You might remember the famous “Last Lecture” given a few years ago. Well, this is my last blog and so I am going to share with you three of the most important realizations I have been blessed with in my years as a twelve-stepper. My recovery date is May 1, 1979 and so I consider myself a mere beginner in The Climb, but here is my humble offering.
First, the twelve steps introduce us not so much to a program as to a community. Our most important word is the first word of the first step, and of each of the following steps, namely WE. We recover together. None of us does the deal alone. Whether it is my home community that misses me when I am absent, my sponsor to whom I account and who encourages me, my sponsees who call me to fidelity in my own recovery, the newcomer who needs a warm welcome — all of these are the WE that I am referring to when I say the first word of each step.
Secondly, ours is a community not so much of sobriety or even of recovery, but of AWAKENING. We claim a “spiritual awakening” as THE result of these steps and that means we are awakening to the continual care of God on our behalf; we are awakening to our own beauty and goodness; and we are awakening to the dignity and glory of one another. As the Jewish story relates, when I see the person coming toward me to be my sister or my brother, then I am awake. Otherwise, it is night and I am asleep.
Finally, my experience over the years has taught me that if I am an active participant in my home group, if I am serious about honestly relating to my sponsor, if I am faithful daily to steps 10 and 11, and if I am available for service, then I have a 95% chance of recovery and of being awake today. Remove any one of those five and I lessen my chances by 20%. Remove two of them and my chances are little better than 50%. Yes, the work is difficult but so is real life and the reward is a serenity almost beyond comprehension or explanation unless one experiences it. So come, let’s keep climbing the steps together.
Finally, thank you for the opportunity to share with you. I have needed you, kind reader, as least as much as you have needed me. Yes, we are all in it together.
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