I wrote my book because I have experienced the power of the 12 steps and I have witnessed too many people deny themselves that power. And because I want everyone to experience the absolute freedom and happiness that can be experienced in recovery. Recovery does not have to be a struggle. In fact, I believe it should NOT be a struggle. These steps are the way to move from struggle to rest. From lack and limitation to prosperity. From fear based lives to love based lives.
These simple tools have the power to turn fear based lives into love based lives full of joy and freedom. And yet...I know so many people who live unsatisfactory lives because they refuse to employ this power. They say things like, "I can't get past the religion." Or, especially in New Thought circles, "I'm not powerlesss."
I think these are self imposed obstacles. What if...just think about it...what if you thought of the obstacle as simply something that is getting in the way of what you want or need? Instead of embracing the obstacle and saying, "no, I won't do these steps...they are not for me because....". You could instead say, "I will give it a try. It can't hurt."
So...let me just address the two most common arguments I hear.
Let's take the powerless one first. Working these steps is a process. You get your power back in the tenth step. And, I submit that if you are drinking when you don't want to, or eating when you don't want to, or fighting the urge to consume that substance, whatever it is...isn't that a type of powerlessness? If you are experiencing a life that is unsatisfactory in some way, isn't that a type of powerlessness? What's so wrong about asking for help? Especially if that help could facilitate a movement into a life greater than you ever dreamed of? Especially if asking for help could move you into a state of power?
Declaring powerlessness isn't an obstacle, it is a doorway.
Now...let's take the religion piece. It is written right into the literature of every 12 step program: it is spiritual not religious. And yet, it talks about God. I know. I had the same problem when I first entered recovery. In fact, I crossed the word God out everywhere I encountered it and replaced it with a word of my choice. I have news: god isn't religious. It's just a word. There are as many words for god as there are for the color blue. More in fact. All are valid. Perhaps you have been wounded by religion. Many of us have. This is where the struggle with the words come from, usually. Wouldn't you like to be healed of that struggle? This is where New Thought comes in.
New Thought recognizes that there is great wisdom in the ancient writings. All of them. Not just the Bible, but also the Torah, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita, the Buddhist writings. All of them. Unfortunately, the wisdom is hidden because of the way the people spoke when those things were written, and the way they taught back then. The 12 step literature is the same. The founders of AA, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, came from an era when religion was the only way to speak about spirituality, but they were beginning to realize that there were other ways to speak to this profound wisdom. I have evidence that Bill Wilson and Ernest Holmes, the founder of one of the biggest New Thought organizations in the world, Centers for Spiritual Living, had conversations. I have found similar or exact phrases in the writings of both of them. In the original text book of AA, called the big book, written by Bill Wilson (with collaboration) there is a reference to "The Great Reality deep within us." In a book written by Ernest Holmes called How to Use It, he has the phrase, "the Great Reality within." This is not the only time I've found examples of this.
So. If you are living an unsatisfactory life, try this path. I don't care why the living is so unsatisfactory. What I care about is that it becomes so much more. What I care about is that you are empowered to live a life beyond your wildest dreams.