So we’ve been through all twelve steps; what do we do now? Go through them again.
Did you ever wonder why the steps are all in the past tense? (We admitted … Came to believe … Made a decision … Were entirely ready … etc.) I did. I wondered about it a lot until just now, because just now I finally got it. The steps are in the past tense because that’s the way most everyone will experience them most of the time. You’ll be doing them again much more than you will be doing them. Doing them is nothing. Doing them again, and again, and again, is what it’s all about. So we remind ourselves of what we did, and in reminding ourselves, we do them again. It makes perfect sense.
And you can start anywhere. There is no order. Once you have gotten familiar with them, you can jump in anywhere you need help. And that’s what the twelve steps are, by the way: they are help. They are a means by which we get God in our life. And if He’s already there, they are a means by which we get more of Him and give over more of ourselves to Him. You can’t lose because you’ve already lost. You can’t go lower because you already hit bottom. It’s all up from here.
So remember what we did? In case you forgot, here it is again:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. 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.
Have you done all this? Excellent. Now do it again!