This is just one man's experience, feel free to have your own.

Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (fill in the blank)-that our lives had become unmanageable.
This is the honesty step. My addiction has kicked my butt. My solution has become my problem. Left to my own devises, I will lead a miserable life or die an ugly death. I'm not a bad person, I'm a sick person. Inner Bonding and other therapies have convinced me to swap wounded for sick. The beginning of mindfulness or what I call gutfulness. Step 1 of Inner Bonding.

Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This is the open mindedness step. If I can't handle my addiction, then I need a power greater than myself and greater than my addiction to handle it for me. The 12 steps like Inner Bonding, leave it up to us to define this power. The insanity we're talking about is the insanity of the first donut, hit, drink, slot pull, etc. When you get hit by a train, it's the locomotive that kills you not the caboose. Open mindedness, Open heartedness, Choosing the intent to learn. Step 2 of Inner Bonding.

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him (or Her or It).
This is the willingness step. Making a decision to live by the grace and guidance of whatever power you believe in. All roads lead to one destination.

Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This is the first action step. We inventory our resentments, fears, hurts and sexual behavior. In this process, we switch from blaming other people for our problems to taking responsibility for them. Addicts carry a tremendous load of guilt. We feel like bad people because we have done bad things. Other therapies would have us take a look at our childhoods. Did we get healthy bonding with our caretakers? Were we made to feel that the world revolved around us for the first 18 months of our lives? Did we feel safe and secure? Were we then coached into healthy separation for the next 18 months? Were we allowed to be independent one moment and dependent the next? Did we feel accepted and valued and competent? If you did, you probably wouldn't be reading this right now. Or were we abandoned, neglected and abused? If we were, it's time to forgive them for being wounded, too, and take responsibility for our healing. Can you see how inventories and dialogues can be interchangeable?

Step 5.Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
This step is the end of isolation and uniqueness. We no longer go it alone. This is a good time to get out those secrets. You know, the secrets you were never going to tell anyone. The secrets you were going to take to the grave. The ones that make you unlovable. More dialogue.

Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
These are the change steps, the healing steps. "With God, all things are possible." These steps help a drunken horse thief not act like a sober horse thief. It's progress, not perfection. I am so much more than my woundedness but I need help to manifest it. Every negative has a positive. I can pray to be less selfish or I can pray to be more generous. One leaves me with that hole in the donut feeling, the other puts me back in partnership with my higher guidance. More dialogue.

Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do would injure them or others.
More dialogue. This is not just saying, "We're sorry." We've been sorry for a long time. This is making it right, repairing the damage. We get right with ourselves, our fellows and our creator. This is Loving Action at its finest.

Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
This is working steps 4 thru 9 as necessary. More dialoging. More Loving Action. Step 6 of Inner Bonding.

Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him (or Her or It), praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
What can I say? It's a beautiful thing.

Step 12.Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics (others), and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The 12 steps and Inner Bonding: a way out, a way up and a way through.
Tools for life, love and light.



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