The 12 Steps For Relationships

  1. Admitted (recognized, acknowledged, became willing to open to the possibility) that I was powerless over this other person and that wanting to change them was causing me much pain.
  2. After seeking happiness through known methods, mostly by trying to change the other person, became willing to entertain help, a support system, ideas of others, and to believe that trust in others’ experience, strength and hope expressed as action steps on my part, might grant me the peace and joy I seek.
  3. Made a conscious decision to do something different – and to follow the guidance of a power greater than myself.
  4. Regularly bathed my consciousness in the new ideas presented by my Higher Power and my new guidance system, taking time to listen, ask questions and understand, and to contrast this thinking with past and current methods for acting and reacting to life.
  5. Each day, before entering into the world of activity, chose one new action step to take, albeit uncomfortable, and prepared to take that step.
  6. At days’ end or more frequently, paused, and through journaling or observing, noticed how my actions prompted by new ideas are impacting my thoughts, my life, my wellbeing and my happiness.
  7. Became aware of persons in my life who have tried to change me and realized that it doesn’t feel good. I cannot change them; I can change me. With this realization, included such relationships in my action plan of seeking help to learn what I can do and what makes me feel better about me.
  8. Came to see that, in relationship, “when nothing changes, nothing changes.” Yet, when one or both persons change, there will be a shift in the relationship, too, whether or not either person is willing to acknowledge the shift.
  9. Sought through “pause” (prayer and meditation), to become aware of the ways in which the relationships in my life nurture my “becoming” and the ways in which they no longer serve me (or the other person).
  10. Came to see that sometimes, when one or both persons have outgrown a relationship, the relationship must end.
  11. Became willing to draw closure, ever so lovingly, to relationships which have served their purpose, and to move on.
  12. Having realized the power of relationships, the potential for pain as well as the blessings, practiced these steps in all relationships, large and small, in all areas of my life.

What is YOUR wisdom?