We become able to make wise and loving decisions based on principles and ideals that have real value in our lives.
Basic Text, p. 105
Addiction gave us a certain set of values, principles we applied in our lives. “You pushed me,” one of those values told us, “so I pushed back, hard.” “It’s mine” was another value generated by our disease. “Well, okay, maybe it wasn’t mine to start with, but I liked it, so I made it mine.” Those values were hardly values at all—more like rationalizations—and they certainly didn’t help us make wise and loving decisions. In fact, they served primarily to dig us deeper and deeper into the grave we’d already dug for ourselves.
The Twelve Steps give us a strong dose of real values, the kind that help us live in harmony with ourselves and those around us. We place our faith not in ourselves, our families, or our communities, but in a Higher Power—and in doing so, we grow secure enough to be able to trust our communities, our families, and even ourselves. We learn to be honest, no matter what—and we learn to refrain from doing things we might want to hide. We learn to accept responsibility for our actions. “It’s mine”is replaced with a spirit of selflessness. These are the kind of values that help us become a responsible, productive part of the life around us. Rather than digging us deeper into a grave, these values restore us to the world of the living.
Just for today: I am grateful for the values I’ve developed. I am thankful for the ability they give me to make wise, loving decisions as a responsible, productive member of my community.