12 steps of spiritual recovery simplified for me. Non Religious
Step one we admitted we were powerless over gambling - that our lives had become unmanageable.
For me step one at first in my recovery I wanted to blame the gambling establishments for how I felt, my pains my fears my frustrations and how much pain I felt, the simple facts the gambling establishments did not make me do any thing I did not want to do. They did not hurt me, I hurt myself.
Sadly, long before I took up my addictions and obsessions I was living in my many pains, my many fears and I was emotionally vulnerable long before my addictions and obsessions.
My addictions and obsessions were the symptoms that I was emotionally vulnerable, when I was feeling my pains, my fears and my frustrations, I would escape from facing my feelings and emotions. Before my recovery I got in to the unhealthy habit of burying my pains and hiding from my fears.
For me once in the spiritual recovery program I would both understand when I was emotionally vulnerable and deal with things with out escaping or deviating any more.
Step Two Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
For me Step Two because I was a non-religious person, I would understand that I wanted to become healthy and whole with in myself, I would understand that spiritual values alone are the basis for healthy relationships with myself and other people. My own conscience is all about spiritual values.
For me the people’s therapies, their experiences and new-found skills would help me take up healthy habits and change unhealthy habits in to healthy habits. In other people’s therapies I would see and feel myself and relate to their experiences both healthy and unhealthy. In other people’s therapies I would see what was possible for me to achieve in the recovery program.
In time you learn to trust the recovery program and the people in it you learn to reduce your fears and learn to trust and have hope in yourself once more.
Step Three Decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
For me Step Three is about boundary setting, because we start to value our self, once we set boundaries we do it for our self, we set boundaries from a place of peace, not from rage, not from anger, boundary setting means we value our self, the most important boundary is just for today I will not gamble.
Step Four Made a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of ourselves.
For me Step Four is not about beating our self-up, step four is about identifying the difference between what is healthy and what is unhealthy, as we get more honest with our self-first of all, and that is the build up to getting honest with other people over time. It is about self inventory and not beating our self up any more.
Step Five Admitted to us and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
For me Step Five again it is not about right wrong good or bad, it is about identifying in our past what was healthy and what is unhealthy, and in some way can we start to overcome the deepest-seated fears of emotional intimacy.
Once you open to a person in full honesty and disclosure you have started to over come your fear of emotional intimacy, and once you feel more comfortable emotional intimacy will be shared with like minded healthy seeking people.
Step Six Were entirely ready to have these defects of character removed.
For me Step Six yes as we get honest, we identify our actions and words and by getting honest can we move from unhealthy habits which adversely affect our self and other people and change those in to healthy habits and understand that unhealthy words and actions will adversely affect other people and our self.
To understand that every action and word in our life has consequences.
Step Seven Humbly asked God (of our understanding) to remove our shortcomings.
For me Step Seven the impact word is shortcomings, which indicates failings and deficiencies.
Before recovery every unhealthy habit or word would have failings indicators in our self and our relationships.
In identifying what is a failure and for us to learn from it, to learn from our failures and make healthier choices in the future
Due to a very unhealthy dysfunctional family people would blame escape responsibility, a dysfunctional family will want to keep goings on in the family, keeping family secrets in the home quiet and secret so that the victims do not speak out. Control is a fear based issue.
A dysfunctional family lacks healthy spiritual interactions, a dysfunctional family is not able to be nurturing and encouraging, often it was about bullying manipulation and causing fears in the home and unhealthy secrets.
Step Eight Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
For me step eight this is us being accountable to our self-first of all, is being free to be open about our unhealthy past, to understand that our unhealthy actions habits or words adversely affected other people, causing them pain fears and frustrations.
Step Nine Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
For me Step Nine is about repairing relationships with other people if they can talk to or communicate with us still, it is important once we take responsibility, we in no way justify our unhealthy actions unhealthy habits or unhealthy words.
Just because we are honest and willing to repair relationships does not mean that people will heal or have healed from their pains, that we caused them right away. Do we understand our lies were a betrayal of their trust in us and other people?
Step Ten Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
For me Step Ten at the end of each day am I doing inventory of myself, was there any thing that I did or said that adversely affected another person, can I learn from that experience in any way. Do I need to make amends to any one including myself.
Step Eleven 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.
For me Step Eleven in the spiritual recovery program as we face our fears, increase our trust in others and in our self, by this time we have not only recognized our pains but healed them in some way, by this time we have faced each fear as we identify each one, and of course understood our frustrations and by reducing our unreasonable expectations of people life and situations and have stopped causing our self-pains time and time again.
Step Twelve Having made an effort to practice these spiritual principles in all our affairs, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive gamblers.
For me Step Twelve with each new found healthier skill, we are no longer the victim, we are no longer the perpetrator, we have had demonstrated to us how to be patient tolerant with our self and other people.
The new found spiritual strength values and interactions we are no longer a threat to our self or other people, our fearlessness becomes other people fearlessness, our trust becomes other people trust, we no longer have fear of emotional intimacy.
In the recovery program it was very important for me to become a very selfish person, to take the healing process very seriously, the spiritual recovery program is about healing our hurt inner child.
Any person religious or not can get healthy and heal their inner child is they seriously put in the work and their time and in some cases have therapies and counselling.
The money was only the fuel for my addictions, you can take away my money yet the hurt inner child was still living in my deep seated pains, in my fears and wanting to escape in other ways may be in obsessions of any type.
For me to understand that our fears and emotional vulnerability cannot be resolved with money alone.
To admit to our self in our honesty and humility to show our emotional vulnerability is a sign of our growing strength.
Love and peace to every one
AKA Dave of Beckenham