Why is it called a "journey?"
Everyone who "stops drinking" or using drugs has reached the first rung in the ladder of sobriety.
But let's be honest, most people can't maintain that goal. Relapse happens all around us and people get consumed by this disease often resulting in loss. Loss of jobs. Loss of family. Loss of freedom. Loss of life.
The question is WHY???
I'm a big believer that there is more to quitting drinking than quitting drinking!
If I have no goal, if there is no destination down the road, and if abstinence is the only target, then my work is done on day one, and there is nothing more to do once I put the bottle down.
That mentality is shortsighted, limiting, and unsatisfying. It leaves me unfulfilled and restless. Over time, that restlessness and lack of direction or purpose will fester into irritation with the world and a feeling like life is not good enough.
And if I am not on a journey of self-improvement, spiritual progress, and social connection, the untreated mental and spiritual side of this illness called "alcoholism" will gain strength enough to overpower me. It will convince my spirit that I am not happy, and it will convince my mind that I should drink again.
Therefore, I must always be stepping in the direction of mental, spiritual, or fulfilling goals in life.
The 12 steps break the journey down into small steps, allowing me to remove barriers, develop honesty, humility, and work ethic. They help me clear away the things that keep me stuck and powerless over the drink. They connect me with new energy and understanding of the thing we call God.
Being on a journey is exciting. It's rewarding. Each new chapter in the journey offers me a new opportunity to use the 12 steps yet again to move me closer to the next goal in life.
If the result of the 12 steps is a "spiritual awakening" that means that I must start out with the goal of waking up to new ideas, new ways of tackling life's problems, and seeking a new attitude.
With each new day, I get the opportunity to continue to take an inventory of my life and apply the 12 steps to any areas that I find troublesome. I get the chance to evaluate if I am reaching my goals and if I am, to set my sights on new ones!
Ladders are meant to be climbed. Steps are meant to be taken.
Standing on the first step gets me NOWHERE!
Just for today, set a goal. Something that will improve your mind, body, or spirit. Maybe it's something you want to accomplish at work. Maybe it's improving your credit score or something to do with your education or parenting skills. Maybe it's an improvement in your relationships or social skills.
With that goal in mind, pick up the spiritual toolkit and begin using the 12 steps to clear away the things that block you from that goal.
What I have found, when I am working toward a goal AND using the 12 steps, something happens to my spirit. My soul. It changes me. It feeds me. It excites me and gives me the energy to enjoy the journey of life.
When I am energized about life and feeling new motivation and excitement about my path, I find that the thought of drinking either doesn't exist, or it repulses me.
I'm not really concerned with what other people call this, but I can say that when I use the steps to work toward a goal, I am brought in connection with my understanding of the thing I call GOD. And with God in one hand and the fellowship in the other, I can take the steps toward my next goal in life without living in fear of drinking!
Enjoy the journey
By Jeff W.
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