A Deeper Look at the 12 Steps: Step 11
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Continued reliance on a higher reality lays the groundwork for lifelong recovery. That’s the premise of Step 11 of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step journey. Those who have made it this far in a Southern California detox program will learn to appreciate the power of daily meditation and prayer.
Recovering Peace & Strength
Some A.A. steps focus on the internal dimension of recovery, a process marked by self-examination. Others emphasize the horizontal dimension, which involves relationships with others. Step 11 represents a return to the vertical dimension. It asks recovering addicts to maintain their connection with a higher power.
Whether or not someone believes in God, the logic behind Step 11 is clear:
• Mindfulness creates emotional balance.
• Meditation brings rewards in the form of mental stability.
• Surrender fosters humility, which leads to greater self-awareness.
In other words, the goal of Step 11 is to cultivate inner peace and strength. Without nurturing these internal resources, recovery will be fleeting.
Freeing the Body and the Mind
Freeing someone from dependence on alcohol or drugs means tending to all aspects of their recovery—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Lifelong sobriety requires a holistic approach that culminates in a healthy mind, a healthy body, and a healthy soul.
Physical wellness starts with withdrawal. Someone begins to reassert their physical independence the moment they enter a detox center in Orange County. Spiritual or psychological rehabilitation starts when someone seeks help from someone or something outside of themselves. It begins with a surrender of the will and culminates in a lifelong habit of prayer and meditation.
Laying the Foundation for Sobriety
Indeed, in order to reap the benefits of Step 11, recovering alcoholics must learn to make meditation a habit. Calling out for help in times of crisis will not suffice.
When someone sees prayer as a way of life rather than a crutch for emergencies, they begin to transform their previous reliance on alcohol or drugs into a newfound reliance on something bigger, stronger, and healthier. By practicing mindfulness on a daily basis, AA practitioners lay a strong foundation on which they can build a sober and successful future.
Defining the Higher Power
By this point, most AA practitioners understand how the program defines God—as any higher power of the individual’s choosing, whether that is a personal God, a higher self, a cosmic force, a life purpose, or even the rehab program itself. Once again, AA does not attempt to define that higher power. It does not proffer an explanation of God. It only demands that participants reach for something beyond themselves.
Still, some may wonder why all this “higher power” talk is necessary. The simple answer is that it works. For nearly a century, addicts have changed their lives by surrendering their own will to something bigger. In the end, humility demands that recovering addicts look outward and upward for guidance.
Seeking Help from Others
Yellowstone Recovery helps people on the road to full recovery by offering intensive detox programs. Contact us to find out more about the philosophy behind our alcohol detox center in Orange County.