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Step 12 In Action
November 29, 2021
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we don't shut door on past

Step Eleven Provides the Answer

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

Twelve Promises

There exists a demon (Mental Obsession) lurking in my subconscious that wants me drunk! This demon hopes that I will misinterpret the above promise and begin to dwell compulsively on my many mistakes, over and over. It hopes that the resulting guilt will render me so irritable, restless and discontented that I will march into the nearest bar.

Of course, taken rightly, this great promise does not encourage guilt at all. That I am not to shut the door on the past simply means that I need to realize my past mistakes so as not to repeat them.

But how can I do that and not feel guilty?

I have heard it said that self cannot rid self of with self—akin to lifting oneself by their shoestrings. Obviously, I need a conscious contact with a power greater than myself!” Page 86 provides the answer: “After making our review, we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.”

Asking for God’s forgiveness is the easy part, but then comes the “corrective measures” part. To obtain release from my guilt I may need to make amends and perform unpleasant measures to prevent recurrence—whether I want to or not! I must always remember that to stay sober I must remain in a fit spiritual condition. (p. 85)

So, when past defects and shortcomings come to haunt me, I can request help with the above prayer and try to stay busy in the ‘nowness’ of each day. AA service provides many such opportunities.

Step Eleven solutions are based on truth, but the mental obsession is a lie. Happily, a lie cannot penetrate the truth anymore that darkness can penetrate light. The Eleventh Step directions continue to save me from marching back into that barroom door.

Thank you, God!

By Bob S.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.