Lessons Learned by the STEPS

Sometime as a teenager (forgive me for not remembering exactly when) my parents decided that they had a “problem with alcohol”  and started attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings.  It wasn’t long until my dad started attending NA too, and then, of course, “the kids” (that’d be my sisters and I) needed to join in.  (For those that don’t know, “kids” and “spouses” [of alcoholics/or other 'addictions'] typically go to “anon” meetings…or at least that was the ‘distinction’ in our little community.)

The “12-step” program became my life. I actually found the meetings somewhat fascinating.  Partially because I was a teenager and enjoyed hearing “adult conversation” and also because I was able to see what some people went through.  I felt compassion for them and learned, early on, to count my blessings!

I’m not sure at what point we quit going to the meetings.  Looking back, the whole thing seems almost like a ‘fad’ of sorts.  Like any good ‘fad’ I took from this experience many good lessons.  (This is not to say that I always REMEMBER the lessons, but I have to admit at least being taught them.)

The first that comes to mind is…

(drumroll please)

Don’t make YOUR ‘problem’ MY problem.

Now, I don’t remember if this came from “the book,” but I remember learning how to listen for someone trying to put THEIR (perceived) “burden” on my shoulders and then turn it around (and give it back).  This one must have come from the “anon” meetings, as those were specifically for people who needed to LEARN how to deal with the person that has “the problem.”  This has been a very GOOD lesson indeed!

The second I’m sure EVERYONE has heard, at least ONCE is…

Let go.  Let God.

That one rather speaks for itself, don’t ya think?  It’s not always easy to remember (to do it), but REMEMBERING brings FREEDOM & PEACE that surpasses understanding!!  (woo hoo!  YAY, God!)

Finally, a “lesson” that has “come to the surface” more and more over the past year.  (I will confess that it probably wouldn’t have, had someone dear to me not been reminding me of it on an almost “constant” basis.  [THANK YOU, "Someone Dear"!!])

It is the “Serenity Prayer.”

If you are at all familiar with it, you will KNOW the first four lines, (but likely not know “the rest of the story…”) To show my APPRECIATION (to God) for “the prayer,” I thought it would be cool to pass on the ENTIRE thing (rather than just the lines many of us are familiar with).

So, here is the “Serenity Prayer”, in its ENTIRETY!

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next.

Powerful, huh?!

I love how the prayer reminds us to SEEK the Will of God, and then find PEACE in it (His Will).

God delivers us from our trials ~ our “job” is to not (attempt to) DICTATE to Him how.

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a note from gina…

PLEASE pardon my 'mess'... I'm still fine-tuning the graphics and the content and, well... Let's just say I shouldn't have invited "company" in just yet, but I got too excited!

That said...I am so glad you're here!!