5 Actions of Recovery: Big Book, Sponsor, Meetings, Steps and Prayer
“To the exact degree that I take these actions, is the degree by which I will receive the benefits of them – up to and including on-going sobriety and quality of life.”
It is not just that I have read my Big Book… but rather am I using it as a TEXT to look for my problems and the solutions offered for them. It is not just that I can name a sponsor or that I even talk to my sponsor…rather am I being honest with my sponsor?
Am I reviewing my days, listening, following suggestions and taking the directions given to me?
Am I recognizing my sponsor as the physical extension through which my Higher Power will often work?
It is not just that I have worked the steps or that I know how to use them…rather, Am I applying the steps on a daily basis and relying on the direction of my sponsor and the ability given to me by my God? Am I working the steps as an action to grow in intimacy with the God of my understanding?
It is not just that I go to meetings or even that I can name a home group…rather, am I an ACTIVE MEMBER of my home group, contributing to it in some way on a weekly basis? (Whether that is done by greeting people, giving my number to new comers, helping set up, helping clean up, reading, giving out chips, etc…)
It is not just that I believe in God or that I talk to God in the morning and/or at night…rather ~ Am I actively seeking God throughout the day? Am I asking for guidance in each questionable situation? Am I relying on God? ~ And in doing so, recognizing my own limitations…leading me to grow in humble intimacy with Him.
I have known plenty of people that would say (having come back from a relapse), “I did all that stuff and it didn’t work!!!” But in my experience (when we probed a little deeper and looked at the degree by which they took the 5 spiritual actions and applied them), it had not gone below the surface. The reliance (if any), that had been built - had been built on “people” rather than on “God”.
The Big Book says, “…we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid”… Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.”
We will find this to be true in our recovery efforts. I have to remember “Who” keeps me sober and what role the 5 actions play.
The Big Book is a text that guides me in:
(a)Understanding the problem;
(b) Gaining insight to the solution, and;
(c) In the applicable plan of the 12-steps as they are laid out…leading me to develop a relationship with God.
The Sponsor is there to guide me in the understanding of the Big Book and the action of applying the 12 steps to my life.
The Meetings are there to support me in my recovery efforts and to allow me the opportunity to get out of myself and be of service to others.
The Steps are there to enable me to develop a personal and intimate relationship with the God of my understanding.
Prayer is there to remind me that “I” am not my answer and “God” always is.
So, you take the 5 spiritual actions and add them together as if doing basic math:
(+) Home Group
= (Does it equal recovery?) NOT QUITE!
To get the full result, the BOTTOM LINE TOTAL…we must add one final piece to the equation:
(+) Helping others
When this is added we get:
Wholeness, Happiness, Purpose, Fulfillment and Life
…and the list goes on.
To the degree that I desire these things in my life…is the degree by which I will have to take action in these areas.
© Rebecca Balko