By Phillip Z.
What percentage folks have felt like Phillip Z? He has a staunch trust within the Twelve Steps, but struggles with the concept that of a better strength. In A Skeptic's advisor to the 12 Steps, the writer investigates all of the Twelve Steps to realize a deeper realizing of a better strength. He examines what could appear like "unsettling" suggestions to us together with surrendering one's will and lifestyles to God, and he encourages us to appreciate the religious trip of restoration regardless of our skepticism.
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Additional resources for A Skeptic's Guide to the 12 Steps
I have not found it necessary to suspend my capacity to think criticallyto question the ideas and opinions of othersin order to grow emotionally and spiritually. Quite the contrary. I have found that, for me, Twelve Step recovery demands rigorous thinking, honest self-appraisal, and commitment to changing deep and compelling habits of mind and action. The Twelve Steps are hardly pacifiers serving to simply relieve us from having to confront the inevitable challenges life presents. The journey from compulsion to compassion requires one's constant willingness to accept reality and avoid reliance on the kinds of superficial, magical beliefs that only appear to relieve one of responsibility for his or her life.
Then, over the roar of criticism and judgment filling my head, I heard someone say that she wanted to speak particu- Page 20 larly to the newcomers. She looked right at me as she explained that most of the people in the room had been put off by much of what they heard at the first few meetings they had attended. She suggested that those of us who were new to Overeaters Anonymous come back to several more meetings before making up our minds about the program. She wanted us to know that each person in OA had his or her own way of understanding and working the program and that if we heard things that felt unacceptable to us, we could disregard them.
Recognizing the harmfulness of continued engagement in the activity and sincerely resolving to abstain does not help. The fortunate ones realize this truth, but, tragically, others never do and, instead, go crazy or die, never knowing the nature of their condition. Why is it that people who are addicted or otherwise compulsive cannot control their behavior with regard to the particular substance or activity? And why, with all the evidence that suggests they cannot control their use or behavior, do they continue to believe that they can?