The 12 Principles of AA

How can the principles of recovery help you from drug and alcohol addiction? Well, for one, the use of any substance is a symptom of a deeper problem. Therefore, addressing the root of the issues is incredibly important after gaining a daily reprieve from the obsession and compulsion to fill that void. As you begin to work the 12 Steps, you will see that each one of them has a principle. These principles help us to gain back some of what we lost through our addiction. Many of these principles may feel like a foreign concept, but they can become a foundation for a productive, responsible life full of meaning by working the steps.

The Twelve Principles of AA

The twelve steps can be broken into six words: trust God, clean house, serve others. In essence, the first four steps develop honesty, hope, faith, and courage. A power greater than yourself can mean anything from a God you believe in or any other Good Orderly Direction that can help you (because you can’t do this alone), such as a group, a sponsor, or even the twelve steps themselves. All of this information at once may seem daunting, but that is why they are steps. You take one at a time, and each develops a principle that will help you go further in your life. Each principle builds on the last, eventually leading to your freedom from the pain that leads you to addiction in the first place.

Trust Good Orderly Direction

You learn to become honest with yourself about your problem and the unmanageability it has caused in your life, you start to believe there is hope for you, and you develop the faith that you can turn this around. You begin to build some courage, knowing that you need to face your life events and take an honest inventory. The principles in the first four steps help you trust something beyond just your own will, which gets you into the mess you are currently experiencing.

Clean House

Once you discuss the inventory you took in step four with someone you trust, you are ready to clean house. These principles include the development of some integrity, willingness, humility, and love. The purpose of steps four through eight is to help you examine what has been hurting you and how you have been hurting others. It also enables you to develop the willingness to be aware and to let go of some negative character traits. Step five leads you to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. By emptying your fourth step onto a person you trust, you can finally let go of the past. Step six helps you develop the willingness to let go of the character defects that have caused you problems in the past, such as impatience, anger, and intolerance. Step seven will give you the humility to not keep acting on them in the future. Step eight helps you develop love because you are making a list of those you have harmed in the past– including yourself.

Serve Others

The final principles of the twelve steps of AA include discipline, perseverance, spirituality, and service. These are all principles that will help you serve others in the future now that you have made some changes in your life. You develop the discipline to make direct and indirect amends whenever possible for harm that you have or are causing. Step ten allows you to take an inventory each day and persevere to fix any issues that arise promptly. Step eleven helps you build a spiritual foundation through meditation and prayer and constantly seek guidance.

Step twelve enables you to become of service to others who need to learn from your experience, strength, and hope. When you work one step at a time, you begin to not only learn the principles; you begin to live them. Before you know it, your character will completely transform, and you will be able to let go of what has held you down in the past. Finally, you will be able to help serve those who are still suffering. Remember, it is one day at a time, one step at a time. Call us at 954-523-1167.