October 20, 2011

Step Eleven, Out of Step

My way of using Step Eleven might be a bit outside the box. 

I always felt I'd cheated, by doing  Step Eleven while learning my first Three-Step waltz.  

(You know the short version of the first three steps:  "I can't. He can. I think I'll let him." That's what I call the Waltz:  One, Two, Three.... One, Two, Three).

Sometimes those who come into the program with faith, find it straightforward to do these three steps over and over until they make sense. Eventually, momentum takes them naturally to Step Four.  

But when I came into my first program room, I keenly felt God had abandoned me in my hour of need. For the Three Step waltz to make any sense to me, it was essential that I rekindle a relationship with an HP within me, in my  heart, where love and compassion reside. 

I would never have had  the courage for Step Four without a workable concept of an HP, revealed to me through prayer and meditation.

Another way my Step Eleven is non-traditional, is that a gratitude practice was not commonly recognized as prayer when I began using it for my recovery.  When I first had the courage to spell out that gratitude could be Step Eleven, I really felt as if I'd done a magic trick. Yet it was true, that each piece of revealed good was evidence of the Divine at work in my life.  

Today I am more comfortable sharing that long before the Steps made any sense to me,  I did a one-day-and-one-gratitude-at-a-time Program. Through that gratitude practice,  I was taking action, choosing to "Look for the Good."  

Only many years later did I realize gratitude might be a legitimate part of Step Eleven.  Today I am grateful for the words Meister Eckhart,   "If the only prayer you ever said was 'thank you,' that would suffice."  

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