Monday, June 9, 2014

Never Finished


Now that I've completed posting steps 1 through 12, you might think I'm finished blogging. I've reached the end of the manual. I'm done working the steps. I'm done blogging about it.


You see, I'm not dead yet. I'm not going to live the rest of my life perfectly with no regrets, and I still don't know everything about myself. I've just scratched the surface. If I stop now, not only will I be stunting my growth here, but I will eventually begin to lose the things I've learned thus far. As I go about the rest of my life, I will start repeating mistakes I've made in the past unless I keep working.

The 12 Step program for Addiction Recovery isn't just 12 steps really. It's not even just for addicts either. It's really a lifetime program for anyone in need of the atonement. Who does that include?

The addict. The addict in recovery. The addict not yet in recovery. The recovered addict. The addict's loved one. The addict's enemy. The one that doesn't know about the addict. The one that doesn't know the addict at all. And everybody else.

The atonement is for everyone. Whether they know about recovery or not.

Because in all reality, the 12 steps encompass the repentance process. I grew up learning the steps of repentance in primary where there are only four steps: Feeling sorry, Saying sorry, Righting the wrong, Keeping commandments from then on.

Well, really, those four steps are broken down into 12 for the addiction recovery program. Are we ever done with the repentance process? No.

Feeling Sorry: Steps 1-4
Start out with complete honesty with yourself and God. Believe God can help you make it right. Trust in Him to help you through it. Repeat being completely and thoroughly truthful with yourself and God.

Saying Sorry: Steps 5
Apologizing to yourself, God, the bishop, or anyone else it effects about your wrong without excuses.

Righting the wrong: Steps 6-9
Lean on God to help you become a better person and stop repeating wrongs. Humble yourself and ask God to help remove your weaknesses. Contemplate how to help make things better after your mistakes and do what you can do make it better. Talk to people about it. Act on things you can act on.

Keeping the commandments from then on: Steps 10-12
Keep track of your progress every day, every hour, every moment so you can avoid making the same mistakes. Seek the Lord's guidance in everything you do. Of course, part of keeping the commandments is helping others come unto Christ.

And we are never done.  The most important thing to remember after step 12 is that we have to keep up with our own progress in order to be a help to anyone else. The only way I can be an instrument in the hands of my Heavenly Father is if I am leaning on Him and doing my best in my own life.

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