AOH :: 12STEPS3.TXT|
Meditations on the "Twelve Steps" (of AA)
Meditations on the Twelve Steps
A Course in Miracles
Nancy Dryden Lorieau
To the Shifters
"No one in this distracted world but has seen some
glimpses of the other world about him. Yet while he
still lays value on his own, he will deny the vision of
the other, maintaining that he loves what he loves not,
and following not the road that love points out. Love
leads so gladly!...
"To give this sad world over and exchange your errors
for the peace of God is but your will."
("A Course in Miracles", Foundation for Inner Peace:
Box, 1104, Glen Ellen, CA, 1975.)(T13,8,6)
The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were in 1938
written by its founder, Bill Wilson, while lying in bed.
with pencil in hand and pad of yellow scratch paper on his
"A Course in Miracles" was channelled during the period
from October 1965 through September 1972 by Dr. Helen
These meditations came to me in late November 1993, after I
had asked my Higher Power for a way to show appreciation at
Christmas to some Twelve Step friends.
I offer them in love.
Nancy Dryden Lorieau
"We admitted we were powerless over our
addictions - that our lives had become
My ego believes that I am alone and my world
is a dangerous place. Only by doing something or
getting something, will I attain the happiness and
safety that I seek. When my efforts fail, it tells me
there are certain "magic" substances and habits that
can always be relied on. These are my addictions.
As I close my eyes, I realize my ego has been mistaken.
I see my addictions as devices that have brought only pain.
I understand I have no control over them because I have
given them all my power, but I also see they have no power
of their own. They are as smoke, awaiting only the wind that
will dispel them.
I begin to see that I have been insane and I wonder
about the world of sanity. What will I see there? How will I
"I know my beliefs are insane because
they have not made me happy."
"Came to believe that a Power greater than
ourselves could restore us to sanity."
Over and over, I have followed the ego s advice in my
attempts to control my life, but each time I have
failed. Sometimes I feel I can't go on. However, part
of me remembers another Voice - a Voice of sanity and
truth, a Voice of reassurance and comfort.
I remember the sound of this Voice, soft and
certain. It reminds me of my Creator and It tells me I
am holy. "No Child of God," It says, "Can be less than
I feel a warmth in my body and know there is a
flame of Truth within me. I see an altar in my heart.
On it burns a candle. Because the candle is small, the
light is dim, but I know it is unextinguishable. As I
think this thought, the light becomes brighter. I
contrast the light of Truth with the confusion of
"There are two paths open to me, one of chaos,
one of sanity. Which will I choose?"
"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to
the care of God as we understood God."
I stand at a crossroads. Two signs point the way. The
one on the right is marked "Peace," the other "Fear."
I look down the road of fear and many figures beckon
me. I see my addictions and their temporary
satisfactions. I see my enemies and the false faces I
have made for my friends. The landscape is littered
The road of peace looks different. There are trees
and flowers beside the road and among them walk people
I recognize as my brothers and sisters. Although many
carry packs of varying sizes, their steps are light and
their faces reflect serenity. I smell the fragrance of
A clamor erupts among the figures on the road of
fear. They call to me, shouting promises, waving
glittering strands of jewels and bottles filled with
elixir. I gaze at them, and as I gaze the glitter falls
away. I choose the road of peace.
As I step forward, my brothers and sisters come to
greet me. Welcoming hands clasp mine. The flame in my
heart grows brighter. I feel gratitude to my Creator
and am aware of my Creator's gratefulness to me.
"I know there is a power that will heal not only my
addictions but my life."
"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of
I am on the path now, but my step is anything but
light. Although the flame in my heart burns brightly, I
am weighed down by an enormous pack. I stop to rest
under a tree, remove the pack, open it and look inside.
The pack is filled with golden balls and large
black stones. There are so many I cannot count them. I
pull out a golden ball and, as I see my face reflected
in its surface, I realize the ball represents a loving
deed I had forgotten. As I acknowledge this, the ball
melts into my hand and becomes part of what I know
Next I select a stone. As I examine it, I
understand it represents a belief of which I am
ashamed. I decide to acknowledge this belief. Instantly
the stone grows smaller and lighter, both in color and
in weight. I place it beside me.
When I ask the light in my heart what I should do,
the Voice of Certainty advises me to examine each
object until the pack is empty. At first I resist, but
soon I realize this task is necessary if I am to know
myself. I resolve to carry it through.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to know myself."
"Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human
being the exact nature of our wrongs."
I am sitting under a tree beside my path next to a pile
of small grey stones. People are passing by. I feel
embarrassed and ashamed. I am sure each person will see
the stones and condemn me. Perhaps some will take the
stones and throw them at me! I become afraid. I attempt
to cover the stones with my pack, but it seems
hopeless. What if my Creator should see them? I cower
Slowly, a feeling of warmth and certainty fills my
body. I begin to understand that I am safe. I hear the
Voice. (I am growing used to it now.) "Your Creator
does not see the stones," It says, "Only your
I try to understand, but it is difficult. "Soon,"
promises the Voice, "Soon . . ."
I look for someone to speak with about my stones.
Although I feel some uncertainty, I know this must be
done. Someone sits down beside me. As I look into her
eyes, I realize she is the one. Together we examine the
stones. I feel accepted and safe. I know this person
sees my holiness as well as the things I regret. As we
embrace, I am filled with love. I know this person is
"I recognize my holiness and the holiness of others."
"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these
defects of character."
I am sitting under a tree beside my pile of stones. I
put them back in my pack, shoulder the pack and
continue on my way. My pack is much lighter now, but it
is still heavy. After awhile, I stop to rest.
Some of the people on my path have no pack at all.
These people seem to have more energy than the rest;
they seem lighter and happier. I begin to wish my pack
I hear the Voice. "You wish your pack were gone,
but you are still holding on to it!" I notice my
fingers gripping one of the straps. Although I try to
let go, it is difficult.
The Voice tells me that some people let go of
their burdens one stone at a time, but I want to
release them all. As I visualize myself releasing the
pack, I am filled with gratitude. My fingers relax. I
am ready to let go.
"I release the past. Now is the only time there is."
"Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings."
I am sitting beside my path next to my pack. I am ready
to let it go. Eyes closed, I ask my Creator to take it
away. I feel a Gentle Presence.
"I cannot remove your burden, my Child, because I
cannot see it. I see only your holiness. I see only
your light. You have made your burden; now, you must
walk away from it."
Someone takes my hand. Opening my eyes, I see it
is my friend. Gently, she pulls me to my feet.
Together, we continue down the path.
"I understand that I am free.
I am as God created me."
"Made a list of all persons we had harmed
and became willing to make amends to them."
I am walking along the path with my friend. My pack is
gone. Although I am happy, I am not yet at peace. I ask
my friend why.
"Now that you have laid down your burden, "she
says, "You must set things to rights. You must make
I am surprised. I thought when I walked away from
that pack it was finished, I say. "You mean there's
"Yes," says my friend. "Now you must deal with
every person or situation about which you have a
feeling of guilt, and you must deal with these in such
a way that peace returns to your relationship."
I ask the Voice for guidance and learn that the
main cause of unhappiness in my relationships was that
I had seen others as either more or less important than
myself. I had not recognized their value as equal
Children of God. I understand that the healing of my
relationships will come only with respect for the
holiness of my brothers and sisters.
My friend hands me a paper and pencil. I sit down
beside the path, search my heart and begin to write.
"I am grateful for my equal companions.
I feel their love."
"Made direct amends to such people whenever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others."
It's late in the afternoon and my friend and I are
sitting in the shade of a large rock, eating a simple
dinner. I am in a hurry.
"I've finished my list," I say, And I'd like to
get a few of these names taken care of before bedtime.
I'll just go down to the phone at the general store and
call them all up to say I'm sorry. I hope I have enough
"Not so fast!" says my friend. "Making amends," as
I said, "usually involves more than just saying you're
sorry. It means setting things to rights. Every case is
different. Sometimes you can t do anything at all but
offer a blessing in your heart."
"But how will I know?" I cry in frustration. I'm
"No," smiles my friend, "But the Creator is."
I take out my list and look at the first name,
then close my eyes and ask for guidance.
The answer comes.
"I allow the healing of my relationships."
"Continued to take personal inventory,
and when we were wrong promptly admitted it."
Again, I am on the path. It is a beautiful day and I
feel carefree and happy. I have not quite finished with
my amends, but I am making good progress. I notice
people are happy to be with me. Strangers sometimes
smile when they catch my eye.
I stop by a roadside stand. A wizened old man has
arranged a variety of items on a long, bare table. He
looks hungry and ill. I decide to buy something.
As I look over the merchandise, I see a tarnished
golden ring with an unusual stone. Although it is
priced very cheaply, I suspect it is valuable. I
discover it is gold. Hardly able to contain my glee, I
pay the peddler fifty cents, put the ring on my finger
and continue on my way. I'm proud of the sharp bargain
Then, I feel a weight in my pocket. I reach in and
discover a large, black stone. I realize my mistake.
Quickly, I return to the stand, give the ring to
the peddler, and explain its value. I see the gratitude
in his eyes. We shake hands in friendship.
"My Guidance tells me what to do."
"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with God, as we understood God,
praying only for the knowledge of God's will for us and
the power to carry that out."
It's morning. I have been sleeping beside a small
stream. As I wake up from my happy dream, I hear birds
singing and the sharp tinkling of water. I look forward
to the day ahead.
After washing my face in the stream, I sit cross-
legged on my bedroll. I close my eyes and turn my
thoughts to my Creator.
I acknowledge God's holiness and my appreciation
for creation. I remember the sacredness of all things
and all people.
I ask to be led where I am needed, and for the
resources necessary to do what I am requested to do.
I offer my guilt and my grievances for healing.
Gratitude fills my heart. I know I am not alone.
"As I understand my Creator, I understand myself."
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of
these steps, we tried to carry this message to others
and to practice these principles in all our affairs."
It's midday. I m walking along the path. Although the
weather is chilly and the sky is overcast, the light in
my heart warms my companions and me, and casts a
special radiance on all I see in my world.
I know I am in exactly the right place and this is
exactly the right time. I am filled with certainty.
As I round a curve in the path, I see a person
sitting alone under a tree next to a pile of small grey
I sit down beside him . . .
"When I ask only to be helpful, I know
exactly what to do."
Meditations on the 12 Steps
is copyright 1993
Nancy Dryden Lorieau
14028 - 121 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5L 2S9
Telephone: (403) 455-9820
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