The 12th Step of Self-Parenting says, "Having had a spiritual awakening, we reached out to others in the spirit of giving, love and community."
Learning to self-parent was a major spiritual awakening in my life. And the first step with it was the uncomfortable feeling that I needed to rebuild a new relationship with my Higher Power. And by rebuild, I mean that I needed to honestly for the first time in my life, tell God that I felt he let me down. That he abandoned me - to live a childhood in fear and freight - was nothing less then abuse. Yes, the god of my childhood abused me and forgot me.
My spiritual awakening came after I stood in my backyard and yelled at the heavens for a good half-hour. After I let go of the rage I had for him, I found a new Higher Power. One that I was no longer scared of. The threats I learned in childhood about going to hell if I didn't honor God - meant nothing to me. I already spent many years in hell. I had no fear of hell. So that God of my childhood no longer had a grip on me with fear.
The best 12th Step in any program is just living. Every time I get up in the morning and go to work and live my life to the best of my abilities - I am 12th stepping. If I can take my pains from the past and use them as gains in the spirit of love - I am 12th stepping.
But there also needs to be more then living everyday life to share my spiritual awakening and the love I found for myself with others. As any good parent, I want my child to grow. To make him grow I need to let him share what he has learned with others who are like me.
So I write about my experiences in poems and stories as well as books. And I sponsor folks in AA and ACOA, as well as being an on-line sponsor to some other folks.
For me, it all started when I first walked into an AA meeting and said I am an alcoholic. Six months later I ventured into a CODA meeting and admitted my problems with codependency. And finally everything made perfect sense when I went to an ACOA meeting. My triangle was complete.
And now with my Higher Power, whom I chose to call Love, I can freely give away what has been given to me. Which to me was given with Love.
These steps, also adapted from AA, were written by Patricia O'Gorman, Ph.D. and Philip Diaz, M.S.W., as part of their work with families, women, and youth in recovery.