In early recovery, I thought my compulsive sexual behavior was the problem. I just needed to stop doing it, and my problem would be solved. Yeah, maybe I just needed to go to a weekly SA meeting (like going to church on Sunday) to get a little help from other sexaholics - just enough for me to figure out how to stop my own acting out.
Step One says it plainly: "Admitted that we were powerless over lust...." It didn't say that I was powerless over my acting out behavior. It was telling me that my problem was deeper than that. It was something called lust and, until I was willing to give that up, my acting out behaviors were going to continue.
But how to stop lusting? That seemed impossible! Perhaps, but since I could work the 12 Steps of SA as a means to becoming rightly connected with a Power greater than myself, then God could do for me what I could not do for myself. As the Promises say, "God could and would if He were sought." My part was to surrender - to turn my lust, my will and life over to His care.
The SA White Book has two readings that are commonly used in SA meetings: The Problem and The Solution. I've read them and heard them enough times now that some of the phrases and sentences have just become part of my "automatic" thought process. My experience is that the more the words from the AA and SA literature become integrated into my thinking, the more I see the truth of them and the more they show me what's still wrong with my current thinking. (I can't imagine people trying to work the program without continually "bathing" their brains in the core literature of the program.)
"The Solution" begins by summarizing "The Problem": "We saw that our problem was three-fold: physical, emotional and spiritual. Healing had to come about in all three." I know people in both the SA and AA programs who seem content with physical healing only - they just aren't acting out or drinking at the moment - and that as far as it goes for them. At times, I have been in that state myself and it was no fun. I thank God that the program didn't stop working when I stopped acting out. No, there was much more waiting for me when I finally surrendered to God and to the Steps of this program.
"We had stepped into the light, into a whole new way of life".
I didn't need to just stop acting out; I needed a whole new way of life.