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Why work the steps?

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LearningSerenity
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Why work the steps?

Post by LearningSerenity »

Why do we work the steps, and why do we encourage others to do the same? Simply put, we encourage people to work the steps because we have found that the steps are a powerful tool to bring transformation into our lives--transformation that we desperately need. The principles behind this powerful tool for transformation appear to apply to all of us, but we are not aware of any universal formula for applying them. An activity that brings about the key transformation in one step for one addict might not be what brings about that same transformation for a different addict.

It is this variance, and the need that each of us has to be able to apply the principles behind the steps to our own lives that makes sponsorship such a powerful tool. With a knowledgeable sponsor, we will be able to successfully navigate the sometimes murky waters of working the steps and enjoy a change in mindset and experience that is so profound the steps themselves refer to the change as "a spiritual awakening".

It is worth noting that for many of us, the transformation can be hard to see at times. Some changes may be blindingly obvious to us, others may be more visible to our sponsor or friends in the program than they are to us, and still other changes will happen gradually over time. Regardless of how the transformation takes place, as we look back on our journey through the steps, we will notice changes like the following...

Freedom from the insane idea that our own actions/efforts will someday be sufficient to control our addictive behavior. Such an abhorrence to the idea of returning to gaming that we will do whatever it takes to make sure that we don't start that first game today. A willingness to trust a Higher Power with things that we used to entrust to no one but ourselves. A willingness to do the things our Higher Power would have us do, even when we don't understand why they're worth doing. Freedom from the victim mentality that plagues many of us. Deliverance from self-hatred and an ability to accept ourselves as being every bit as human and every bit as valuable as the people around us, addicts and non-addicts alike. The ability to have compassion on ourselves and even our worst character defects while simultaneously seeking to have them removed. An ability to respond to difficult situations in ways that don't display our character defects and that leave us with nothing to regret or apologize for. A willingness and ability to offer a genuine and selfless amends for our wrongdoings to the people that we have harmed. Freedom from the burden of constantly carrying around our own guilt from our past wrong behavior. A greatly increased awareness of how we're experiencing life and what's really going on inside of us, enabling us to be more compassionate, responsive, and present to both ourselves and others.




Please note...I've not yet finished steps 11 &; 12, hence my list of transformations stops with the change I've experienced from working step 10...people are invited to share the transformation that they've experienced from any of the 12 steps (please note which step you associate it with if you're aware of when it happened in your journey), but I would especially appreciate hearing about 11 &; 12 from those who have worked those steps. Something like this might work out well either as a section of the basic text or as a meeting reading, but I'd like it to be (more) complete first.
Last edited by LearningSerenity on Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jeff
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Why work the steps?

Post by Jeff »

Very nice, Tim, thanks.

For me, there have been a number of transformations that I can link to working specific steps (there are others that I can't specifically link, but that I think are due to being in the fellowship, working with others, listening, and applying general principles that I hear about):

Step 1 helped me see how old and a little bit of how deep my gaming addiction is, and started me on the path of seeing how it affected me.

Step 2 helped me see that I had some old attitudes left over from my religious days that needed to go if I was going to accept help and take direction from any kind of power greater than myself (even if that power is just the fellowship).

Step 4 was extremely helpful to me in giving me a tool that I still use to deal with resentment and anger.  Both step 2 and step 4 helped me deal with fear, again by giving me some great tools.

Steps 6 and 7 gave me a tool for tapping in to power greater than myself when my life and behavior need to change. It's not self-help; for me, it's something much better and much more powerful than that.

Step 8 helped me see more of the harm that gaming addiction has done, and even helped me see how harming myself also harms others (likewise, harming them harms me as well).

There's more, but these are some of the big things.

The biggest pieces of transformation that I can't lay at the foot of any one step are these.  One happened slowly and one happened quickly.

Acceptance--the principle of acceptance is one I focused on for a very long time.  I have gradually come to have more and more of it.  It's tremendously helpful.  Tremendously.

Gratitude--this is the one that happened in a flash.  I realized that my life is one thing, and that I can't separate out all the bad and remove it from my past (or even my future), because then it would not be my life.  It's all tied up together.  There is only one present under the tree, and the only choice I have is whether or not to open it, whether or not to accept it.  Basically, in that moment, I became grateful for my life, and that sentiment has not left me since--although at times it recedes a bit, it always comes back.  

That's a bit of my experience with transformation.  Thanks for writing this up, Tim.
MorganF
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Why work the steps?

Post by MorganF »

Haven't read this; but I get the feeling this would be a good Pamphlet topic.

I like the idea of transformative experiences for each of the steps. We could have the bulk of the pamphlet be 2 or 3 short blurbs per Step from member's transformative experiences with that step.

Outline:

Introduction

Step 1
[blurb 1]
[blurb 2]
[blurb 3]

Step 2
[blurb 1]
[blurb 2]
[blurb 3]

Step 3
[blurb 1]
[blurb 2]
[blurb 3]

Step 4
[blurb 1]
[blurb 2]
[blurb 3]

and so on...
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Jeff
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:46 pm

Why work the steps?

Post by Jeff »

What I like about Morgan's idea is that my experience of reading the statements of the steps when I entered the fellowship did not prepare me for working them.  In fact, I can look back now and honestly say it was a hindrance.  I would have been better off if I had just been told to get a sponsor and try to follow his suggestions (and those of others in the fellowship) as best I could.  

The reason is that my experience of each step (the step itself, that is, the actions it involves) has been transformative in a way that the statement of the step gave me little information about, or at least imcomplete information.  Actually working it brought me something that reading it did not.  This pamphlet could help people get an idea of what kinds of concrete things the steps can do for them--get a bit of a sense of how powerful they are.  

We probably already have some of this material in our forum threads on people's experiences with the various steps.  We could easily go grab some of that.
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