Step Twelve of Alcoholics Anonymous encourages its followers to carry their message to other alcoholics. Steps Twelve and Thirteen of Religious Recovery encourages its followers to be a Light to point the way but to not be aggressive in our approach. Rather, we recognize our subject matter is often volatile, and we wait until the students are ready. Religious Recovery also recognizes our lives bear witness to our recovery — whether it is a good witness or whether our lives are still in need of healing determines a positive or negative encounter.
Often people who overcome an addiction become the most vocal against the “demons” that held them under its spell. By being so boisterous about their newfound sobriety or weight loss, they often have an adverse effect on the people they want to help. But, there is a strong need within us to help — to teach what we have learned — and whether we recognize it or not, that need is not as much for others as it is in grounding the healing more firmly within ourselves.
As the saying goes, old habits die hard. Helping others is a good way to strengthen our resolve not to slip back into those old habits. We applaud the efforts of Alcoholics Anonymous and their realization of how important it is to give back. Religious Recovery agrees, but our only concern is to be sensitive to when we are pushing our personal beliefs on another who is not interested and who might be driven further away from anything religious or spiritual. We do not want to be the problem, but merely a guide to help them discover their solutions.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.