What do you think living is for?

In Al-Anon, we believe life is for growth – physical, emotional, and spiritual. Growth began for most of us when we accepted the fact that compulsive drinking was not a weakness but the result of a disease.  We continued to grow when we looked within ourselves and found that we had also been affected by this disease.  Our own attitudes and reactions were not healthy.  Our refusal to face our problems, our blaming of all faults on the alcoholic, and our prolonged self-pity all indicated that we needed help for ourselves.

The Twelve Steps, for us, have been steps to a higher level of understanding. By working the Steps, we have learned we have faults of our own which are likely to remain unless we learn to do something about them.  In practicing the Steps, we can gain courage and serenity.  Gradually we leave our old ways behind and learn that growth, though sometimes painful, is worth seeking.

The Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awaking as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps, copyright 1996 by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.

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