The Twelve Steps

by Daniel · 0 comments

“We must remember that AA’s Steps are suggestions only.  A belief in them as they stand is not at all a requirement for membership among us.  This liberty has made AA available to thousands who never would have tried at all, had we insisted on the Twelve Steps just as written.”  Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age

“The wording (12 Steps) was, of course, quite optional, so long as we voiced the ideas without reservation.”  Alcoholics Anonymous p.63

Slide18In keeping with the spirit of the AA Founders suggestions, the following list of Alternative Twelve Steps is not designed to replace or change the original steps.  They are simply a guide to assist you in developing an acceptable way based upon your personal beliefs, for you to implement the steps into your life.

 Secular break down of the Twelve-Steps by Dan Callahan, MSW

Step One:  Have you ever used a drug or drank alcohol knowing that there would be consequences or that there was significant risk involved, based upon your past experience?

Step Two:  Are we in agreement that there’s a force or energy that runs the planet and it’s bigger than you?   For instance at the basic level of recovery; do you believe that people before you have accomplished abstinence and recovery, and you have not been able to yet?

Step Three:  Can you copy the successful strategies that these same people have accomplished?  Are you willing to COPY them?

Step Four: We make a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves; where we address all personal and internal potential roadblocks within ourselves.  We look for any potential negative stressors, anxiety provokers, or sources of irrational fear that has the ability to set us off and back into negative self-destructive behavioral patterns.

Step Five: Admit to Ourselves, (Our Personal Higher Power) and another Human Being of personal significance the exact nature of what we have uncovered in our Fourth Step.

Step Six:  By our actions and desire to live a productive life we become entirely ready to make better choices and become the positive and loving human beings we are.

Step Seven: We humbly ask for reprieve from these burdens.

Step Eight: We make a list of all the people, places and things that we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them.

Step Nine: We make direct amends to these people except where we could potentially cause more damage than good.

Step Ten: We continue on our new path and take a daily personal inventory to monitor our progress and remain congruent with whom we are as “Human Becoming’s.”

Step Eleven: Seek through Prayer and Meditation to improve our continued growth spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Step Twelve:  Becoming who we have always been and dreamed of becoming we realize the significant improvement in our lives as the result of these steps and principles.  We share and carry this spiritual message to others recognizing that we cannot keep it if we do not give it away.  Finally, we continue to practice these principles of discipline in all areas of our lives.

Buddhists Non-Theist 12 Steps

  1. We admitted our addictive craving over alcohol, and recognized its consequences in our lives.
  2. Came to believe that a power other than self could restore us to wholeness.
  3. Made a decision to go for refuge to this other power as we understood it.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves and another human being the exact moral nature of our past.
  6. Became entirely ready to work at transforming ourselves.
  7. With the assistance of others and our firm resolve, we transformed unskillful aspects of ourselves and       cultivated positive ones.
  8. Made a list of all persons we have harmed.
  9. Made direct amends to such people where possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.  In addition, made a conscientious effort to forgive all those who harmed us.
  10. Continue to maintain awarene4ss of our actions and motives, and when we acted unskillfully promptly admitted it.
  11. Engaged through the practice of meditation to improve our conscious contact with our true selves, and seeking that beyond self.  Also used prayer as a means to cultivate positive attitudes and states of mind.
  12. Having gained spiritual insight as a result of these steps, we practice these principles in all areas of our lives, and make this message available to others in need of recovery.

White Bison; is a culturally appropriate recovery program for Native American people.  This version utilizes one single word for each step to offer the perspective of the value the step reflects.

  1. Honesty
  2. Hope
  3. Faith
  4. Courage
  5. Integrity
  6. Willingness
  7. Humility
  8. Forgiveness
  9. Justice
  10. Perseverance
  11. Spiritual Awakening
  12. Service

Agnostic AA Twelve Steps; from the AA Agnostics of the San Francisco Bay Area.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe and to accept that we need strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those who have searched before us.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
  7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate 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 meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Life is Good!  Go, Go, Go…


Dan 🙂

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