Freedom is the Gift of the Twelve Steps
Think what you want about the Twelve Steps, millions of people around the globe are successfully living “happy, joyous, and free” lives because of them.
When someone experiencing addiction earnestly applies her sincerest dedication to working the 12 Steps, and stays involved in a 12 Step community over time, she has a fighting chance at a remarkable and meaningful life.
As anyone who has ever been enslaved, incarcerated or otherwise bound knows: freedom is everything. The greatest gift of all.
Remember the Miraculous
Depending how bad our addiction was, this fact of restored freedom can seem more or less miraculous.
People once thought lost to the straits of hell can turn their ships around and return to to the land of the living. Like heroes from a fairy tale, such people often sail on with such a spiritual wind at their backs that they far exceed what might be called the expectations of ordinary living.
Life as an addict is a grotesque distortion of a human life, but life as a recovering addict is a heightened, more poignant and spiritually productive life than is generally available to those who don’t know what addiction is like.
Addiction is a Hero-Maker
Addiction either kills you or it forces you to awaken to your true nature. If your struggle with the kraken of your drug of choice doesn’t result in taking you under forever, your victory over it will be the same reason you are able to bring the latent beauty and elegance of your true intended life pattern into physicalized expression.
Addiction is the best foe imaginable – one which will force you to either embody your greatest heroic potential, or will take your life in forfeit.
The Ego and the Addict
Naturally, the addict within us doesn’t like 12 Step. She senses the threat. She might try it on to tell us that the 12 steps are lame or embarrassing.
Well, that’s pot calling the kettle black. Being an addict is even more lame and embarrassing, when we get past the glamor, drama and romance and look at the brass tacks of wasting our lives in service to endless gluttony, craving, and inability to be satisfied.
It’s amazing how the ego and the addict can work together, to construct a narrative in which recovery isn’t cool.
In some ways, of course, they’re correct, because cool is about distance, and appearances, and who we imagine we are in the eyes of others. Cool is keeping the cards close to our vest and staying detached from it all.
Recovery isn’t something to brag about – and thank God it’s not. Because if it were something we could reasonably brag about, or have a viable ego trip about, that would be the beginning of the end of our recovery.
Ego tries to replace the role of Source, the mystery from whom we receive our life and that beauty we are never, ever going to be able to control, whether we crave to or don’t.
The vanity of the Ego is infinite, and its ability to find a reason to resist the Twelve Steps is also infinite. So we keep an eye on ego and its pal, the addict.
To Whom Do We Owe our Recovery?
Even as an admirer of the Twelve Steps, if I’m not in a spiritual frame of mind, my ego might want me to de-emphasize the degree to which the Twelve Steps matter to me, how much I owe my life to them.
As though the Twelve Steps are my mother and my father, and they embarrass me. How can I be embarrassed of them, for raising me, for giving me life?
The Twelve Steps are not the only way to a loving relationship with Spirit, but they represent a systematized, structured, reliable path that works, especially given to those of us with the addict pattern woven into our destinies.
Modern Love Letters to the Twelve Steps
In honor of the Twelve Steps, hallowed ancestors of recovery, I will explore them one by one in a series of posts over the following months.
I will unpack each Step with a modern love letter that weaves in insights from the many holistic modalities that Villa Kali Ma uses to help heal each woman who comes through our doors.
My hope is that these letters will help you feel more love in your own heart, for each Step on this very special, very human, very tender path to happiness.
Thank you for reading!