The 12th step states, “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.” I have paraphrased this step since the actual words will vary slightly from one fellowship to another. The meaning is very clear, however. The 12th step asks us to serve others, help them rise above their addictions.
What is service anyway? How does one define it? A great place to start is with a dictionary definition. A quick working definition is the action of helping or doing work for someone. Some synonyms are favor, kindness, helping hand, assistance, good turn, and act of assistance. I would say these are all good things.
In our recovery, one main goal is to get to the point of having a true spiritual awakening. As you have likely heard in some of the promises listed in the Big Book, they may come quickly or slowly, but they will always come if we work for them. Yes, it takes work. It may be slow. It may be less slow, even quick. If we focus on the work, then we will see the fruits of our labors.
What does service have to do with the Serenity on the Sound Retreat, virtual or otherwise? The service of people in our fellowship is what makes the retreat able to be successful. When we have been in person, volunteers have helped with food, cleanup, meetings, and other things to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. In the virtual retreat, we have had helpers with Zoom, moderators to keep the flow moving forward nicely, speakers, presenters, and more. This retreat came together as the result of several volunteers asking, “What can we do to help others in recovery?” These volunteers, over the years, have become the Puget Sound Retreat Committee. This committee is focused on the 12th step in that they seek to always provide service to others in recovery, especially sexual addiction and codependency recovery.
In some future blogs, I will share more about some of the positive experiences that members of the PSRC have enjoyed. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about the service offered by the PSRC, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-272-5740. We are here to serve you.
by Dale E – PSRC Member (SAA/COSA)