Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


later proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of
view. We temporarily cease to grow because we feel satis-
fied that there is no need for all of A.A.'s Twelve Steps
for us. We are doing fine on a few of them. Maybe we are
doing fine on only two of them, the First Step and that
part of the Twelfth where we "carry the message." In A.A.
slang, that blissful state is known as "two-stepping." And
it can go on for years.

The best-intentioned of us can fall for the "two-step"
illusion. Sooner or later the pink cloud stage wears off
and things go disappointingly dull. We begin to think that
A.A. doesn't pay off after all. We become puzzled and dis-

Then perhaps life, as it has a way of doing, suddenly
hands us a great big lump that we can't begin to swallow,
let alone digest. We fail to get a worked-for promotion. We
lose that good job. Maybe there are serious domestic or
romantic difficulties, or perhaps that boy we thought God
was looking after becomes a military casualty.

What then? Have we alcoholics in A.A. got, or can we
get, the resources to meet these calamities which come to
so many? These were problems of life which we could never
face up to. Can we now, with the help of God as we un-
derstand Him, handle them as well and as bravely as our
nonalcoholic friends often do? Can we transform these ca-
lamities into assets, sources of growth and comfort to our-
selves and those about us? Well, we surely have a chance if
we switch from "two-stepping" to "twelve-stepping," if we
are willing to receive that grace of God which can sustain
and strengthen us in any catastrophe.