Step 12 - Keep it Simple

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
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Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by Wiganman »

Step 12 comes in Three parts:

1. "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps …."

Remember a Spiritual Awakening is defined as "personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism" Have I changed as a result of the previous 11 steps? Easy way for me to find out is to reflect on the progress I have made during each step.

In step one I was able to openly admit I had a problem and acknowledge the unmanageability of my life. Prior to that had lived in denial. That's a change. In Step 2 I said I was willing to believe in a power greater. Prior to that step I was a proud atheist with a very closed mind. In Step 3 I made a decision to turn my life over to that Higher Power. Prior to that I was stubborn, independent and unable to ask or accept help. I was the actor wanting to run everything. In Step 4 I did an inventory and looked at the part I played in things that have gone wrong in my life. That kind of self-analysis was alien to my old self. In Step 5 I was able to share my inventory with my sponsor. My old self had far too much pride and dishonesty to do that. In Steps 6 and 7 I was willing to start to use methods to force myself to change. At this stage I am very open-minded unlike my old self. Steps 8 and 9 I have the courage, honesty and humility to make amends. I am now demonstrating my change. Step 10 I am committing to a regular check on myself with the aim of forcing more change in my personality. Step 11 I am adding daily prayers and meditation to increase my conscious contact with my Higher Power. Would my old self have meditated and prayed? No chance! I was too closed minded and prejudiced for that. Its clear to me, that if you have done the first 11 steps you will have changed as a result.

2. "...we tried to carry this message to alcoholics...."

This part of the step is very important. Remember in step 3 we learned that the root cause of our problem was selfishness? What better way to keep self at bay than carrying the message and helping other alcoholics? There are lots of ways to do this. I do service at my home group, I give my number to newcomers, I do 12 step calls and the one thing that gives me the most satisfaction is taking someone through the steps. I do it because I enjoy it and I learn a lot.

3. "and to practice these principles in all our affairs"

Finally, I have to work the steps into all my life. AA is an important part of my life but not the thing that takes up most of my time. I work, I have a family, I have hobbies and I have a normal life with all the ups and downs that come with that. I try to be helpful when I can. I try to show understanding and humility when I can. I try not to run the show as I once did. I can admit when I am wrong and make corrections. I can try to be a useful member of society. If you can do this then funnily enough life steadily improves.

I hope my interpretation of the steps have been useful to people on here. I have enjoyed sharing them and I have enjoyed reading the replies..

Last edited by Wiganman on Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success." =ugeek

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Re: Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by Chelle »

Thank you Wiganman. You helped this alcoholic today. I identified with everything in your post, and it prompted me to revisit my progress. Sometimes I forget how much I have grown and reading that was a good reminder =biggrin

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Re: Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by PaigeB »

Yes! Good stuff!

Hi Chelle!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Re: Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by Abby »

Thank you so much for sharing your 12th Step interpretation! I often feel like I know the steps but having it described and broken down like you did makes it all easier to understand, and much simpler! And it definitely makes it less intimidating.

Thanks again,


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Re: Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by Brock »

I agree with what Abby said, this is the final in the steps that Wiganman has given an excellent description of. By clicking on his name, we can look back at his posts and see the other steps, all written under the same ‘Keep it Simple’ heading. They all provide an excellent description of the 12 steps, in a straightforward easy to follow way.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by Mike O »

Thanks, Wiganman.

Keeping it simple is vital, I feel. Too much analysis of and overthinking of the programme can be dangerous.

I think the word "try" is important in your post.

"I try to be helpful when I can. I try to show understanding and humility when I can. I try not to run the show as I once did. I can admit when I am wrong and make corrections. I can try to be a useful member of society. "

We are human and can be too hard on ourselves sometimes.


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Re: Step 12 - Keep it Simple

Post by Walker580 »

Keep it SIMPLE

I find keeping everything simple is easier than I thought it would be. Hiding from reality or pretending to be something your not takes up to much time. Putting faith in God, Prayer, staying focused and keeping your mind busy with work or some kind of project will allow you to maintain a peace mind.

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