The 12 Step programme was conceived in 1930s “Bible Belt” America. Although its seemingly exclusive language is constrained by that context, its ideas and principles are universal.

Its wording needs no interpretation for those who believe in God as they understand him. When we looked at Step 2 we saw how those who do not believe in God can also find something outside themselves which can be the foundation of recovery, like the support of family and friends or a commitment to an ideal or a goal.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

Your Dependency Profile

Self-reliance hasn’t worked. We faced that reality at Step 1. The truth of our addiction is that we turned to something to help us cope when we sensed we were losing control. The substance or the habit blotted out the sense of inadequacy.
Addiction is a disease to which we were susceptible and so we came to rely on that escape. Was that because we could depend on nothing else?

It’s worth taking a moment to consider where we are on the dependency scale:

  • Dependent People
    • Know that they want help and are prepared to accept it, sometimes even when they already have the knowledge and ability to resolve a problem for themselves
  • Counter dependence
    • Describes those who know they need help but find it very hard to accept
  • Independent People
    • Are self-sufficient and do not, often will not turn to others for assistance
  • Interdependent People
    • Able to build relationships in which they give and receive help
    • The recovering addict needs to find a path through dependence to becoming interdependent”

If you turn your life and will over to the random chaos of the universe it will make better decisions than you do on your own.


It is a basic human need to seek a sense of how we fit into everything else that exists. We find an inner peace in accepting who we are and a fundamental positivity in the hopeful vision of what we may become. Some people call it becoming ‘comfortable inside your skin.

  • Jesus spoke of becoming like a child, being open to fresh visions and eager to test new ideas
  • Many ancient peoples still retain that sense of identity with the natural world of plants and animals, sun, wind and rain which modern culture and technology can make us forget
  • The practice of Zen encourages people to ‘empty their mind’ to make room for new thinking or the recovery of old perspectives
  • Even the most ‘Godly’ of teachers have found that the quest for truth takes us deep within ourselves. To find where we belong we first need to discover who and what we are
  • The Buddha found no more satisfaction in stringent self-denial than he had known as a pampered prince, discovering the need for a middle way and taking proper care of himself

We need to understand the interconnectedness of everything, to perceive the cycles of nature, to know about life and death and regeneration, whether in the seasons or in religious destiny.

Though the answers we seek must come from within, we all need a guide, a spiritual director, a mentor who helps us find our way and maintains an objective perspective on our thoughts.

We must learn not to blame our circumstances and experiences but to build on them. To find ‘serenity’ I must accept the things I cannot change. What I see as my ‘suffering’ must become a source of ‘strength and growth.

The unmanageable life is a life of chaos. Spiritual growth depends on structure and regularity. It is essential that we make time, defined and protected time, for reflection and meditation.

We must learn to accept help from our guide, our family, our friends, maybe from God as we understand him. We must make room for peace and purpose in our life and to discover and commit to a path to self-knowledge and spiritual