Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The final step suggests a result from taking the previous eleven, that being a spiritual experience. Then attempting to take this experience out to other sufferers and finally to practice this in all our relationships and areas of our lives.
What is a spiritual awakening?
One definition is to awaken the spirit. For many, who have practiced these steps over time it is the release from the prison of the addiction that has held them in darkness and pain for so long with no end in sight. It does not necessarily mean a burning bush type of experience. Those experiences do occur, but are few and far between. Most settle for a release from extreme self-centeredness and an interest in others well being. Having an awareness of a power greater than ourselves and knowing that this power, most call God, as we understand Him will help us solve all our problems.
What is the message?
The 12th step states “having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps”. That is the message. When you have carefully and honestly followed the directions you will have had a change by the time you reach step 12. This change is your message to carry to others. This can be done by simple sharing with them exactly what you did in the actions of these steps.
How do I carry this to others?
The main way you will carry this message is by living your life and utilizing these steps to deal with troubles as they come up. What you do and how you live your life speaks volumes about the message of the 12 steps. If you belong to a 12 step program you will have countless opportunities to carry this message by sharing your experience, your strength, and your hope to the new people that show up.
What are the principles and how do I practice them in all my affairs?
All of your experiences and results from taking the 12 steps are the principles. Honesty, love, service, courage, integrity, faith, and hope, to name a few, are the specific principles embodied in the steps.
How to practice them in all your affairs is simply to continue using these steps in your relationships at home, work and anywhere else. Certainly, life in its basic form is about relationships and as you learn to use these steps your relationships will improve. It is a natural progression.