12 Steps A photo meditation Volume 2 (steps 7-12 - taking wing.) By Todd Vogel
The twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are the foundation of recovery for millions of people around the world. This includes alcoholics of course, but also those with any number of issues, addictions and or dysfunctions. The author strongly suggests the reader read the original version written by Bill Wilson available through Alcoholics Anonymous World Services PO Box 459, Grand Central Station, NY. NY 10163 or online at http://aa.org. This book does not pretend to cover the steps in their entirety. It definitely does not intend to revise them in any way. Instead, this is an attempt to show the authorâ€™s understanding at a given moment and to serve as an introduction. It is no substitute for becoming involved in the twelve step program which best caters to your inclination. Very Simple Guides are designed to help complicated people keep from becoming any more confused than they already are.
A series of Very Simple Guides ODAT Books, Warwick NY http://odatbooks.com Copyright Todd Vogel 2010
Part 3 Steps 7, 8, and 9 Donâ€™t quit before the miracle
By now the vomit stains have washed away. warrants are no longer outstanding, and still, the stairs seem to be getting steeper. Grab the banister keep climbing the promises lie just above.
It’s a really good thing you can’t measure humility. They’d have machines to help increase your score. And sell memberships in Humility Gyms. None of this is new. Much you already know.
Three pieces of this pie:
Taming the ego.
Letting go the past
A new way of seeing things.
Consider these pictures to be fruits of your recovery
Taming the ego I Most of our problems came from our reactions to fear. Once it is reduced things get easier.
Taming the ego II Though we know some things we can not do alone we still resist asking for help.
Taming the ego III Some things we are secretly proud of others, we donâ€™t see how we can live without.
Letting go the past I It may have worked once but it doesnâ€™t any longer.
Letting go the past II You are not the scared child, the misunderstood adolescent, or the helpless soul. That play has closed : itâ€™s time for a new role.
Letting go the past III Why is it so hard when you have nowhere to go but up?
Take a deep breath. Ask for help. Turn the page.
A new way of seeing things I If we can find a path which avoids pits , cliffs, and mires the trip will be less arduous.
A new way of seeing things II Life becomes a joyous journey instead of an endurance contest.
A new way of seeing things III We discover we have enough when we learn what enough is.
Step Eight Those we have harmed
Where to begin? None of this is new. Much you already know.
This section has lots of pictures. Donâ€™t look here.
Omission I Our ism - whatever it was had self-centered at its core. That provided the means to neglect others.
Omission II For many of us our disease was active before we found our substance or behavior.
Omission III We were never there not entirely.
Commission I Whatever the circumstances, no matter who did what first; we are responsible for what we did. If this is a problem back up a few steps.
Commission II Blackouts are not a valid excuse. Neither are rationalizations, good intentions, or being right.
Commission III Even though some pots should, perhaps, not be stirred. The cooks involved must be listed.
Take a deep breath. Wince at the memories. Turn the page.
Self I This is not to excuse or explain instead it allows that you too were harmed.
Self II Beating yourself up is not going to make anything better. On the other hand, changing your behavior will.
Self III As you allow spirituality to replace fear love to replace anger you prepare yourself for the next step.
Recovery is the first part of any amend without it you are just saying, “I’m sorry”. Again. None of this is new. Much you already know.
This chapter has lots of pictures. Look at them if your courage falters.
Becoming ready. I You are not ready if it is something you are likely to do again or if you need to rehash their part in it.
Becoming ready II Motives are crucial. Especially with former flames. If your amend will hurt someone else donâ€™t do it.
Becoming ready III How can you show them that you are not the same person you were then?
Expectations I Forgiveness, renewed friendship, or canceled debts may very well not happen. It helps to forgive them first.
Expectations II Donâ€™t think they will remember things the way you do. Details and explanations probably will not help.
Expectations III Let go the results. Be satisfied with your actions.
Take a deep breath. Start at home. Turn the page.
Relief I Often we have magnified our transgressions and have been carrying guilt needlessly.
Relief II They too may be happy to get beyond it.
Relief III Forgiveness of harms done yourself, forgiveness of those you harmed. are the ribbons which., when untied, reveal the promises.
Part 4 Keeping your recovery in tune.
Steps 10, 11, and 12
It is much easier when you donâ€™t carry baggage around any longer than necessary. None of this is new. Much you already know.
Immediately if possible
Quiet your disturbance
Get a good nightâ€™s sleep.
This section has lots of pictures. Find time to enjoy them
Immediately if possible. I This limits the probability of making things worse
Immediately if possible II If we think about it long enough we may find reasons to justify ourselves.
Immediately if possible III Once rationalized anger can turn our heart cold.
Quiet the disturbance I It is our buttons we have to worry about. Why did they get pushed? Why did pushing them make us use our most feared weapon, the tongue?
Quiet the disturbance II We can not afford the spiritual cost of anger and resentments. No point in waiting for the bill to come in.
Quiet the disturbance III Our disturbance may well be the only thing we can do anything about.
Take a deep breath.
Say something as you exhale.
Turn the page.
Get a good nightâ€™s sleep I Without baggage we move so much easier over the obstacles of life. And wake refreshed without an agenda.
Get a good nightâ€™s sleep II Doing this step means you no longer have to think about what you should have said.
Get a good nightâ€™s sleep. III This step helps you come into sync with the world. No longer swimming blindly against the current, you save your energy for better things.
â€œAs we understand Himâ€? is repeated and again underlined. Ignorance is acceptable. None of this is new. Much you already know.
Let go of your will.
Donâ€™t sweat the definitions
Allow your spiritual self to emerge.
Whomever... these pictures show the handiwork of your higher power.
Let go of your will I If you had all the answers, and they were right, you probably would not be here reading this.
Let go of your will II Become open to the universe It is much, very much, bigger than you are.
Let go of your will III If you can become still and listen your higher power will speak to you.
Don’t sweat the definitions I If you have a firm grasp of who your higher power is, great. If you don’t, not understanding is a fine beginning.
Don’t sweat the definitions II Could it be that God is so big that everyone’s concept is right? Including yours. (Just so long as it is not you.)
Donâ€™t sweat the definitions III This is one of those times when you have to trust your heart rather than your head.
Take a deep breath. Become open. Turn the page.
Find your spiritual self I It may be easier than you think; you did not get this far by yourself.
Find your spiritual self II This is the process of allowing your heart to speak for you.
Find your spiritual self III It is a matter of accepting and trusting that which you know to be true.
In all our affairs
A spiritual awakening and more. None of this is new. Much you already know.
In all our affairs
Carrying the message
The joy of living.
These pictures are only a part of something much bigger. Connect the dots.
In all our affairs I Recovery requires change from who we were. Practicing the steps enables this to happen.
In all our affairs II Only with a revised outlook can we see things as they are.
In all our affairs. III
Not a quick fix but rather a lifetime of success.
Carrying the message I The only way we can keep it is by giving it away.
Carrying the message II It does not really matter why it works so much as that it does for millions of us.
Giving it away III This is but one of the promises but maybe the most profound.
Take a deep breath. Embrace life. Turn the page.
The Joy of living I We did not go through this to remain miserable.
The Joy of living II We have become a part of something so large and so wonderful it humbles us.
The Joy of living III By becoming right sized we have discovered we fit with our fellows, with our lives, with our spiritual connection.