Step 11

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IMG951046Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power the carry that out.
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 59.

November. It’s the 11th month and the 11th Step of the year. If you’re going to regular 12 step meetings, you have doubtless attended several Step 11 meetings already. If you’re not going to regular meetings, why not? Just saying.

When it comes to the “God” steps, there are several types of people. One, they want God. They want God really badly. And they know God lives in a church, so they go there and it feels good! Two, they went to church one time (or a million times) and they hated it; never went back. Three, they never had anything to do with a God that lived in a church and they don’t understand anything about those weirdos who go to mass/worship and get something out of it. What? And fourth, there IS no God. Are you kidding? Ludicrous And fifth? Well, there’s a fifth of vodka, which I love, but the fifth I’m talking about is all the rest of you. If you don’t fit one of these categories, It doesn’t matter.The most amazing thing about this step, is that it DOESN’T MATTER. Spending time trying to convince the world and yourself that you’re the exception to the rule, i.e. “God doesn’t work for me.” is a waste of time. God is just a generally recognizable term for something bigger than you. Period. You are not the center of the Universe. There IS something bigger than you and it’s your job as a person in recovery to access it and then get to know it. It’s that simple. Quit trying to complicate it. It just IS.

Prayer. Just do it. Say the Serenity prayer. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Say the St. Francis prayer. Say, “ Please keep me sober today,.” Say, “Help me.” Say, “Your will.” Think it. Will it with your heart. Write it. It doesn’t matter. Prayer is prayer. Say something. Say anything. Think something. Think anything. Will something. Will anything. To whatever. Whomever. Whenever. It DOESN’T MATTER. The only inadequate prayer is that which is not done.

Meditation. Do it. Sit quietly. Go for a walk. Enjoy nature. Drive in the country. Read a book. Listen to the wind. Take a bath. Recite a positive phrase over and over. Watch a sunset. Read poetry. Whatever it is that makes you pause. That’s meditation. Do it. The only inadequate meditation is that which is not done.

Step 11 is not a “maintenance step,” it is the lifeblood of recovery. Don’t just think about it. Do it. Your recovering life depends on it.

-Kate Zimmerman Alumnus #35

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