"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 of our affairs."
I remember when I used to think that when I was living in Steps 10-12 that life would become a cake walk and I'd be helping all of these people get sober, and it would be the fairytale ending to a sobriety journey. This definitely is rooted in a Superman complex that God has had to work on every day in my recovery, especially the more I am doing service work, and helping people from all walks of life find fulfillment and purpose. The spiritual awakening comes after all the other steps, so what is the spiritual awakening?
One of the most difficult things to bear witness to is watching other alcoholics resist help, go back out, overdose, pass away. If we're not spiritually fit, it can wreck us too, because we feel such a strong connection to our brothers and sisters. As we've had to learn again in the pandemic, we can do nothing to change human nature, we have no control over reality and the big picture, over illness, over hatred, despair, and darkness. Recently I've been talking to so many people watching loved ones fall deeper into it, or I've been reaching out to people who aren't completely willing to do what it takes to recover.
I'm completely powerless over that, and letting that be can be a great challenge sometimes, but their life is not in my hands. I've come to believe in a power greater then myself that can restore, and so I need to make the decision daily to turn the outcomes over to God as I understand him. Then I need to check myself, and keep focusing on my own shortcomings, my side of the street. It needs to be continuous and consistent, everything. The principles need to be practiced in all of my affairs, especially helping others. All I'm asked to do is carry the message, and there is so much serenity in that, so much peace and gratitude, because it's not something I'm doing on my own.
That's the spiritual awakening, in my own experience, that the twelfth step is a summary of all the steps, keeping myself on the straight and narrow, and knowing I only play a part in it. It's getting to join the rest of humanity in the effort to be better, to commit myself to be a part of something bigger, to bear witness to the miracles of what happens when I'm not involved, when it has nothing to do with me. It is not just one thing, but a nuanced textured revelation experience that happens when I do the work daily.
I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA to always be there, and for that I am responsible.