The Path To Healing – Step 12: A Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!

Step One         Step Two

Step Three      Step Four

Step Five         Step Six

Step Seven      Step Eight

Step Nine        Step Ten

Step Eleven

…Imagine poor Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the moments just before his spiritual awakening. It is 1935 and he finds himself in a hospital room for the umpteenth time having somehow survived another day of alcoholic torture that most folks could not conjure in their worst nightmares. He is utterly beaten down, frightened of everything and certain that there is no way out of his problem. When he is released from the hospital, despite what he knows, he will drink again as he always has before. Though no one could have known it at the time, that day in 1935 was to be a turning point for the Human Race. Like Buddha under the Bodhi Tree, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Moses and The 10 Commandments and Mohammed’s Revelations, Humankind was about to have a massive divine download, which would pass through the least likely of places, the heart of a life-long, raging alcoholic named Bill Wilson. For on that day, Bill Wilson was struck “awake” and a magical idea flooded into his thoughts that would positively affect the lives of millions of people who previously had little hope of recovery. The seed idea of his enlightenment was this: Recovery from Addiction Depends Upon Service to Others. “If I can just find and connect with other people who suffer from alcoholism I will be able to heal and help others to do so as well.” Out of this core concept, the 12 Steps and the fellowship came into being.

The 12th step of Recovery from Addiction reads approximately: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who are struggling with addiction and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

The first 11 steps are set up to deliver us in a state of readiness to perform the principal action of the 12th step, which is to endeavor to be of service to “others who struggle with addiction.”

If you have worked these 11 steps to the best of your ability and now find yourself here at the 12th step, you have undergone a great transformation in your life.

As is stated plainly in this step, you have had a spiritual awakening. CONGRATULATIONS! The work you have done to this point is necessary if you are to master your mind and live from your heart. There is no graduation ceremony. The only reward is a better life with more responsibilities (and ability) to serve others. You will find on this magical path that your needs are always met and even many of your desires, and also that the Uni-verse will be as interested in your personal growth as you are. Support will come “out of nowhere” and things will happen to make the impossible possible.

If you are in a 12-Step program you may choose to guide/sponsor another person through these steps. This is one of the great experiences in life and I urge you to have it. If you are not part of a 12-Step program, then perhaps your manner of being in service to others will be less clearly defined. No worry there. By now you realize that everyone is struggling with addiction on some level. I can guarantee you that the Uni-verse will find many ways to put you to work if you are willing to watch for the signs and show up when asked. Caution! Do not interpret this as meaning that you have to become a saint who sacrifices yourself to all the needs of others.

In the broadest sense sense, service to others is an attitude. Adopting a healthy, balanced attitude of service can simply mean doing a god job at work to be of service to those who hired you. Or it can mean being truthful and honest in your relationships. Or it can mean extending your hand to be of service in your community. Adopting an attitude of service to others helps us align in such a way that we transcend the ego-driven impulse to think, worry and obsess about ourselves. Of course, the greatest side effect of adopting an attitude of service is that you will be headed for a life beyond your wildest dreams. Literally!

The daily process from this point forward is to work on steps 10, 11 and 12. Please go back and review these steps and integrate them into your life in a way that works for you. If you have questions reach out to me.

One last thought… I like to remind people that they do not have to wait till they get to the 12th Step to be of service to others. In fact, please don’t wait. Put your hand out today to someone who needs a little lift and you might just find that you feel somehow uplifted yourself.

I wish that for you today and everyday.

In Love and Gratitude…

Tommy Rosen

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Tommy Rosen is a yoga teacher and addiction specialist. Check out his website here.

  • Angiscool74

    Thank you so much for sharing these steps, Tommy. I have been practicing the meditation technique you taught us last week (the 5-5 breathing) and I love it. 

  • Agnes

    Thank you! These steps showed up to me since step 1. I have overcome many addictions and every step seemed to show up as soon as I had reached that step! This is amazing, you’re amazing, life is amazing and I feel amazing! Thank you!!!

  • Suemac

    Thank you, Tommy, for the reminder about the many ways to serve. I haven’t been to an Al-Anon meeting for years, but I still practice the principles every day of my life. My sister’s sons are struggling with addiction & she is feeling very overwhelmed, so, in addition to sharing my experience, strength & hope on an ongoing basis, yesterday I took her  a couple of my 12 Step books & I plan to go to some meetings with her in the hope that she will find a connection for herself.
    For me, serving others is a way of allowing  new challenges & gifts into my life – there is an endless stream of possible ways to help others & working Step 12 helps me to keep the other Steps embedded in my core.
    Thanks again for all your insights!

  • Jo Walsh

    Can anyone please tell me where in AA literature I can find the mention of ‘a life beyond your wildest dreams’.  Thanks very much – need reference for our Convention in October – [email protected]