effort is required because we must get into action. We must think about how to approach the person(s) to whom we wish to make amends. It’s essential to plan our procedure thoughtfully, for we can not achieve a satisfactory result with a hit-and-run encounter. For this reason, we need to arrange a place and time where we can honestly face the persons and explain to them what we’re trying to do and why.

    Step Nine also involves risk because it’s conceivable that the hurt or harm we’ve done the people on our list is so grave that they can not be forgiving. In fact, they may be downright uncivil to us.

    It may feel unproductive to approach someone we suspect will make us feel guiltier than ever. And yet, taking the step offers us an opportunity to really get in touch with our deepest levels of honesty. If we’re positive that, at our current stage of recovery, this encounter might work strongly to our disadvantage, then perhaps we can delay it until we feel we’ve reached a degree of self-acceptance that allows us to be totally candid with everyone.

    Remember, we’re not expecting a happy ending to all our encounters. But we are anxious to fulfill the task of taking care of our own responsibilities.

    Today’s Step: I willingly take the risk and make the effort to make direct amends.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 3

    Making Peace

    “All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.” James Thurber

    Step Nine allows us to clean up our lives and get rid of the stumbling blocks that have prevented us from reaching our highest good. It allows us to make peace with ourselves by making peace with those we’ve caused pain and harm.

    Even if they don’t respond to us positively, we know we’ve done our share. We know we’ve tried to set the record straight—and that in itself is an enormous plus.

    Like the ancient mariner, we’ve been carrying an albatross on our shoulders that’s been weighing us down and feels like an impossible load to dump. But dump it we do. And in the doing, we find renewed respect for ourselves.

    Certainly more than one of us has been fearful of making these amends. But in overcoming that fear we know we’ve strengthened our resolve to live free from these old feelings of impending doom.

    When we have no more secrets, and nothing to hide, we can go about the daily business of living with renewed optimism. Free from the constraints of being afraid to face others, our own sense of self takes on a new and positive aspect.

    Today’s step: I lay down my burden of guilt gratefully as I make direct amends.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

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