Applying the Twelve Steps of Sexaholics Anonymous to all of My Affairs and Having A Spiritual Awakening
I had an awakening and discovered very early on in my Sexaholics Anonymous recovery that there are (at least) two parts to working the Twelve Steps:
I worked the Twelve Steps of Sexaholis Anonymous with my SA sponsor, writing down information about each Step, talking that over with my sponsor, and learning how to change my life through that work. That path gave me a deeper understanding of myself, my weaknesses, and the ways in which I could have a better spiritual awakening that might change me.
I started from the beginning to apply the Twelve Steps to my daily life. I was amazed to find immediate benefits, even when my understanding of the Steps was immature. But as I grew in my recovery, this part became even more effective. Today, most of what I do to “work the Steps" is applying them to my life.
So I would like to share an incident that shows how I the apply the Steps my life, and how this has helped me to practice these principles in all my affairs.
Last month, I took a long trip to Australia and New Zealand. Then last week when I checked my credit card balance, I discovered that the rental car company in Australia had charged me $4700 for a rental that was supposed to be $620. This is an example of the unmanageability of my life (“... our lives had become unmanageable,” SA pg 83). In my addictive past, one solution would have been to feel inadequate and unworthy to solve the problem. I likely would have raged at the people at the rental company over the phone. I might have dropped into sex with myself just to feel better about myself. But that day, instead, I applied the Steps (this is almost second nature to me now (only because of the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, and by practicing the SA principles to all of my affairs).
In Step one, I acknowledged that I am powerless over my lust to control things perfectly. Step Two, I know that relying on God’s plan for my life always seems to work better. Step Three, I decided to believe that this extreme overcharge was also part of God’s plan, and to trust that He has something good in store for me even in this situation. Step Six, I am always aware that arrogance and pride and are my top two character defects, and that they can lead me to obnoxious behavior in difficult situations. So--Step Seven (Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”)--I asked God to let me handle this problem with humility and grace.
Only after all of that did I pick up the phone to call the rental car company. I checked time zones so that I could call them during their business hours. On the phone, I was able to speak with humility rather than with anger. I said, “It appears there has been a mistake. Let’s try to figure out what happened, please.” The man on the other side of the world responded in kind. He promised to look into it and said he would get back to me within a day. Step Three (Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him,” SA p. 93): I chose to trust in God to let this man do what he needed to do.
The result has all been favorable. The rental company found their mistake. It was data entry error in which they entered AU$620 as AU$6200, translated over to US$4700. Although I haven’t yet seen the refund to my credit card, I am confident that it will now be resolved.
Throughout this incident, I have felt peace. The serenity of my life has not been disrupted by someone else’s data entry error, thanks entirely to the fellowship of Sexaholics Anonymous, and working Steps with a sponsor.
I am grateful to Sexaholics Anonymous for awakening me to a new way of living.