Highlight on the 12 Steps
Steps 1-3 By John Strecker-Baseler
There are countless ways that we can illustrate powerlessness from experiences
of life. This time of year I think of driving on snow and ice.
There is nothing worse than to go into a skid on ice and not be able to regain
control of the vehicle. We feel totally powerless over the situation and can
only hope and pray the damage is limited. Feeling powerless in life is never
fun or easy to cope with, but it is part
of the life’s experience we all face. On
a deeper level, all human beings have
limits. We have limits at every turn.
We have limits with gravity, with the
amount of time we are awake, limits
to how much we can eat, how long we
live and how well we can reason and
face adversities. We live in a country
that wants to lift up rugged individualism and the freedom to dream without
limit. Also, our culture does not
do well with grief. We are to “get over”
quickly our losses and fix even difficult
and complex problems with easy
solutions. These are all limits that are
not accepted by our culture and do
not serve us well. The life after alcohol rehab and recovery
is real and in touch with the difficulties
of accepting our limits even while
we live in a culture that is out of touch
with limits and looking for a cure for
all that limits us.
As a child of an
I am impressed with all I have learned from
people after making it through
Accepting one’s powerlessness over a disease is a pattern
that can be helpful to all of humanity
because we all face limits.
Acceptance is the key to finding a way
to be real and authentic, by living honestly
within our limits. When we live
within our limits, we are ready to turn
to a Greater Power to help bring some sense of peace and joy occasionally to
As no one is perfect, by definition,
all have issues to work on in relationship
with the God of one’s understanding.
What I need to work on in my
relationship with God, often times, is
also a relapse trigger. One of my issues
is self-will. I want to do it my way. Eventually,
I notice that I have managed to
make a mess of things, and then I am
ready to turn over to God and say, “I
surrender.” I picture self-will as a “tugof-
war” with God. Now, who do you
think is going to win this struggle? Time
and time again I catch myself arm wrestling
with God. You’d think I’d learn.
The decision to turn my will over to God
is an obvious one. Turning over my will
to God’s care is the
journey after alcohol rehab and recovery,
and I must do it each day. When I do,
I am able to follow God’s lead and with
a stronger power than the disease by my
side, I am able to stay clean and sober.
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