Tool 15: 12 Step Phone Conferences
Understanding the magic of the 12 Steps
We will discuss here briefly the secret power behind the 12 Steps, and what it is about this simple program that has enabled millions of people around the world since the 1930's to break free of the most severe cases of addiction.
The first three steps are the core of the program:
- Step 1. “We admitted we were powerless over lust - that our lives had become unmanageable”. This step is about “Hitting Bottom” and admitting defeat. We admit powerlessness, i.e. that we have a mental imbalance, at least as far as lust is concerned. (We will discuss more below what "hitting bottom" means). Our lives are unmanageable and we know that we must stop, yet we simply cannot. We are between a rock and a hard place.
- Step 2. “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”. We cannot do this alone. Belief in a higher power is easy for frum Yidden, since we always believed in Hashem. But we need to strengthen that belief, and make it more real to us. We can use our 12-Step group and our sponsor at first, as a way of learning how to use the help of a power outside of ourselves and greater than us.
- Step 3. “We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of G-d as we understood Him.” This is the core of the program, where we completely surrender our lives and will over to our Higher Power. "Let Go & Let G-d". We internalize that we are completely dependent on Hashem - a "life and death" dependency, like a one day old baby is dependent on its mother. And we give our lives and will over to His hands, and trust in Him fully to take the addiction away from us and care for us as we heal.