While reflecting on practical ways to live the twelve steps in my life, I started thinking about the most basic elements of recovery and what "living the program" looks like. Everyone I know who is living a happy sober life also happens to be abiding by the following three principles on a daily basis. They are striving daily to: Break Isolation, practice Honest Self Appraisal, and strive toward Spiritual Progress.
Upon further examination of these three "bases" of recovery I did an experiment to try and see if I could fit the twelve steps into them. My attempt proved to be a success! All of the steps fits snuggly under these three principles. Here is a write up of my experiment:
- step 5,
- step 9,
- step 12.
- (Daily examples: attend meetings, ask for help, phone calls, sponsorship, giving back to the program)
- step 1,
- step 4,
- step 8,
- step 10.
- (Daily examples: Daily review, spot check inventories, regular housekeeping, "early warning system")
- step 2,
- step 3,
- step 6,
- step 7,
- step 11.
- (Daily examples: Morning studies, prayer, scriptures, reading recovery material, meet with bishop, attend temple, etc)
So, basically my point in coming up with this was to help me find a simple way to check myself each day to see if I am truly "living the program" as a way of life. If I am making daily efforts to break out of self imposed isolation, if I am making an honest self appraisal of my thoughts words and actions, if I am taking steps toward improving my relationship with God each day, then I can assuredly know that I am "living the program" today! Tomorrow I need to start all over again. I cannot take vacations from these basic elements of the Twelve Steps. If you make sure that you are covering these three bases everyday, then you will find increased strength to stay in the "safe zone" of recovery. Have fun with recovery, and enjoy it! There are rules to recovery, but there is enough room to make each day in recovery special. Stay on the bases, and stay safe!