The public and many 12-Steppers assume the purpose of the 12 Steps Program is to “stop drinking” – or stop excess food, sex or whatever program the steps are being used for. Naturally when an alcoholic joins AA, he/she is helped to break the physical addiction and then is encouraged to “take the steps.”
“Practice these principles in ALL our affairs,” part of the 12th step, IS the work of the steps.
Discovering spiritual principles and applying them was the original motivation for AA meetings. It is a lifestyle and a path for spiritual awakening. However, eighty years after the creation of the steps, many 12-Steppers think the purpose of the steps is simply to halt a behavior. This misunderstanding of the purpose of the steps has caused suffering, depression, bizzare behavior and even suicide.
Accurate information regarding the 12-Steps can light up the path that brings an addicted person from hell to heaven.
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This is Stephan’s 30th year in AA. He also writes a daily blog quoting passages from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and discussing the spiritual principles found in the book.