We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, and that our lives had become unmanageable.
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." - Romans 7:18
Honesty - The operative principle behind step 1 is honesty. If you cannot get honest about the scope of your problem and honest about a sincere effort to resolve it, you will not succeed. How about a definition of honesty as the absence of the intention to deceive? Who do we try to fool? Ourselves.
We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
"He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless." - Isaiah 40:29
Hope - In order to engage in a course of addiction recovery, we must have hope of success. If there is no hope, why try? Perhaps we have failed on our own, how about enlisting some help? A way to instill hope is to realize recovery is not a question of ability; after all there are millions in recovery, but rather persistence and application.
We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship."
- Romans 12:1
Faith - This stage of action is to begin to employ the recovery skills being learned. You can seek out help, but it is also necessary to utilize it. Our job is to become willing to do the right thing. A simple way to view the 'next right thing' is don't engage in your behavior. Have faith it will work.
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord."
- Lamentations 3:40
Courage - This step is really about courage to honestly (see step 1) look at ourselves. Take a look at how our behavior has become warped to justify our continued behavior. We are here to take an honest assessment of ourselves.
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." - James 5:16
Integrity - If we have truly done a thorough job of introspection and evaluation of our assets and shortcomings do we have the integrity to own up to it? It can be very difficult to be open and honest about our past behaviors. We accept the need for a dose of humility.
We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." - Romans 8:6
Willingness - Now that we have accomplished an inventory of the good and no so good aspects of our character and behavior, are we willing to change them? All of them? The important part in this 12 step principle is the willingness to let go of old behaviors.
We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us."
- Hebrews 12:1
Humility - Here we move further into action, in step 6 we became willing to as let go of our old behaviors, now we ask for help in actually letting go. Can we learn to forgive ourselves?
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." - Luke 6:31
Discipline and Action - We are continuing to remove the barriers that can block forward sober growth. We are getting ready to sweep our side of the street clean. Make a list of all those people we have harmed both through actions and not being present to live up to obligations
We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there at the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." - Matthew 5:23-24
Forgiveness - Asking for the forgiveness of those we have intentionally or unintentionally injured is the order of the day. A key point here is to try to correct those injuries through action, not just words. It is highly recommended that guidance and help is utilized here. Asking forgiveness is not a gift to the other person, but rather an act of kindness to you.
We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
"If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall." - 1 Corinthians 10:12
Acceptance - To be human is to make mistakes. Hopefully our journey has led us to the point where we can readily admit mistakes and accept ourselves for being imperfect. We must also learn to not judge others but accept them for who they are and not our vision of who they should be.
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.
"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary." - Hebrews 6:19
Knowledge and Awareness - Here we search and become aware of following our path being aware of our purpose in life and actively pursuing it. I view this principle as just being aware, not being got up in the rush of life, making conscious effort to do the right thing and to be at peace.
Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.