December 23

LOVE MONTH: DAY 23: “Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.”― Iris Murdoch

To practice Step 12 is two-fold. First, and most importantly, we receive spiritual awakening. That is the first part. Without that, the second part is not possible. I have heard thousands of people spout program in meetings who do NOT carry the message of 12-step recovery.

They have not done the work and do not have a spiritual message to convey. They are filled with Ego and pomposity. They may even have a few years, or sometimes longer, under their belts, but their only recognition of a spiritual entity is their dry state or abstinence.

That is NOT recovery. That is NOT, in my definition, sobriety. It is a state of abstinence. That is not what I am looking for. Nor is it what constitutes what practicing, really practicing spiritual principles can bring.

Most of these folks are selling themselves a bill of goods. We can see their lack of spiritual awakening. We can hear the Ego they are operating from. They most often speak about the possessions they now have and their relationships with a spouse or children as achievements. That is not spiritual connection. It is pure Ego…recovery is what we have without those things.

What happens when the job, the money, the house, the car, the people in life are removed? How do you function in the world with NONE of the props? Most of those who are Ego centered are not going to be able to function at all. They are the whiners and complainers and dry drunks who do not know how to navigate life on Life’s terms.

God is against them again. And they do not know how to navigate the tools of recovery well enough to let go of their rage, their resentments, and their fears and engage with life toe-to-toe. Everything that we hold up to the Universe as proof of our command of recovery can and will be removed. That is the greatest gift of all…to stand without any props and be happy, joyous, and free with Universal Spirit and nothing else. THAT is recovery. THAT is love of life, unconditional love. Then, and only then, can the 2nd part of Step 12 be done…we carry the message that nothing stands between us and Universal Power and that we can thrive with no-thing!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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