Step 12 and Giving Back

12This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Cindy Weathers, MFTi.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Step twelve is about giving back and being of service to others. You can do this in many ways; there is no act too large or too small.  Helping others is the foundation of recovery.

If you are reading this and wondering how you can give back or help others when your life is already so full — you are not alone.  Many people have extremely busy lives, demanding careers, growing families, and a never-ending list of daily chores and responsibilities. However, this does not mean that you are unable to be of service.

Something as simple as smiling at someone in the grocery store does not take much time or energy, and can make a world of a difference in the life of another.  Helping someone cross the street or even answering the phone when a family member or friend reaches out in need of support.  If you find that you have a flexible schedule with more free time, you may consider volunteering at a local non-profit organization or you may want to become a mentor to someone in need.  Of course, giving back can certainly mean helping another alcoholic, becoming a sponsor, or carrying forward the message of AA.

To engage in an act of kindness is to defend against the self-centered thoughts and actions that are often at the root of one’s addiction.  It’s really about giving back to others and living a more meaningful life in return.   What small act can you do today that will benefit the life of another or brighten someone else’s day?

Elana Clark-Faler
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