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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in 12-Steps

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Helper: Help Thyself

Step One is "We admitted that we were harming ourselves and others and that our lives had become overwhelming."

When I am overwhelmed, my primal brain is in control, and all it cares about is survival.  I've been under the control of my primal brain for most of the year so far, even when things were going good.  I was aware that something was wrong, but I kept putting off examining myself to find my problem while I helped other people find and work out theirs.

That's what I'm doing with my life.  I help people identify their problems, figure out solutions, and empower themselves to take those steps.  I am a healer, a teacher, and an intuitive consultant (sometimes known as a psychic,) but all those roles are simply aspects of Helper.

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  • Michele L Warch
    Michele L Warch says #
    Thank you. That was very helpful to see them side by side. I think I've always understood the wording in my own head to be in keep
  • Michele L Warch
    Michele L Warch says #
    Thank you for your review. Its funny the way the world works -- not really, just synchronicity. I was having a conversation, last
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you for your insight, Michele! I have to admit that Christian wording turns me off. I can't get through A Course in Miracl

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Step Two- We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

The First Step leaves us in a terrible position.  We are utterly beyond human assistance. Our lives are unmanageable no matter what we do.  We will never be able to control our drinking.  Certainly this is a stance of hopelessness. 

Many alcoholics or addicts will say “I worked the First Step long before I came into the program.”  This means that they spent many years well aware of the hopelessness of their situations while still in active addiction. This was my experience as well.  I was in terrible pain, and knew my lifestyle was unbearable and untenable, but I could not envision a way to live that did not include alcohol and drugs to numb the anxiety and panic that swelled up to swallow me whenever I was sober.  I had to stop, but how?

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  • Hope M.
    Hope M. says #
    What a beautiful story, Brian, and I thank you for sharing it. Your experience in understanding a Higher Power as a non-divine en
  • Brian Nelsen
    Brian Nelsen says #
    I have come to really identify with the term "Higher Power". When I found out my son was a drug addict I was first shocked and co
  • gary c. e.
    gary c. e. says #
    hi again and again, let me say the 12 step program in not a silver bullet (not that you were saying that), and it is not for ever

There has been a lot of very heated discussion lately about Paganism and Polytheism, with some people suggestion that there are certain practices or beliefs that one should hold in order to be able to call themselves a polytheist or pagan. Modern paganism being as diverse as it is, this has taken a lot of people by surprise, and accusations and name calling is happening from all corners.

I know this, and this only: I am a member of an organization that acknowledges "We are people who normally would not mix." (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 17) But here we are--representing all sections of this country, all political, economic, and social backgrounds.  And-here's where I want you to pay attention--all religious backgrounds.

Twelve Step Programs are  spiritual programs.  It is demanded of us that we live a spiritual way of life.  It is also a WE program.  If you look at the Twelve Steps, you will see that "I" do not do the steps.  "We" do the steps.  So here we are, people of all religious backgrounds, beliefs and practices, being told we are meant to live a spiritual way of life, and that we are supposed to do it together, and that "love and tolerance of others is our code"? (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 84)

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  • Apuleius Platonicus
    Apuleius Platonicus says #
    I think it's important for people to know that there are 12-step groups where you don't have to recite the Lord's Prayer or in any
  • Hope M.
    Hope M. says #
    No 12 Step program requires you to conform to Christian religious beliefs and practices. Even groups that make us of Christian pra
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    It has never been my impression that serving as a role model had anything to do with 12-step programs. My understanding is that yo

We live in an over-culture that tries on a daily basis to annihilate the sovereignty of the individual.  So many of us are carrying wounds from a childhood and adolescence where we suffered humiliating and confusing experiences in the religion of our birth.  No wonder then, that at least initially, many of us were attracted to Witchcraft because it celebrated an independent, rebellious spirit. We found Gods and Goddesses here that did not demand that we act servile or scraping or deny ourselves pleasure.    We found deities who invited us to empower ourselves through tools that were brought to our communities through many brilliant teachers.  Witchcraft is not a collection of traditions that denigrate humanity and humanness. Rather, by acknowledging the divinity immanent within our own selves, we work with our innate powers to affect great change in ourselves, and through ourselves, in the world.

Witches thus adopt a way of viewing the world that understands humans as being fundamentally powerful beings. So what then, of helplessness? Of powerlessness? What then, of submission and surrender in the face of defeat?  What then, of the addict or alcoholic Witch who awakens one morning, hangover piercing their brain, withdrawals fogging their thoughts, who finally understands that life cannot go on this way any longer but who has utterly failed in every attempt to exercise autonomy over themselves and address their addiction problem ?  Whether they go to rehab or enroll in an intensive out-patient program, or look for recovery support on their own, they will likely at some point be directed towards Twelve Step recovery where they will learn that the program revolves around the following concepts; Powerlessness, Surrender, Submission, Dependence, Humility, Willingness, Open-mindedness and Honesty.

Without a doubt there are going to be spiritual concepts and practices in recovery that are going to feel uncomfortable and wrong to many Witches. For a witch, who understands empowerment as a sort of sacred act, the act of admitting powerlessness might feel like turning her back on the very concept of an immanent Divine that dwells within.   The concept of “Thy will, not mine, be done” might feel like a defeated return to that cringing deference that they cast off as adults.   Does this mean that Twelve Step recovery is fundamentally incompatible with Witchcraft traditions?  I think the many happily recovering Witches in the rooms today would heartily say “No!”  But what is required is open-mindedness and a willingness to look at these concepts passed the initial reaction.  Twelve Step recovery is like an animated kids movie; there is the initial level, that is simple and easy on the surface and is exactly what it says. Then, there is the more sophisticated second level. The one that makes the parents in the audience laugh and glance at each other over their kids heads, gaping at the slightly risqué reference. This is where we have to go to find a place where Witches in recovery can enter the literature, the program, and be comfortable.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Over many years of witnessing witches and pagans participating in 13 step programs, i have seen that most have succeeded in substi
  • Hope M.
    Hope M. says #
    I've heard this argument many times before and it always makes me smile. Have some people been so sick, suffered so much, been so

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