a trusted and respected aunt says, twelve-step program is my spiritual path, i have no other, i've been to meetings for twenty years. i don't know what to make of it. what i think i know what twelve-step program is doesn't match up with this kind and sweet woman who has no problem speaking her mind in a straightforward yet respectful manner. at that point i know some negative tendency is tainting the way i see twelve-step. arrogance. self-righteousness. so i decide i have to go to one to see that for myself.
what i see is stunning and awesome. week after week, for years, a group of men and women get together, create and sustain a safe and committed environment for sincere seekers to connect with higher power/god/inner self or whatever spiritual truth that rings true for that individual at that point in his/her journey. there is a framework that is articulated in a methodical, step-by-step manner and in plain english. my spiritual teacher says, to the effect, we walk on the path, each with his/her own pace, sometimes a person gets off the path but he/she can always get back on it. last night in a meeting i feel like that. it's a big group. there are people who've been on the path for seven or eight years. there is a woman who is here for the first time after being dealt a huge emotional and psychological blow a couple of days ago. i am there for the fourth time and still figuring out what i am. i am amazed by the depth and breadth in people's shares. one person says, what i discover is that it's not that i don't have erratic thoughts anymore but they are like this. he puts his thumb and forefinger just about touching each other to indicate what he means. wow. he nails it. that's what spiritual work is all about. knowing and exercising the power to turn towards the light of god instead of going with the darkness of erratic thoughts.