When I was a member of a Catholic Monastery, we ran a retreat center for all of the various "Anonymous" groups. Our facilities could hold up to 65 visitors. Each week, we would have a whole new set of people come to get away from their regular routines to find the support they needed to help them "restore themselves to sanity" (Step 2) and to "turn their will and lives over to the CARE of God" (Step 3). All day/night long, they would have a marathon of meetings where a tremendous amount of Healing took place, through the fellowship of the Anonymous programs.
The "Guardian" of my monastery (the head monk) was an admitted Alcoholic and actively participated in the AA program. As Guardian, it was his role to instruct the younger "monks-in-training" to learn about and progress in the Spiritual Life. Although there are incredibly important "Doctors of the Church" who were experts in Spirituality (my favorites... St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Thérèse of Lisieux), it was our Guardian's belief, after having been a monk for over 50 years, that the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous was the most powerful, practical approach to growing in the Spiritual Life! Although it was not required of us to learn about and attend meetings, he highly encouraged us to do so. He would say, "If you don't want to do our monk schedule, you can go to the meetings for fun." Well... even though I have never done drugs or have been drunk in my life, I decided to check it out, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! The 12 Step can bring about PROFOUND HEALING and either introduce people to Spirituality or Reconnect people to it.
These Steps can be followed by anyone, regardless if they are an addict or not. The first step saying "our lives had become unmanageable" can mean for the non-addict, that their lives had become a jumbled puzzle that was too hard to figure out how they got there and what to do next. To the addict, only they can fully understand how unmanageable it has become. Where the word "Alcohol" or "Alcoholic" is used in ANY/ALL of the Anonymous literature, just replace those words with what you're struggling with... Crystal Meth, Cocaine, Food, Gambling, Marijuana, Narcotics, Nicotine, Sex etc.
The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
12 Step Anonymous Programs
Please email me at Paul@MeetYourAngels.com if you want me to help you work the Steps and provide you with Life Coaching and/or Spiritual Direction... My own approaches to help you reconnect to your Spirituality and HEAL the past wounds and traumas that you're still carrying with you. In your email, please share your circumstances and what type of help you need. Until then... PEACE and LOVE Always - Paul
I received a series of emails today that I thought it might help other people out... The first email simply had one line in it... (the "+++" will indicate the end of the email and the start of the next)...
"CAN YOU HEAL ME?"
"As far as healing goes, anything is possible... YOU are the main healer, I'm just there to help you along the journey. What sort of healing do you think you need?"
"Ah... what happened???? This is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things that can happen in one's life... don't pass it off lightly. There is much to learn about yourself and your relationship with others when you experience such pain. Allow yourself to feel your feelings and recognize them, not as anger, loss, depression etc. but for what it truly is... LOVE. You see... In LOVE there must be sacrifice. What you are feeling is making you a better Lover, and better person... your capacity for LOVE is GROWING... these are simply Growing Pains that you are having. As you move forward, you will hopefully begin to see with new eyes and carry that LOVE and these new dimensions of self into ALL of your relationships... we will all be better for you having experienced this for us! Don't be afraid, ONLY GOODNESS is coming I assure you!!! : ) "
"I suppose there is still alot that I don't know or understand. And if these really are growing pains, how do I start change how I feel about my feelings"
"Don't judge your feelings... right now you're thinking they are bad. They are are simply tools to help you learn about yourself... they are not bad. With each episode of pain you are being streched, Streched, STRETCHED as a human, to make MORE ROOM for LOVE, HAPPINESS and JOY. Without the pain, you will simply stay at the same capacity you were at. NOW, as you're experiencing the "growing pains" you now have a MUCH LARGER capacity to be filled with LOVE, HAPPINESS and JOY. (Yes... unfortunately, your capacity for pain is larger too, but it just seems more intense because your vessel is bigger and you feel more alone. You are NOT more alone, you are just as alone as before, just have a bigger capacity.)"