The Road to Recovery

STEP 10

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON THE BEATITUDES, ALONG WITH THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY AS THEY ALIGN WITH THE YEARLY CALENDAR.

 

So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do’t fall! ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12

 

Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

 

Principle 7 (Celebrate Recovery): Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. 

 
 
In Step 10 and Principle 7 we will begin to put into practice all the steps and principles we have learned thus far. We are beginning to live in reality vs. denial, we have made our amends and now we desire to grow in our relationships with God and others.
 
Principle 7 nicely complements Step 10. Taking our daily time with God for self-examination helps us prepare for our personal inventory. 
 
Something I learned about a couple of years ago was The Examen. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that helps us see God’s hand at work in our whole life experience. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day where we can detect God’s presence and discern his direction for our life. 

Here is how I like to work The Daily Examen:

1: Ask God to bring to your awareness the moment today for which you are most grateful.

  • If you could relive one moment, which one would it be?
  • When were you most able to give and receive love today?
  • Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so good.
  • Breathe in the gratitude you felt and receive life again from that moment.

2: Ask God to bring to your awareness the moment today for which you are least grateful.

  • When were you least able to give and receive love?
  •  Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so difficult.
  • Relive the feelings without trying to change or fix it in any way.
  • Take deep breaths and let God’s love fill you just as you are.

3: Give thanks for what you have experienced. If possible, share these two moments with a friend. 

 

The Examen is a different way of taking daily inventory, but I like how it combines my prayer time with God and a daily reflection. There are many ways to work The Examen I hope you will look into it further and consider trying it. I think you’ll find it a sweet time with God as you look back over your day.

Enjoy this brief video that will walk us through The Examen. If you can’t see the video screen below click here .

 

10.02.13

The Road to Recovery :: STEP 9

Making Amends

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY, ALIGNed WITH THE yearLY CALENDAR, along with the EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON THE BEATITUDES of Jesus Christ. 

STEP 9: 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 ad there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” ~ Matthew 5:23-23

PRINCIPLE 6 (Celebrate Recovery): Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” ~ Matthew 5:7
“Happy are the peacemakers.” ~ Matthew 5:9

Last month in Step 8 we worked on listing the people we need to make amends to. This month we take the next, maybe the most freeing step, and actually make the amends. This is a difficult step but a critical point in our recovery. Without this step we will continue to beat ourselves up and continuing to carry more shame and guilt which could be the driving force to possible relapse.

The *Celebrate Recovery program is full of beautiful acrostics that help flesh out the work of each step. Each letter in the acrostic helps us make the next important step in the process of making our amends. Take some time to sit with the acrostic. Read it. Meditate on it. Journal how you can apply each letter’s step to your life as you prepare to make your amends.

A — Admit the hurt and the harm ~ Holding on to old resentments blocks our recovery and God’s forgiveness in our lives.
M — Make a list ~ Not worrying about how we will make the amends we simple list the people we have hurt.
E —  Encourage one another ~ It’s important to meet with our sponsor or accountability partner beforehand to practice making our amends.
N —  NOT for them ~ Without excuses or justifying our actions we make our amends humbly, honestly, sincerely and willingly. We focus on our part only.
D — Do it at the right time ~ Before making our amends we should pray for God’s guidance, direction and perfect timing.
S  —  Start living the promises of recovery ~ Embracing true freedom from our past we are now ready to receive God’s plan and purpose for our lives.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~ Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Remember, the recovery process is not meant to be worked alone! Reach out to your sponsor or accountability partners to assist you. If you’re not in a 12 Step program please click here to find a CR group near you.

If you can’t see the video screen below CLICK HERE to watch our Road to Recovery theme song.

RESOURCES:
Celebrate Recovery Bible 
*Celebrate Recovery Leadership Guide


Photo Courtesy 123rf.com

Originally published September 4, 2013

The Road to Recovery :: STEP 8

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON THE BEATITUDES ALONG WITH THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY AS THEY ALIGN WITH THE MONTHLY CALENDAR.

STEP 8: 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

PRINCIPLE 6 (Celebrate Recovery): Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

“Happy are the merciful.” ~ Matthew 5:7
“Happy are the peacemakers.” ~ Matthew 5:9 

After all the searching and confessing it’s now time to take responsibility for our actions.  Similar to the moral inventory of Step 4 we will list all the persons we harmed when acting out in our addiction or dependency. In fact, using our inventory list can help us determine who belongs on our amends list.
 
Reliving how we have harmed others is difficult. But with God’s help we can recall the names and faces, making notes as thoroughly as possible we prayerfully examine each person and our relationship with them. 
 
Remembering the faces of those we have hurt, can be a very painful process. But we must write their names down, carefully considering our relationships and how we harmed them.

Total honesty with ourselves is vital so we can go forward with peace of mind. With the pain of remembering the damage we have done, comes a welcome relief that we’ll no longer cause these injuries to our self and others.

Step 8 prepares us to continue the work of making amends. After making our list we are ready to ask God to give us the willingness to make those amends. As God helps us work these steps we will have the strength and the tools to heal our broken relationships. 
If you can’t see the video screen below click here for our Road to Recovery theme song.

 

RESOURCES:
Celebrate Recovery Bible
Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide
Life Recovery Bible
Life Recovery Devotional
The Twelve Steps for Christians
Prayers for the Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey
Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery
Recovery: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice

Image Credit: alexmillos

Originally published Aug. 7, 2013

Crutches

What carries you through the day?

 

 

29381594 - vector silhouettes of people walking on crutches.

What does your crutch look like?

 

  • A bottle of liquor
  • An Internet site
  • A pack of cigarettes
  • A case of beer
  • A trip to the mall
  • A box of donuts
  • A pot of coffee
  • A bottle of pills
  • A pack of cards
  • A sharp blade
  • A binge/purge session
  • A one night stand

What do you think about when you first wake up? On your way home?

 Do you think about how fast you can get your crutch because you can’t stand walking with this pain by yourself any longer?

We’re afraid to walk without our crutch because it will be too painful. And it is too painful, if we try to do it alone.

It’s better to walk with a painful limp with God’s help and be mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy, than to walk without God using our crutch to numb the pain.

When we take our mind off ourselves, by helping others who are walking with the same painful limp that we have, we almost forget we need a crutch.

In time we grow stronger, our muscles learn new ways of walking and we aren’t in as much pain.

One day we will be pain free.

 

Image Credit: majivecka / 123RF Stock Photo

The Road to Recovery :: STEP 7

Working the Traditional 12 Steps and the Eight Principles of Celebrate Recovery

In THE ROAD TO RECOVERY column along with working the traditional 12 Steps of Recovery we are working the Eight Principles of Celebrate Recovery that are based on The Beatitudes of Jesus. Our steps align with the monthly calendar.

STEP 7: We humbly asked God to remove all our shortcomings.

“If we confess or sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9 

 

PRINCIPLE FIVE (Celebrate Recovery): Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.


“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.” ~ Matthew 5:6

This leg of our recovery journey continues to be challenging. In Step Four we examined ourself through our moral and spiritual inventory. Step Five required the discipline of confession to a trusted friend or mentor. With Step Six came a time of repentance followed now by Step Seven and the purification of our character.  

 
Having become willing to yield our defects to God we now must bow humbly before our creator in the hopes that He will see fit to remove them. It’s important not to confuse humility with the humiliation that we may be very familiar with as recovering addicts. God doesn’t want to shame us, He only wants us to submit ourselves to His way for our life.

Three reasons we need humility:

  1. We need humility to recognize the severity of our character defects. Without it we may minimize the pain they cause to ourselves and others.
  2. We need humility to acknowledge the limits of our humanity. We can’t remove these character defects with our intellect or willpower.
  3. We need humility to appreciate that it’s only God’s mighty power that can transform our life.
 

Our goal at the end of this step is to find peace with ourselves.

When we go to God we must bring our inventory list and be specific in our prayer. It can be painful and difficult going through this list of wrongs again. Our stinking thinking may tell us we’re not worthy of the growth and progress we’re making. But if we come with the right attitude God will honor our efforts.
 

Father God, thank you for helping me become willing to be molded into who you want me to be. I pray that you would remove every defect of character that stands in the way of my being useful to your work. Give me the strength I need to go on from here. I pray this in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen

If you can’t see the video screen below CLICK HERE for our Road to Recovery theme song.

RESOURCES:
Celebrate Recovery Bible
Celebrate Recovery Leader’s Guide
Life Recovery Bible
Life Recovery Devotional
The Twelve Steps for Christians
Prayers for the Twelve Steps-A Spiritual Journey
Serenity: A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery
Recovery: The Twelve Steps as Spiritual Practice

RECOVERY REDEFINED

In the addiction community RECOVERY is related to our ability to obtain or maintain sobriety from our drug of choice.  Today I want to talk about recovery as a human being not just about struggles with substance addiction.

recovery:   

1. the regaining of something lost or taken away.

2. return to any former and better state or condition.

 

Let’s begin by stating that everyone is addicted to something. Whether or not we are aware of it or are willing to admit it, we all have something on which we lean in times of loneliness, stress or crisis. 

Socially acceptable addictions: TV, Internet, work, shopping, games…

Not socially acceptable addictions: drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, gambling, food…

No matter which category we fall in we are all seeking a pain killer, something that will take us out of this painful reality in which we live day to day.
 
When we’re born our spirit comes to this human form where God allows us to learn the lessons that will prepare us for our eternal life with Him. I believe our spirit is on a continual search for that heavenly realm away from this painful earthly life. Because we are in this human form with its physical desires, that so often get us in trouble, when we do find our pleasure centers we often decide to live there.
Looking at the definition for recovery above, I believe when we are seeking various pain relievers, our personal pleasures or “drugs of choice” we are in essence trying to return to our former and better state of life: heaven.
It’s not so much about removing the negative as it is about putting in more of the positive. When we focus on the negative it sometimes draws us there. It’s important that we not focus on pushing out the bad but rather focus on filling in with positive things; keeping the good front and center. 
 
The filling and refilling starts the process of recovery. Notice I said the process of recovery. RECOVERY isn’t a state that we will attain on this earth. It will only come when we are freed of this human form and in the heavenly realm with our Holy Father. 

Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ! ~ Romans 7:24-25

Image credit: alexmillos / 123RF Stock Photo

12 Principes of Recovery :: TRUST

MY RECOVERY WORK THIS YEAR IS FOCUSED ON THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE 12 STEPS. WE’RE ASKING KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP US LEARN THESE CORE VALUES SO WE CAN PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE. 


STEP TEN
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

PRINCIPLE TEN
TRUST

KEY QUESTION:
How do I live not knowing outcomes?


As I write this column my husband’s youngest brother is fighting for his life in ICU. My husband is in job transition and we are looking for a new place to live.

If there was ever a season of uncertain outcomes it is now. 

Recovering addicts don’t like the unknown. We want to have a plan or at least something that resembles a plan. But most of life is handed to us on a blank sheet of paper. 

Seemingly we are left to find our own direction.

Without the help of God it would be very easy to curl up and stop caring. It takes determination to get out of bed, put each foot in front of the other and try to do the next right thing.

Principle Ten asks us to Trust. 

Can we trust ourselves to do the next right thing? 
Can we trust others to accept us even if we don’t?

Change has gotten easier with age. But today I’m struggling through the uncertainty. 





Image credit: : / 123RF Stock Photo

The 12 Principles :: RESPONSIVENESS


MY RECOVERY WORK THIS YEAR IS FOCUSED ON THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE 12 STEPS; ASKING KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP LEARN THESE CORE VALUES AND PUTTING THEM INTO PRACTICE. 






STEP NINE

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 


PRINCIPLE NINE
Responsiveness


KEY QUESTION: 
What is integrity?








“As our recovery deepens, responsibility grows into responsiveness. Spiritual intelligence unfolds into spiritual integrity.  Making amends expands into mending the world.” ~Patrick Carnes


Most addicts have a history of being reactive rather than responsive especially to situations of change. Thankfully at this stage of our recovery we are aware of the effects our decisions and actions have on those around us. We have taken the focus off ourselves and are more interested in helping others.

The one thing in life we can be certain of is change. When we are responsive we adjust quickly, and easily to changing external conditions. Being responsive prevents regret and that starts by doing today what we will be happy with tomorrow.

No matter how bad things may look the outcome may end up being for our good. In the reverse, circumstances may be seemingly be great then the winds of change sweep through with a dramatic change that spins our head around.

The challenge here is to not hold on too tight, being adaptive and spiritually flexible while staying true to our greater life purpose. Rather than leaning in to the situation with an emotional reaction, we can lean back, watch and wait; checking for any positive action needed on our part. If none is necessary we surrender to the moment and wait for change to come again. And it certainly will. 

KEY QUESTION: What is integrity?

in-te-gri-ty:  an undivided or unbroken completeness; moral soundness

When walking in our addictions our moral soundness was severely lacking. This is one thing that is most important to me as I continue the recovery journey. I don’t ever want to hurt the ones I love again. 


A life that exhibits integrity is crucial. There’s no turning back now!


RESOURCES: 
A Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles: Living the Values Behind the Steps by Patrick Carnes ** 

The Road to Recovery :: STEP 12

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY THAT ARE BASED ON THE BEATITUDES, ALONG WITH THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY AS THEY ALIGN WITH THE YEARLY CALENDAR.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. ~ Philippians 4:8-9

Principle 8 (Celebrate Recovery): Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires. ~ Matthew 5:10


The Twelfth Step is not a graduation into a life free of addiction. Times of temptation are sure to come, but that is our opportunity to practice what we’ve learned from The Steps and hopefully show others we have changed. 


Staying mindful of our recovery walk daily. One thing that has helped me consistently over the years is reading the Life Recovery Devotional. It has 30 readings on each of the 12 Steps which makes it perfect for the entire year. I start with Step 1 in January and follow each step with the calendar month. 

We must find a way to share our story. We can’t waste the lessons we have learned. We must be sensitive to when, where and how the Holy Spirit nudges us and share our message of healing. 

Fellowship with healthy believers is critical. We need friends who love us enough to be honest with us and call us out when necessary. Most importantly we need to keep God a priority so we will stay on the right path.  

If you can’t see the video screen below Click Here for our Road to Recovery theme song.

The Road to Recovery :: STEP 11

IN THE ROAD TO RECOVERY COLUMN WE ARE WORKING THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF CELEBRATE RECOVERY which are BASED ON THE BEATITUDES, ALONG WITH THE TRADITIONAL 12 STEPS OF RECOVERY AS THEY ALIGN WITH THE YEARLY CALENDAR.

…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. ~ Philippians 2:13 NIV

Step 11: 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.


Principle 7 (Celebrate Recovery): Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. 



At this stage of our journey we are growing stronger every day with God. By taking time each morning, or perhaps throughout the day, to sit with Scripture, to be quiet in prayer and mediation, listening for that still small voice to bring us guidance. 

As we grow in confidence and faith it becomes easier to walk in God’s will. But make no mistake, we cannot do it alone. The moment we take our eyes of The Source of our strength we set ourselves up for a fall.

The verse I chose for this week is one very close to my heart. It is one my husband and I pray over ourselves and our family regularly. Without God working in us we can’t even begin to know what His will is, nor have the ability to walk it out.  

All God is asking is that we be willing and available to let Him work. Then He will show us His will so then hopefully we might bring Him pleasure from our lives. 

Success requires us to be intentional and committed minute by minute. This can only be done prayerfully with the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What is your mediation/prayer routine like?


If you can’t see the video screen below Click Here for our Road to Recovery theme song for prayer.