Step 12: Preparation for a New Understanding Powerlessness

Taking the 12th step in AA shows us how to work the steps again – this time with more knowledge of how dangerous and deceptive our disease is and how powerful and personal the twelve steps are, and our Higher Power is!

Refresher: An AA member in a meeting I attend developed a way to start working the Twelve Steps with AA literature. Again, on this step, I have added my suggestions, too. Remember we are making progress – not aiming for perfection.

STEP TWELVE:  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.

  • Write down what principles you have learned from each step. Honestly, look at each area of your life and see if you are practicing the principles in each one.
  • Do you feel you have had a spiritual awakening as the result of working these steps. Write it down.
  • Can you make a commitment to participate in another Step Study and share this process and the results with others?

What I am learning: First, I had a spiritual awakening when God saved me from my sorry dead self. Having had that awakening, I admitted I was — am, and always will be — powerless over alcohol! Second, He gave me the willingness to get help.

Moreover . . . working the Twelve Steps deepens my appreciation for what God did, and is doing; strengthens my confidence He will work in the lives of those I love, and shows me I can change!

What I have received through God’s grace, the program, and the fellowship of AA – I did not deserve; yet, I have a responsibility to use and share spiritual principles whose practical applications work in my life. I have come to believe they work, because God never sleeps; He is always at work in all the circumstances of my life, and the lives of those I love.

Which brings me right back to Step One.

Old-timers have encouraged me to carry the message – but be sure I have one worth sharing. As I deal with my life’s “problems” – don’t forget God.

Staying active in the program – working the steps, going to meetings, and reaching out to hurting folks is the key to living a useful life, daily, and walking humbly under the grace of God.

Understanding just how powerless I am over alcohol teaches me how powerless I am over pretty much everything except my side of the street! Practicing the principles that AA suggests means I can resign my roles as the helpless co-dependent, manipulating maven, and drama queen.

If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care. (The Twelve and Twelve, page 116)


65 You have dealt well with Your servant,
O Lord, according to Your word.
66 Teach me good [a]discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word. (Psalm 119:65-67)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Step 12: Preparation for a New Understanding Powerlessness