The Twelve Steps

Some Unitarian Universalists, not to mention Pagans, have found it difficult to identify with the Christian language on mainstream Alcoholics Anonymous. These "Twelve Steps for Unitarian Universalists," came from the Reverend Karen Matteson in Birmingham, Alabama, who got them from her friend Aimee Tatersall in Durham, North Carolina. Amiee may have gotten them from someone else.

May these steps be affirmations that we all embrace, if not in sequential order, then in ways that are meaningful and appropriate to our personal and collective relationships:

  1. We acknowledge and accept that we are powerless in controlling someone else's behavior, thoughts, or feelings. We have learned that trying to control others makes our lives unmanageable.
  2. We realize that we need to turn to others for help.
  3. We turn to our friends and our spiritual resources to validate ourselves as worthwhile people, capable of creativity, care, and responsibility.
  4. We actively seek to discover the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that cause us to devalue ourselves.
  5. We share our discoveries about ourselves with others who can help us.
  6. Life can be wondrous or ordinary, enjoyable or traumatic, danced with or fought with, and survived. In our community, we seek to live in the present with its wonder and hope, while valuing all parts f ourselves.
  7. The more we value ourselves, the more we can trust others and accept how that enriches us.
  8. We begin living responsibly for ourselves, our feelings, mistakes, and successes.
  9. We take responsibility for our behavior in relation to ourselves and others now and in the past.
  10. We seek to deepen our relationship with our spiritual source.
  11. As we are learning to trust our feelings and intuitions, we continue to check them carefully with our community and ask for help discerning problems that we may not yet perceive.
  12. We celebrate our self-discovery in community, knowing we are competent people who have much to give others.