Listen to: Practicing the Principles in All Our Affairs Read by: Rebecca Balko Length: 5:16
First “What does it mean to practice?” (1) To do something repeatedly in order to improve performance. (2) An established way of doing something, especially one that has developed through experience & knowledge.
Second “What is a principle?” A couple of definitions are: (1) An important underlying law or assumption required in a system of thought. (2) A way of working – the basic way in which something works.
Third “What are the principles in recovery that we are to practice?” In essence the principles in recovery are outlined through the 12-steps and reflected through the entirety of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In the chapter “There Is A Solution,” (on pg.28 – second paragraph), it says: We in our turn, sought escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, “a design for living” that really works.
When we come in the doors of the 12 step community, it’s a safe bet that the “escape” we are seeking is from the grips of active addiction and all the pain that comes with it. But later we certainly all face life situations in recovery that have caused us to feel that same way! And you know what? The solution is the very same. So what is that solution? The solution is that “flimsy reed” – otherwise known as the 12 steps.
If we look over the steps and just pull “one” principle found in each one we might find the following:
Step 1: Acknowledging that I am finite and limited in having the power to control all of my
issues and surroundings.
Step 2: Recognizing that no matter how bad a situation I am in, I need only to have a
suspicion that wholeness can be restored to my thinking and life by God.
Step 3: Realizing that at any time, I can review my circumstances and make a decision to
Include God in my thinking and actions.
Step 4: Willingly look for my own role situations which have occurred.
Step 5: Make an admission of the wrongs I see in me to God, myself and another person
Step 6: Through admitting that “I” can’t “fix” me – I am “willing” for God to change me.
Step 7: Because I see how limited I am to “fix me” – I am then able to ask God to do take
Where I fall short
Step 8: I now know where I’ve been wrong, so I am willing to make things right.
Step 9: I take my willingness & put it into action – making amends, (with the exception of it
causing more pain for someone else).
Step 10: By acknowledging that I will never be “perfect”, I continue on a daily basis to look at
my thoughts, motives and actions – when I’m wrong I take care of it as quickly as
Step 11: Realizing that the “problems” of my life came from “my” self centeredness, I will strive for finding a “greater purpose” – by seeking God’s will for me AND remembering that the ability to carry it out comes from God as well.
Step 12: As these principles are practiced I will grow spiritually: I will find freedom where I had none, I will attain peace where there was chaos and where I was once lost I will gain
purpose and direction. Because of the peace and hope I find, I will want “and NEED” to share with others what I have found.
So in closing: To practice these principles in all of our affairs – we have only to realize that “we” are not the solution, that God “is” the solution and that by following some simple guidelines – not only will our lives improve, but we will have a tremendous impact on the world around us.