March 25, 2024 Light and Hope

Before entering into Recovery, there was a significant amount of darkness in my life. If a person were to ask me what fears did I experience I would have responded, “I don’t fear a thing.” When I opened the curtain into my heart and soul a significant amount of fear dictated my actions. For example, achievement in the classroom and on the basketball court. In normal circumstances, there is nothing wrong with achievement in our lives. My problem was being obsessed with not failing.

When I committed to Recover life slowly became built upon light and hope. Using the 12 steps as my compass they became a refugee for me. I turned to thinking, “Of whom should I be afraid.” I believe when old thinking patterns attempt to devour me I have the armor of the steps to protect me. My foes (people in my life – the media) may attempt to bring me down and trip me up to fall back.

The beauty of practicing Recovery is my heart will not succumb to fear (fear is part of the human condition. The catch is not to be a slave to fear). Even though there can be an external war trying to flip me back into darkness I trust in following the steps which wrap my heart and soul around light and hope.

Hope is not regulated to the level of wishful thinking, a positive approach, or mere optimism. We hear hope used in ways like these; “I sure hope the economy will turn around soon.” “Here’s hoping that the United States wins the world cup”.

What is hope? Hope is found in the steps. Hope can be an expectation and anticipation that rests on what we believe. Hope is ‘strong’ it brings us goodness and faithfulness. Hope is in a person, the 12 steps are rooted in reality, not as something we have to work up using only our strength.

I attend two support groups each week. We reflect on our implementation of the steps from the previous week during the opening of each meeting. I notice I have made progress in my Recovery. God is my Higher Power and I feel closer to him now as compared to the distance I once had between him and me.

I believe the steps offer hope and light despite my faults. How do I make decisions using the application of the steps? I wait and listen for the compassionate voice inside my heart and soul. The tithing (message) may come from another person, something I read, and/or “I Just Do It.” Three tidings come to me each with the same message. When this happens I act.

How do you utilize hope on your Recovery journey?

\How do you help others find hope and light on their Recovery journey?

12 Steps to Health

Hope ≈ Healing ≈ Health

  1. We dedicate ourselves to a lifestyle of Recovery; our lives have purpose and meaning.
  2. We believe a Power greater than ourselves is the path to hope, healing, and health.
  3. We choose to contemplate daily, how faith in our Higher Power and Recovery Community can bring us peace.
  4. We choose to educate ourselves and find the courage to strive for the highest level of health and well-being.
  5. We communicate our Plan of Recovery with our Higher Power, with ourselves, and with another human being.
  6. We allow our Higher Power to be the lighthouse in our lives.
  7. We humbly ask our Higher Power to reveal his unconditional love and ongoing presence within us.
  8. We acknowledge our behaviors have impacted our relationships. We list those affected by our behavior and whenever possible become willing to reconcile or thank them for their support during a relapse or mental health crisis.
  9. We seek mutual reconciliation for a harmful action we committed and seek forgiveness from those we harmed or were impacted by our behavior. Then, let go of our shame because it no longer serves a purpose in our lives, we understand we were designed because we are loved and to be in relationships with other people.
  10. We continually review our Plan of Recovery with our Higher Power, support team, and those we trust.
  11. We come to recognize our shortcomings during recovery, while discovering our Higher Power is the source of our strength and mercy, we learn to rely on our Higher Power for the courage to heal through prayer, reflection, mindfulness, and when necessary seek professional support.
  12. We gain insight into our recovery through our Higher Power as we model these steps, and share our journey toward hope, healing, and health with people.

Adapted From 12 Steps of Alcoholic/Depressed Anonymous by Larry Winter and Collene Spaeth

Revised: 6/5/20





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