I have taken many stairways in my days on this planet. Some heading up, some heading down. And some of those long winding circling ones that would make me dizzy if I ran up or down them too fast. I’ve navigated them on my cute little bum, with a pair of crutches killing my armpits, and with my two left feet. I’ve stumbled up them in a drunken stupor on my hands and knees, and I’ve fallen down them stone cold sober landing on my hands and knees.
But the stairway I am most fond of is the one that let me experience a little heaven on earth. It’s the one I can’t actually see or describe to you visually. I can’t take a photograph of it, but I can paint you a picture of what it’s like to have in my life. It’s a stairway that isn’t necessarily in one particular spot, yet can be found all over this world. I can’t tell you what its GPS coordinates are, but I can give you directions on where to find it should you ever wish to.
Much like the stairways I took in schools, it has brought me to a level of higher education.
Much like the stairways I took to enter a church, it has brought me closer to God.
Much like the stairways in the many houses where I have lived, it has brought me closer to my family.
Much like any of the stairways I have ever taken, its journey began with simply taking the first step.
Many of you will know of the 12-step stairway to which I refer, and some of you may have taken it yourself. For those who aren’t overly familiar with it though, I would like to tell you about something else I found through taking that stairway that also happens to come in a precise dozen.
The 12 Promises
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
- 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 upon life will change.
- Fear of people and of 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.”
Excerpt from pages 83-84 of The Big Book, 4th edition,
© 2001 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc.
“Take the first step and your mind
will mobilize all its forces to your aid.
But the first essential is that you begin.
Once the battle is started, all that is within you
and without you will come to your assistance.”
Robert Collier, author
Image source: Imanka user on flickr.com, CC Generic