The twelve steps of recovery are not religious dogma: they are living principles.
You’d be forgiven for thinking so though, considering the amount of superstition and fear there is around them.
Let’s get this straight. God is not going to strike me dead by making me drink if I don’t say a prayer in the morning. God isn’t some maniac who punishes us for our “transgressions”.
As individuals we are judgemental, we are unforgiving, we are punishing; we punish ourselves and others.
But the nature of God is spacious, patient, and endless. Look at the world and see everything that goes on. God not just allows it to happen, but is in the very happening of it: in fact it is all God anyway. It is God happening. God being. There is nothing else. I’m God, you’re God, the words you’re reading are God, the screen on which they appear is God and the space in which it’s all happening is God.
Or to put it another way: You are everything you’re experiencing, which is God.
The meaning of “turning our will and our lives over to the care of God” is surrender, acceptance. What is “God’s Will” if it isn’t what is happening in this very place and at this very moment? There is nothing else. Turning our will over means not being in resistance to what is.
It’s not about reciting words on your knees in the morning; it’s about being open. It’s about being your true nature (the nature of God) which is spacious, patient and endless.
How do we find our true nature? It’s there, it’s always been there, but it’s been buried under a mountain of resentment, fear, guilt, shame, and other misguided beliefs. We need to start the process of stripping away; of uncovering.
That’s where the twelve steps come in. If we are as willing, as honest and as open-minded as we are able to be, the twelve steps are a very practical way to start stripping away the insanities that have accumulated over our lifetime.
It’s about getting rid of stuff. It’s about letting the scales fall from our eyes.
It’s about realising that everything is happening as it’s meant to happen because that’s the way it’s happening, so it couldn’t happen any other way.
Ultimately the twelve steps are not about recovery from anything but our own delusion. We make the decision in step three, but we continue to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God” for ever and ever,
"We found the Great Reality deep down within us." - Bill W.