1. One may hold truth without inwardly possessing it. I need to actually apply the truths of the program to the reality in which I live. I can do that by applying the steps of the program, accepting the fact that I am powerless over alcohol, that I need a Higher Power to help me, and that the problems in my life are an opportunity for spiritual growth.
2. I can only grow by sharing and being of service. If I only have an interest in the program of recovery, I won't get as much as when I participate and do service. So I am willing to help out at meetings; I am willing to speak, or spend time working with newcomers. There are many jobs that I can do to be of service.
3. I have learned that alcoholism is a permanent disease which can be arrested but never cured. This surely is a thing I cannot change. I can change my way of thinking and living with courage and detachment and with the help of the program. Conscious and conscientious practice of all the principles of the program lifts me into a good, healthy way of life in which I have courage to meet what ever comes.
4. Freedom can come through education of the public. Much work is still needed to rid the disgrace, shame, and guilt attached to alcoholism. I can participate in outreach programs of my district.
5. I can live the program. Freedom comes from letting go and letting God. Only by living the program, day in and day out, can I really know it and when I know the program I can pass the message on to others.
6. I must take the help of my Higher Power and have the humility to ask for that help, before my life can begin to straighten out.
7. Live one day at a time. Our twenty four hour program is logical and valuable. If I live each day completely, to the best of my ability, not looking hack in regret, nor forward in despair, then I can attain a richer, fuller life. When I have peace within and freedom from despair, I show others what is possible and share my blessings with all.
8. Thought to meditate on: "Try looking through the eyes of another and see what you discover."
9. Practice the slogans: Easy Does It - don't knock myself off center fearing what probably isn't there. Let Go and Let God - I can't have everything to suit myself, but never fear, my Higher Power will help me cope. One Day at a Time - concentrate on just this moment and not on the fear of what might happen, but hasn't yet. First Things First - I can never gain the serenity I seek if I dissipate my strength in nameless fears. Live and Let Live - Life is too important to live in turmoils of fear and judgment. I can learn to live with confidence. Worth repeating again "Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered and there was no one there".
10. Principles above personalities. This is difficult when I allow myself to indulge in judging others. I needed to change those old ways of thinking. Desperation brought me to Al-Anon and I found a ray of hope. By practicing the principles of the program, I am coming out of the darkness and breathing free.
11. When I let go, I don't give up anything that belongs to me, but relinquish something I didn't own to begin with. By returning it to the proper hands, I obtain freedom.
12. Certainly not last in finding freedom is the fourth step. Nothing helps as much as a fearless and moral inventory of ourselves, but I must go on and complete this inventory with step 5. I've taken the inventory, admitted to God, which is the easy part as I feel He knows me; and admitted it to myself. But now I must go further and admit the exact nature of my wrongs to another human being. This part is beneficial because the person I chose didn't allow me to beat up on myself repeatedly. Instead, he helped me to see the good qualities on which to build.
13. All the steps are vital to my new life of freedom: "When I know I am free within myself I will be better able to give loving thoughts to others."
14. If I remember that only God makes no mistakes, I can accept myself, my fellows, as human beings with much more happiness and contentment all around.