Everyone can benefit from working a 12-step Spiritual Program – Part 3

My life was spiraling out of control.

What worked in my marriage, was no longer working.

What worked to keep me sane, was no longer working.

I was tired of dealing with the ups and downs of life, all alone.

I needed someone to listen and understand.

I needed help. I cried and said these words

“God Help Me”

God heard my cry for help and

started to put his plan into motion

I have a feeling this post is going to be very informative and interesting

Balancing mind, body and soul.

I know I will be changed if and only if I am willing to open up

my heart, mind and spirit

to hear what I am to hear,

to see what I am see,

and learn what I am to learn.

Wow, look at this…

I now see why the 12-step support groups are so powerful.

We learn 70% of what is discussed – issues are discussed in these groups

We learn 80% of what we experience – experience, strength and hope discussed in these groups

We learn 95% of what we teach someone else –

so as we are sharing and teaching others,

we are leaning 95%

Make a decision to be willing

to see

to hear

(HOW) to do this?

H onest

O pen

W illing

It takes courage to walk into a room of strangers

and honestly admit that I might need some help

At the beginning of the meeting

they read this prayer

In this prayer they all were asking God

for courage.

That is what I focused on from this prayer

They also read The Promises

I heard that we were all doing this together

In this reading, I heard words of hope

It did not say maybe we will get these things

It said we will (not maybe)

If we work for them together

I had no hope

I felt lost

These words reassured me

that there was a way out of the darkness

a way to live life

and be at peace and

be happy in the midst of chaos

The 12 Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous

We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

We will comprehend the word serenity and

We will know peace.

No matter how far down the scale we have gone,

we will see how our experience can benefit others.

That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

Self-seeking will slip away.

Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.

Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.

We will intuitively know how to handle situations

which used to baffle us.

We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

“Are these extravagant promises?

We think not.

They are being fulfilled among us –

sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.

They will always materialize if we work for them.”

I am willing to find another way

If this worked for all these people in the rooms

Then maybe, just maybe, it could work for me

I was willing to do whatever it took

to get out of this insanity

I started the process by listening

At first when I started to listen to everyone share

I was selectively listening

Certain nuggets of hope

popped up to hold on to

until the next meeting.

Listening without responding was

a behavior that progressed the more

meetings I attended.

As others shared their stories,

experience, strength and hope

I came to believe

That I, too,

could get this new way of dealing with life

life on life’s terms

I was willing to be willing to listen

I had a hard time expressing my feelings

I had a hard time sharing because

I had stuffed my feelings

I had medicated my feelings

I had denied my feelings

because my reality was too painful

to own and say out loud

I couldn’t trust anyone with my truths

So I listened

That was safe for me to do

I listened with my eyes for the genuine feelings behind

the words each person shared

They were honest about what they felt and

they put words to their feelings

I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

I could relate to their crazy thinking

I was not alone

I finally found others who understood me

What does the heart have to do with listening?

In our previous quotes we determined that

The Spirit of God

dwells in our spiritual heart

Spirit of Divine Knowledge

Spirit of Divine Wisdom

Spirit of Divine Love

Spirit of Divine Truth

Spirit of Forgiveness

We also learned that there could be blockages

preventing us from hearing clearly from

our spiritual heart

That is why the 12-step groups provide sponsors

and support friends to guide us as we

clear away the wreckage of our past and clear

the spiritual channel to the Spirit of God within

It takes practice and lots of healing

to intuitively know what to do

which comes from the heart and spirit

Listening helps us develop a relationship with ourselves

Listening to others helps us learn how

to listen to ourselves and to divine wisdom 

When we see with the eyes of another, 

listening with the ears of another and 

feeling the heart of another, 

we are empathizing.

We never can truly and entirely empathize with others

unless we have walked in their shoes,

however, we can partially empathize if we have walked through similar life experiences

That is why these 12 step support groups work.

They understand each other and can help each other because

they have walked a similar path

A similar path but not the exact same path,

a path with different shoes.

And have learned their specific life lessons along the way.

I needed a laugh…

Seriously, even though we may have walked a similar path,

we never truly can fully empathize with another,

because we have not walked their specific path.

Each path has its own bumps in the road.

We have no right to tell someone else what they should do.

Each person should determine their own path.

We can only share our experience, strength and hope and guide them.

The final decision should be their own.

If they make the decision, then they are held accountable

for the positive or negative consequences of their actions.

They then have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

If we make the decisions for them

They can blame us and they do not learn from their mistakes

Then how can we understand and

help the other person

and truly empathize?

Ask questions, get more information.

Get the Facts.

Ask questions

Listen intently before responding

Why should I pause before responding?

By listening we connect

We give our undivided attention to that person

It shows we care about them

A loving silence sent by our spirit

Unconditional spiritual love

Wow, just listening to another, starts their healing process.

Just listening starts my healing process also.

The spiritual message I am receiving regarding this quote is

Our listening sends a message that we care about that person

(giving them our undivided attention)

So, next time someone calls you on the telephone,

Do not be washing the dishes or doing something else

While they are talking

Give them you undivided attention.

It sends a message that the other person is important

and that you care enough to put them first

When we listen to reply,

we are more interested in giving our tidbits of wisdom

instead of listening to understand what they are trying to say.

More interested in helping others

rather than helping ourselves

Who knew listening was so important to me and to others?

If we pay attention when we help others,

we will also get a healing along the way

What to learn from this quote?

Listen first

Take it in…

Pause and reflect on what you heard

Keep emotions in check

Do not respond when angry

Process the anger first with someone else

And then respond with understanding and kindness,

not with out of control emotions.

Process your own triggered anger before responding.

Wow, actually rewiring the brain to be

calmer and more loving.

I guess this would be a good behavior to practice and learn

When spiritually at peace, respond

Respond with love not hate

Respond with forgiveness not revenge

Respond with kindness


Make me an instrument of your peace

Seeking to understand others,

we learn to understand them and

understand ourselves to a deeper level.

Keep asking to understand them better

In this process,

You get to know them and yourself better.

Keep asking so you can have empathy

As you ask and listen you get answers

As you ask and listen to others, they get answers

Let this process unfold and pay attention…

Don’t Assume or make assumptions without more facts

Pause and keep asking more questions

until you get understanding

rather than assuming and making false accusations

which causes more suffering to them

and to yourself.

Keep asking more questions

Keep practicing how to ask better,

more specific questions

It will help you with understanding them better

And it will also help them understand themselves better

And it will help you understand yourself better

and you learn to ask yourself more specific questions

Sounds like everyone benefits…

Practice, Practice, Practice

When they answer the questions

Repeat back their answers to the questions

By saying “This is what I heard you say”

Hearing again what they said,

helps them own the answers which came out of their mouths

You are helping them to hear and practice hearing

from their spiritual heart.

Assumptions start a chain react to drama.

Oh, that is how drama starts

Awareness and acceptance of this fact,

that I can be the cause of drama

sparked by my assumptions is very powerful.

Now I can stop drama before it escalates.

Who knew it could be that simple.

It just may be a good idea to listen more and not assume,

Assuming makes an ass of you

and me.

Listening is a learned behavior,

Accepting that fact

I need to practice sincere listening until it becomes a habit

Action is needed on my part.

Who knew that listening was so important in all of these areas,

Listen before talking

Think before you react

Wait before you assume or judge

Process emotions before responding

Keep trying

To listen we need to pay attention,

Tap into our spirit

And put others over self by listening

And trying to empathize with them

And honestly care about them

I am learning self-control and temperance

Anger is usually the emotion that is our best teacher

in regards to self-control

Asking questions and listening

can ward off getting offended

Asking questions and listening

can change my response

Asking questions and listening

can engage the brain instead of my emotions

We need both

our brain and our emotions

To deal with out of control/obsessive emotions

or out of control/obsessive thoughts

If severe enough

only our

Higher Power

can remove

Accept the fact that you are not crazy

That this process is a normal way of processing information

Practicing self-control of thoughts

and self-control of emotions

is important

Oh my God… Look at this…

Look how important attitude is and

how much underlying power it has on us

and our responses

Inspirational Typographic Quote – Your mind is a powerful thing when you fill it with positive thoughts your life will start to change

Asking questions helps with understand of others and self

Looks like a chain reaction to me

Learning one thing (to listen)

Helps me think before I respond with anger

IQ – Intelligence quotient

EQ – Emotional Intelligence

SQ – Spiritual Intelligence

I can only share my personal life lesson in reference

to your question about the spiritual purpose for listening?

When a person listens,

Their listening is role-modeled so I can learn

to practice until it becomes a habit

and until it becomes a natural way of responding.

Because I am listening and not focusing on responding

I take what I heard into my spiritual heart for processing.

Then when I do give my response to what was said,

I also have learned to carefully listen to what comes out of my mouth.

Many times there is a message for me in my response

Remember, divine intelligence and divine love and divine wisdom

reside in the spiritual heart, where the spirit of God dwells.

Many times we get spiritual messages this way or we can also receive

The answers from the honest shares at the 12-step meetings.

Pay attention…

Just because you listened and heard an answer from another

does not mean that is the answer for you.

Take time to process and meditate and

seek wisdom from your spiritual heart.

When you have peace with the answer,

then usually,

it is the right solution for you

Reflections of what I have learned from this spiritual path we went down today as it relates to attending a 12-step support group.

• We all want to be heard and understood.

• There is power in listening to others

• There is power in listening to our spiritual heart

• We start the healing process when we listen, when we connect,

when we know they understand what we are going through

• We all want to honestly share without being judged

• We find people who have traveled a similar path

who can empathize with us

• We are given an opportunity to be heard

when we speak up in the group

• Because of others role-modeling honesty,

it gives us permission to get honest

• Because others share their feelings,

we learn it is ok to share our feelings

• We are accepted and welcomed just as we are

• We all have a need to belong

• We all have a need to feel wanted

• We all want to be loved

• We all want to be understood

Practice listening to others and

practice listening to yourself,

and to your inner voice of wisdom.

Who knew that listening could be so powerful.

Love you all,

Esther Mae 1-31-2022

Published by Esther Mae

Happy, Joyous and Free. Enjoying life and retirement. Oct 5, 202, I completed the FEl Camino de Santiago de Frances, over 550 miles, beginning August 15, 2021 in St-Jean-Pied-De-Port, France and ending in Santiago and walked through the Holy Door. I am 70 year young. Read about some of my adventures. I have a close relationship with my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Spiritual growth and enlightenment are my priorities in life. Please jump on the spiritual soul train with me as I walk and try to practice a spiritual way of life. Esther Mae

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