For a while I had confused the word “practice” with “perfected” in Step 12:
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and had practiced perfected these principles in all our affairs.
— Step 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous
I thought that because I’d worked all the other steps and had arrived at number 12 that I should be over some hump. Maybe even overflowing with love while walking with spiritual principles or whatever.
Like I had crossed some finish line because I had had a spiritual awakening.
It wasn’t something that I consciously thought. I knew the step used the phrase “practiced these principles”, similar to applying them but for whatever reason I was holding myself to a “perfected” standard.
Of course then would feel like I was coming up short.
But… Just because I’ve had that spiritual awakening that doesn’t mean I’ve perfected anything. I have to continue to practice much the way Maggie needs to practice her cello.
Granted with working the others steps and making it to twelve I have been elevated to a new plane of existence but I’m not cured or healed. By any stretch.
Okay that “elevated” part sounds a bit arrogant. But I have changed.
It’s funny how our minds can know something but then deeper down we believe something else.
If something’s bothering me, I should investigate. Even if it seems minor. If anything is making me feel bad about me, something’s wrong, no matter how slight or subdued or subliminal it may feel.