When my sponsor and I started into the 12 Steps, she gave me a carefully defined set of assignments. I became extremely grateful for the set of guidelines she provided for me. I needed definite directions because I was undisciplined and scattered. My thought processes were vague and mushy. Part of this problem was because I was withdrawing from an addiction I had indulged in for years and part came from the fact that I hadn’t focused on learning anything new for quite a while. Not everyone needs this and there are many ways to sponsor a newcomer or even someone who has been around for a while, but I sure did.
When I asked her to be my sponsor, I requested that she teach me a way to pass this on to others. I had become convinced that if I didn’t learn to pass this on, I would not be allowed to continue to come to the meetings. Thank God, this is not true, but it was enough to force me into asking for help. I then asked what I could do to pay her back for this and she told me that the only way I would be able to repay her was to make the effort to pass this on to at least one other person. I agreed because I really needed her help to change my life and I had come to believe that the 12 Steps might just work for me. Even though I had asked and had been told, I still did not realize the commitment she was making to me or the commitment I was making and how it would change my attitude and outlook on life.
As we took the actions suggested in the 12 Steps, I changed from a person who could only commiserate with her girlfriends to someone with a real answer. As I started to sponsor others, I began to read the literature with someone else in mind. The women I have the privilege of sponsoring give me the gift of understanding my human condition, they are me; I am them.
I studied and read even more because it was to help another, but I received much more than this. I got more insight into myself and how to practice the spiritual principles of acceptance, open-mindedness, willingness, honesty, love, forgiveness, harmony, truth, faith, hope, light, and joy. And as I practice these things in my life, I have happy joyous freedom
It doesn’t seem to matter if I am practicing perfectly; I have made a commitment to bring a spiritual answer no matter what. In that I remind myself of the answer to my own difficulties. It is a gift beyond measure; a gift I give others and myself.