Looking back through the years, I am moved to share something that was once shared with me... Thank you R!
Consider this to be one long-timer's translation of the Twelve Steps. She saw them as a powerful guide showing us precisely what we need to do, and in what order, so we might recover from our emotional problems (or whatever our problem may be).
Step 1 - Defines our specific problem - powerlessness over our emotions... and the resulting unmanageability of our lives..
Step 2 - Defines the solution - sanity through belief in a Power greater than ourselves.
Step 3 - A decision to take the rest of the steps to learn how that Power greater than ourselves is available to us.
Now, we begin to be at peace with the God of our understanding.
Step 4 - A sincere effort to learn the truth about ourselves.
Step 5 - The humility to honestly admit our character liabilities to our Higher Power, ourselves, and another human being. We learn more of the truth about how we have harmed others and ourselves.
Step 6 - A commitment to our Higher Power that we will continue our study of the 12 Steps and efforts to follow the clear-cut directions to the best of our ability.
Step 7 - Now that we have told God we will do our part, we humbly ask God to do His part.
At this point we begin to be at peace with ourselves.
Step 8 - Take the list of people we've harmed from our 4th Step and now add to it if needed any one we've neglected, used, abused or harmed including ourself.
Step 9 - Make restitution to all the people we have harmed as listed in our 8th Step. This action step is vital to long term emotional sobriety because this is where we forgive ourselves and others. If we have carefully followed the directions of the first nine steps, we will experience a psychic change or a spiritual awakening.
At this point we will begin to be at peace with the people and the world around us.
Step 10 - Continue to apply Steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 moment by moment, day by day.
This is how we stay free of our old ideas that do not and did not work, that keep us emotionally ill. This is the beginning of spiritual growth.
Step 11 - This is how we learn to talk to God (pray) and to listen to God (meditation).
Step 12 - This is the promise of the program: spiritual awakening. We continue to discover our life purpose is, and learn how to apply these Steps to every area of our lives.
This is where we fully live this Program.