Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message and practice these principles in all of our affairs.
The first part of the twelfth step states “having had a spiritual awakening” and I wasn’t sure exactly what I was supposed to feel or do to be sure I had had a spiritual awakening. It was explained to me in a very simply term I could understand. Had I had a personality change? Many addicts have concluded that in order to recover and live clean lives we must acquire an immediate and over-whelming “God-consciousness” followed by a huge change in our feelings and thoughts, our personality.
I thought about this for a bit and realized that in deed I had undergone a profound alteration in my life. The way I reacted to life was totally opposite to times past. When something got uncomfortable or I didn’t like something that was going on I would run away. I would go deep into my little world of drug use and pretend everything was well and good. Denial was my best friend. Now I was facing things head on, living life on life’s terms not mine. I wasn’t reacting off the cuff anymore, acting before thinking. This was definitely a change in my personality even I could see plainly.
What had taken place in a few months, working the 12 steps of recovery and now trying to live rightly, couldn’t have been accomplished by years of self discipline so I had to assume that I had indeed had a spiritual awakening. I could have never done this on my own. To me this was proof that “something” out there was in fact listening to my prayers and helping to change. It helped me to develop my faith in a higher power even more. This is a life long journey and there is no destination or diploma.
The second part to this step is to carry this message to other addicts who still suffer. This blog is an example of twelfth step work; I am attempting to help others with my experience strength and hope. There is a statement that puts it so well in easy to understand words:
I am responsible when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help. I want the hand of recovery to be there and for that I am responsible.
The final part to this step is that I attempt to practice these principles in all my affairs which simply meaning I try to practice love, kindness, compassion and tolerance in every aspect of my life. Whether I am in a 12 step recovery meeting, in the grocery store or driving down the road. I use a little personal mantra that … I leave any place I’ve been a little better than when I got there, whether that means cleaner, kinder or brighter. I loan my smile to someone who might need it or help another who might need it. Regardless of the where or who I try to practice Karma yoga … service to others.
Picture By Erling A