Sunday, January 10, 2010

12 steps & 16 steps compared

1. We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable
step 1 is an affirmation of strength and the innate ability to eliminate dependence
unlike AA's admission of powerlessness, defined as "quality of lacking strength or power; being weak and feeble; not very positive or encouraging"

2 belief that a higher power, awakens the healing wisdom within US when we open ourselves to the power,
rather than "came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity;
which takes away one's own belief in themselves
and places the responsibility on an unknown source.

3) We make a decision to become our authentic selves and trust in the healing power of the truth. as opposed to,
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
which once again places responsibility and accountability in the hands of an unseen force

4) We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.
AA #4 states
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
correct me if im wrong, but i've been told for over 20 years that i'm not a bad person;
i don't have moral issues, i'm just a sick person

why would i need to make a moral inventory?

5) We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.
12 & 16 very similar

6) We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and others.
AA--Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

here is where aa starts to lose me. nothing can be removed from us, short of a personality lobotomy, the best anyone can hope for is an improvement of character flaws.
the entire premise is flawed and unrealistic. there is no heavenly force that removes anything from the psyche of a human being.
here the 16 reinforces positives of character rather than repeated negative focus
we are allowed to affirm them with ourselves, and share them with others.

7) We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.
aa says . Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
redundant second half of step 6... why not ask him to help you win the lotto while you're at it?

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
the 16 says;
We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

my biggest problem with the 12 occurs right here. never in the steps are we encouraged to list those who harmed us.and safely share our issues with them . especially crucial for women who have been victims of multiple forms of abuse and never have an opportunity for closure.

11) We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.
step 10 in aa says

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

once again no opportunity to address the shortcomings of others. how many women out there are still paying for a debt you never owed?

steps 12 thru 16 reaffirm our interaction with others , taking care of all aspects of health, finding inner peace, accepting the cards we're dealt, and peaceful coexistence.

even the staunchest 12 step loyalists would be hard pressed to refute
any segment of the 16...

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Shadow said...

interesting read...

Anonymous said...

I may understand you...I never seem to give anything up, just keep adding things. This dilutes my concentration of what is bad for me.


Recovering Son said...

very new age, very self