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TUCoPS :: Wetware Hacking :: Others :: 12steps3.txt

Meditations on the "Twelve Steps" (of AA)




     
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                     Meditations on the Twelve Steps
                                    
                                    
                                Based on
                                    
                                    
                          A Course in Miracles 
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                          Nancy Dryden Lorieau
                                                                         
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                                    
                             To the Shifters
                                    
                                   
     "No one in this distracted world but has seen some
     glimpses of the other world about him. Yet while he
     still lays value on his own, he will deny the vision of
     the other, maintaining that he loves what he loves not,
     and following not the road that love points out.  Love
     leads so gladly!... 
     
     "To give this sad world over and exchange your errors
     for the peace of God is but your will." 
     
     ("A Course in Miracles", Foundation for Inner Peace:
     Box, 1104, Glen Ellen, CA, 1975.)(T13,8,6)
          
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
                          Introduction
                                     
     
     The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were in 1938
     written by its founder, Bill Wilson, while lying in bed.
     with pencil in hand and pad of yellow scratch paper on his
     knee. 
     
     "A Course in Miracles" was channelled during the period
     from October 1965 through September 1972 by Dr. Helen 
     Schucman.
     
     These meditations came to me in late November 1993, after I
     had asked my Higher Power for a way to show appreciation at
     Christmas to some Twelve Step friends. 
     
     I offer them in love.
     
     Nancy  Dryden Lorieau
     
                               
          
          
          
          
                             Step One
                                     
     
             "We admitted we were powerless over our
              addictions - that our lives had become
                           unmanageable." 
                                     
     
          My ego believes that I am alone and my world
     is a dangerous place. Only by doing something or
     getting something, will I attain the happiness and
     safety that I seek. When my efforts fail, it tells me
     there are certain "magic" substances and habits that
     can always be relied on. These are my addictions.
     
          As I close my eyes, I realize my ego has been mistaken.
     I see my addictions as devices that have brought only pain.
     I understand I have no control over them because I have
     given them all my power, but I also see they have no power
     of their own. They are as smoke, awaiting only the wind that
     will dispel them.
     
          I begin to see that I have been insane and I wonder
     about the world of sanity. What will I see there? How will I
     feel?
     
     
                "I know my beliefs are insane because 
                    they have not made me happy."
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                            Step Two
                               
                               
          "Came to believe that a Power greater than
               ourselves could restore us to sanity." 
                                
     
     Over and over, I have followed the ego s advice in my
     attempts to control my life, but each time I have
     failed. Sometimes I feel I can't go on. However, part
     of me remembers another Voice - a Voice of sanity and
     truth, a Voice of reassurance and comfort.
          
          I remember the sound of this Voice, soft and
     certain. It reminds me of my Creator and It tells me I
     am holy. "No Child of God," It says, "Can be less than
     perfect."
     
          I feel a warmth in my body and know there is a
     flame of Truth within me. I see an altar in my heart.
     On it burns a candle. Because the candle is small, the
     light is dim, but I know it is unextinguishable. As I
     think this thought, the light becomes brighter. I
     contrast the light of Truth with the confusion of
     darkness.
     
     
           "There are two paths open to me, one of chaos, 
                one of sanity. Which will I choose?"
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                              Step Three
                                             
                               
     "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to
           the care of God as we understood God."
                               
                                
     I stand at a crossroads. Two signs point the way. The
     one on the right is marked "Peace," the other "Fear."  
     I look down the road of fear and many figures beckon
     me. I see my addictions and their temporary
     satisfactions. I see my enemies and the false faces I
     have made for my friends. The landscape is littered
     with refuse.
     
          The road of peace looks different. There are trees
     and flowers beside the road and among them walk people
     I recognize as my brothers and sisters. Although many
     carry packs of varying sizes, their steps are light and
     their faces reflect serenity. I smell the fragrance of
     fresh-mown grass.
     
          A clamor erupts among the figures on the road of
     fear. They call to me, shouting promises, waving
     glittering strands of jewels and bottles filled with
     elixir. I gaze at them, and as I gaze the glitter falls
     away. I choose the road of peace.
     
          As I step forward, my brothers and sisters come to
     greet me. Welcoming hands clasp mine. The flame in my
     heart grows brighter. I feel gratitude to my Creator
     and am aware of my Creator's gratefulness to me.
     
     
     "I know there is a power that will heal not only my
                    addictions but my life."
                               
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                           Step Four
                                             
                               
        "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of
                          ourselves."

                                
     I am on the path now, but my step is anything but
     light. Although the flame in my heart burns brightly, I
     am weighed down by an enormous pack. I stop to rest
     under a tree, remove the pack, open it and look inside.
     
          The pack is filled with golden balls and large
     black stones. There are so many I cannot count them. I
     pull out a golden ball and, as I see my face reflected
     in its  surface, I realize the ball represents a loving
     deed I had forgotten. As I acknowledge this, the ball
     melts into my hand and becomes part of what I know
     about myself.
     
          Next I select a stone. As I examine it, I
     understand it represents a belief of which I am
     ashamed. I decide to acknowledge this belief. Instantly
     the stone grows smaller and lighter, both in color and
     in weight. I place it beside me.
     
          When I ask the light in my heart what I should do,
     the Voice of Certainty advises me to examine each
     object until the pack is empty. At first I resist, but
     soon I realize this task is necessary if I am to know
     myself. I resolve to carry it through.
     
     
         
       "I am thankful for the opportunity to know myself."
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                          Step Five
                                             
                               
      "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human
             being the exact nature of our wrongs."
                               
                                
     I am sitting under a tree beside my path next to a pile
     of small grey stones. People are passing by. I feel
     embarrassed and ashamed. I am sure each person will see
     the stones and condemn me. Perhaps some will take the
     stones and throw them at me! I become afraid. I attempt
     to cover the stones with my pack, but it seems
     hopeless. What if my Creator should see them? I cower
     in fear.
     
          Slowly, a feeling of warmth and certainty fills my
     body. I begin to understand that I am safe. I hear the
     Voice. (I am growing used to it now.) "Your Creator
     does not see the stones," It says, "Only your
     innocence." 
      
          I try to understand, but it is difficult. "Soon," 
     promises the Voice, "Soon . . ."  
     
          I look for someone to speak with about my stones.
     Although I feel some uncertainty, I know this must be
     done. Someone sits down beside me. As I look into her
     eyes, I realize she is the one. Together we examine the
     stones. I feel accepted and safe. I know this person
     sees my holiness as well as the things I regret. As we
     embrace, I am filled with love. I know this person is
     my friend.
     
     
       "I recognize my holiness and the holiness of others."
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                          Step Six
                                             
                               
        "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these
                    defects of character." 
                                
     I am sitting under a tree beside my pile of stones. I
     put them back in my pack, shoulder the pack and
     continue on my way. My pack is much lighter now, but it
     is still heavy. After awhile, I stop to rest.
     
          Some of the people on my path have no pack at all.
     These people seem to have more energy than the rest;
     they seem lighter and happier. I begin to wish my pack
     were gone. 
     
          I hear the Voice. "You wish your pack were gone,
     but you are still holding on to it!"  I notice my
     fingers gripping one of the straps. Although I try to
     let go, it is difficult.
     
          The Voice tells me that some people let go of
     their burdens one stone at a time, but I want to
     release them all. As I visualize myself releasing the
     pack, I am filled with gratitude. My fingers relax. I
     am ready to let go.
     
     
       "I release the past. Now is the only time there is."
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                         Step Seven
                                             
                               
         "Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings." 
                                
     I am sitting beside my path next to my pack. I am ready
     to let it go. Eyes closed, I ask my Creator to take it
     away. I feel a Gentle Presence.
     
           "I cannot remove your burden, my Child, because I
     cannot see it. I see only your holiness. I see only
     your light. You have made your burden; now, you must
     walk away from it." 
     
          Someone takes my hand. Opening my eyes, I see it
     is my friend. Gently, she pulls me to my feet.
     Together, we continue down the path.
     
     
                 "I understand that I am free.
                    I am as God created me."
                    
     
     
     
     
                          "Step Eight"
                                             
                               
           
           "Made a list of all persons we had harmed 
           and became willing to make amends to them." 
                               
                               
     I am walking along the path with my friend. My pack is
     gone. Although I am happy, I am not yet at peace. I ask
     my friend why.
     
          "Now that you have laid down your burden, "she
     says, "You must set things to rights. You must make
     amends."

          I am surprised.  I thought when I walked away from
     that pack it was finished,  I say. "You mean there's
     more?"
     
           "Yes," says my friend. "Now you must deal with
     every person or situation about which you have a
     feeling of guilt, and you must deal with these in such
     a way that peace returns to your relationship." 
     
          I ask the Voice for guidance and learn that the
     main cause of unhappiness in my relationships was that
     I had seen others as either more or less important than
     myself. I had not recognized their value as equal
     Children of God. I understand that the healing of my
     relationships will come only with respect for the
     holiness of my brothers and sisters.
     
          My friend hands me a paper and pencil. I sit down
     beside the path, search my heart and begin to write.
     
     
         
            "I am grateful for my equal companions.
                         I feel their love."
                         
                         
                         
                         
                            Step Nine
                               
                               
      "Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, 
        except when to do so would injure them or others." 
                               
     
     It's late in the afternoon and my friend and I are
     sitting in the shade of a large rock, eating a simple
     dinner. I am in a hurry.
     
          "I've finished my list," I say,  And I'd like to
     get a few of these names taken care of before bedtime.
     I'll just go down to the phone at the general store and
     call them all up to say I'm sorry. I hope I have enough
     quarters." 
     
          "Not so fast!" says my friend. "Making amends," as
     I said, "usually involves more than just saying you're
     sorry. It means setting things to rights. Every case is
     different. Sometimes you can t do anything at all but
     offer a blessing in your heart." 
     
          "But how will I know?" I cry in frustration. I'm
     not God!" 
     
          "No," smiles my friend, "But the Creator is."
           
          I take out my list and look at the first name,
     then close my eyes and ask for guidance.
     
          The answer comes.
     
         
           "I allow the healing of my relationships."
           




                          Step Ten 
                                             
                               
            "Continued to take personal inventory,
         and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." 
                               
                                
     Again, I am on the path. It is a beautiful day and I
     feel carefree and happy. I have not quite finished with
     my amends, but I am making good progress. I notice
     people are happy to be with me. Strangers sometimes
     smile when they catch my eye.
     
          I stop by a roadside stand. A wizened old man has
     arranged a variety of items on a long, bare table. He
     looks hungry and ill. I decide to buy something.
     
          As I look over the merchandise, I see a tarnished
     golden ring with an unusual stone. Although it is
     priced very cheaply, I suspect it is valuable. I
     discover it is gold. Hardly able to contain my glee, I
     pay the peddler fifty cents, put the ring on my finger
     and continue on my way. I'm proud of the sharp bargain
     I've made.
     
          Then, I feel a weight in my pocket. I reach in and
     discover a large, black stone. I realize my mistake.
     
          Quickly, I return to the stand, give the ring to
     the peddler, and explain its value. I see the gratitude
     in his eyes. We shake hands in friendship.
     
     
           "My Guidance tells me what to do."






                      Step Eleven 
                               
                               
      "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
        conscious contact with God, as we understood God,
     praying only for the knowledge of God's will for us and
             the power to carry that out."
                               
                               
     It's morning. I have been sleeping beside a small
     stream. As I wake up from my happy dream, I hear birds
     singing and the sharp tinkling of water. I look forward
     to the day ahead.
     
          After washing my face in the stream, I sit cross-
     legged on my bedroll. I close my eyes and turn my
     thoughts to my Creator.
     
          I acknowledge God's holiness and my appreciation
     for creation. I remember the sacredness of all things
     and all people. 
     
          I ask to be led where I am needed, and for the
     resources necessary to do what I am requested to do.
     
          I offer my guilt and my grievances for healing.
     
          Gratitude fills my heart. I know I am not alone.
     
     
       "As I understand my Creator, I understand myself."
          
          
          
          
          
                            Step Twelve
                               
                               
      "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of
     these steps, we tried to carry this message to others
     and to practice these principles in all our affairs." 
                               
                               
     It's midday. I m walking along the path. Although the
     weather is chilly and the sky is overcast, the light in
     my heart warms my companions and me, and casts a
     special radiance on all I see in my world.
     
          I know I am in exactly the right place and this is
     exactly the right time. I am filled with certainty.
     
          As I round a curve in the path, I see a person
     sitting alone under a tree next to a pile of small grey
     stones.
     
          I sit down beside him . . . 
     
     
              "When I ask only to be helpful, I know 
                      exactly what to do."
                               
                                  
                                                            
                               
                  Meditations on the 12 Steps
                      is copyright   1993
                              by
                     Nancy Dryden Lorieau
                      14028 - 121 Avenue
                     Edmonton, AB T5L 2S9
                            Canada
                   Telephone: (403) 455-9820
                               
                                


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