The 12 steps and 12 promises

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Dan2000 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:35 am

Twelve Steps and Twelve Promises

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol---that our lives had become unmanageable.
Promise: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Promise: We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
Promise: We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Promise: No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Promise: That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Promise: We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

7. Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.
Promise: Self-seeking will slip away.

8. Made a list of all the persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Promise: Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so, would injure them or others.
Promise: Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Promise: We will intuitively know how to handle situations which use to baffle us.

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.
Promise: We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us, what we could not do for ourselves.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us...sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

Note: There is not one... I, Me, or My in any of the 12 steps.....This is a We, Us or Our program....
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Tommy-S » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:26 am

Hello Dan,

It is my understanding that these "Promises' are as a result of the 1st Nine Steps, hence I'm confused by any attempt to reconcile them with each of the 12 Steps. Through out the Big Book, one can find (or claim to find) promised results of a particular Step.

There is a an share that was included in AA's "BOX 459" (Holiday Issue, 2008, pg 6) one can still find on AA's GSO website in which the writer states that s/he found NO evidence that 'The (9th Step) Promises' were ever intended to be stand alone, or elevated to the importance of the 12 Steps or 12 Traditions http://www.aa.org/newsletters/en_US/en_box459_holiday08.pdf

Personally, I believe that which follows on pg 84 -85, "We cease fighting anything or anyone -- even Alcohol...seldom interested in liquor... If tempted, we recoil.... a position of Neutrality... etc" better reflect what I came to AA for... The escape from John Barleycorn's Mad Realm.

It's probably just apples and oranges. Today I understand that the Steps are just 12 pieces of one great whole, which I believe is summed up best in the 12 x 12's Foreward (3rd paragraph):

"AA's Twelve Steps are a Group of Principles, Spiritual in their Nature, which, IF Practiced as a way of Life, Can Expel the Obsession and Enable the Sufferer to become Happily and Usefully Whole"

Thanks for letting me share... Tommy
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Brock » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:44 pm

Tommy made a good point; we don't have the pleasure of seeing him on these forums as much as we used to. But if someone was looking for a promise to come true in their lives after each step, they would be disappointed. However when we have completed the work and they have come true, I believe we can look back and maybe agree, that certain steps had a particularly strong influence on one promise or the other. The writer of the article Tommy mentions believes these happen 'during' step 9, here is part of that -
In fact, these promises are introduced with the statement (italics
added), “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through,” referring to Step Nine, the phase of recovery in which we make amends.

I will need to give further thought to this, because I always believed that the book meant half way through the recovery process, not half way through step nine as the writer says, this phase of development to me indicates the recovery process not just one step. I usually try to encourage new people to get on with 4 & 5, by speaking about the “promise” after 5, that the feeling that the drink problem has disappeared often happens then.

PS. On rereading it is possible the person in the article was also referring to halfway through the recovery process and not just step 9, but still that would mean to them 9 is half way through the process, I am not sure that is what the book means.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 1:12 pm

Thanks for the topic, Dan.

Regarding this:

Dan2000 wrote:....Note: There is not one... I, Me, or My in any of the 12 steps.....This is a We, Us or Our program....


Would you provide a little clarification on this point, i.e. what it means to you?

Tommy-S wrote:...

"AA's Twelve Steps are a Group of Principles, Spiritual in their Nature, which, IF Practiced as a way of Life, Can Expel the Obsession and Enable the Sufferer to become Happily and Usefully Whole"....


Worked for me!

Thanks for the link to the Grapevine article. Good read. I particularly liked what the author said here:

"....And, about that suggestion that there are a lot of other promises in the Big Book beyond the ones Bill wrote about on pages 83-84? One enthusiastic A.A. member sent in a list to G.S.O. in which he had com- piled 238!

Not found on that list, however, was one of A.A.’s fundamental promises—one heard in meetings around the world:

“If you don’t pick up the first drink, you won’t get drunk.”


One day at a time, that last promise worked for me too!
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Dan2000 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:28 am

This list was given to me by someone with half a century of sobriety, just thought I would share it. Was not aware of any errors....Thx.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Dan2000 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:49 am

ezdzit247 wrote:Thanks for the topic, Dan.

Regarding this:

Dan2000 wrote:....Note: There is not one... I, Me, or My in any of the 12 steps.....This is a We, Us or Our program....


Would you provide a little clarification on this point, i.e. what it means to you?


What it means to me is, I can't do this alone, but we can....


Tommy-S wrote:...

"AA's Twelve Steps are a Group of Principles, Spiritual in their Nature, which, IF Practiced as a way of Life, Can Expel the Obsession and Enable the Sufferer to become Happily and Usefully Whole"....


Worked for me!



Thanks for the link to the Grapevine article. Good read. I particularly liked what the author said here:

"....And, about that suggestion that there are a lot of other promises in the Big Book beyond the ones Bill wrote about on pages 83-84? One enthusiastic A.A. member sent in a list to G.S.O. in which he had com- piled 238!

Not found on that list, however, was one of A.A.’s fundamental promises—one heard in meetings around the world:

“If you don’t pick up the first drink, you won’t get drunk.”


One day at a time, that last promise worked for me too!
Remember in all we do, it's Progress,not perfection.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby ezdzit247 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:13 pm

Dan2000 wrote:This list was given to me by someone with half a century of sobriety, just thought I would share it. Was not aware of any errors....Thx.


Sure. And good for him or her. The list is that person's view of the AA program and it does have a nice symmetry to it. My personal view of the AA program is more like the quote from the 12 & 12. For me it means we get to begin to realize the promises as soon as we begin to apply the principles in all our affairs, one day at a time. Such a deal!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Dan2000 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:03 pm

Hi I also got some info from the same person who gave me the 12 steps and the 12 promises, that says there are many additional promises.

This is very, very old material.

It's titled The Big Book Promises...It states , Many of us have heard of the ninth step promises from pages 83-84 of the big book, there are however, additional promises in the big book.
This person (no name mentioned) said he got a list of 150 promises that he compiled from the first edition of the big book. Some of the promises are directly associated with the completion of EACH step. (All 12) Some of the promises are inferred from the experiences of the first 100 men and women who recovered from alcoholism.
There is also a list of promises that are associated with the "Lost Chapters" I don't have a first addition of the big book, so I'm not sure what he is referring to?

This list is 12 pages long and I'm not entirely sure if there should have been more pages, as the last page just ends abruptly, without any kind of ending? However all the promises for all 12 steps are listed, and the promises on this list is larger than the ones I stated in this original post. As well as a couple of pages of additional promises.

I'm not sure if I would be able to post this list in this group, because of it's size? Are there size restrictions for postings?

I welcome any feedback on this...Thx.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:06 am

I'm not sure if I would be able to post this list in this group, because of it's size? Are there size restrictions for postings?

Yes, under the 'start here' guidelines there is request to limit copying and pasting, it says this -
• Please limit the copying and pasting of externally sourced material to short passages, which are intended as an aid in explaining the writers thoughts on any particular subject.

I don't mean to discourage you posting or talking about the long list of 'promises,' it seems these lists have been around for a while. The link that Tommy provided to the box 459 article about this, speaks of such a list being sent to the GSO, it says -
And, about that suggestion that there are a lot of other promises in the Big Book beyond the ones Bill wrote about on pages 83-84? One enthusiastic A.A. member sent in a list to G.S.O. in which he had compiled 238! Not found on that list, however, was one of A.A.’s fundamental promises—one heard in meetings around the world: “If you don’t pick up the first drink, you won’t get drunk.”
■ Box 4-5-9 via e-m

So I am sure there are many things individual readers could find, and decide they must be a promise, but perhaps we have to think what the writer Bill intended. The fact that he listed certain things in 83 -84, I believe these are the principal beneficial effects or promises, he intended be used to encourage readers.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:23 am

How about these from the fifth step?

Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.
page 75
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:33 am

I agree with that 100%, in my first post on this subject I mentioned it -
I usually try to encourage new people to get on with 4 & 5, by speaking about the “promise” after 5, that the feeling that the drink problem has disappeared often happens then.

I find it helps others do 4 & 5, which most of us balk at a little, and after five I did find it come true, the urge to drink disappeared.
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Dan2000 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:09 am

Hi all

I have found a link on the internet that has the Big Book Promises and some other good stuff, which relates to this post.

link removed per forums policy

Use it as you wish, I hope it may help you.

Dan
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Tommy-S » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:43 pm

Hi Dan

Didn't mean to start anything, brother.

And regardless of what any one says, IF it keeps you from drinking, use it!

Peace... Tommy
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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Dan2000 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:37 am

Just want to say one thing, I don't take offense to any feedback, I get from my postings ....I welcome it.

I don't proclaim to be an AA guru, however if I ever become one, someone please shoot me!!!!!

Thx Dan


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Re: The 12 steps and 12 promises

Postby Stepchild » Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:18 am

Dan2000 wrote:I don't proclaim to be an AA guru, however if I ever become one, someone please shoot me!!!!!


What is a an AA guru? Is that someone that understands the directions? Like a Big Book thumper?
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