Talking about spiritual ideas is easy. The ideas are uplifting, they make you and your listeners feel good. But when the words are gone, what is left behind? What does it mean to walk the talk?
Walking the talk means turning good words into good actions. Being attuned to the messages life is sending us about what it will take, one day at a time, to hear the messages our Higher Power is sending us and live according to the guidance we receive.
Walking the talk means acting on whatever the principles are that we see as the guiding lights in our lives. Unlike just talking about those principles, living by them is far more challenging.
Yet, in recovery, this is what we are called to do.
So, how do we make it happen?
Fortunately, in 12 step recovery, we have lots of supports built into our journey. Starting with meetings we can attend regularly where we can learn so much about what it means to live a life in family recovery.
Then, once we get to the meetings, we have the other tools of the program: slogans, literature, steps, the telephone, a sponsor, and each other to talk to.
Most importantly, we have the 12 steps, which are designed to help us transform our lives bit by bit, day by day. These steps are simple, though not easy, to live by. The wonder of it all is that when we take it upon ourselves to apply these steps in our lives, one at a time, they build upon each other and guide us to a way of life we couldn’t even have previously imagined.
We begin by admitting our powerlessness over the addicts in our lives and how our lives become unmanageable when we try to exert control over them. Then, through attending meetings, working with a sponsor, and practicing what we are learning in our homes and at work, we begin to feel a bit of the freedom that the program promises.
Over time, as we walk through the steps, we grow in sanity, faith, honesty, inner peace and love. Walking the walk means working the steps, thinking of the slogans when life challenges us, picking up the phone and asking for help so that we can avoid obsessing about the things we are powerless over. It means being open to the feedback we get from others when we vent or complain, and acting on that feedback to help ourselves grow in spirit and character.
Eventually, walking the walk includes making amends and forgiving others. It includes daily inventory taking as well as daily prayer and meditation. It includes making helping others a way of life in healthy, non-codependent ways.
Walking the talk is a lot tougher than talking it. But the good news is, it is a process. We don’t have to do it all at once. We just have to put one step in front of the other and walk in the footprints of those who have come before us.
The disease happens in isolation. Recovery happens in community.
So my friends, surround yourself with others striving to walk the talk and you will find it much easier to do so.
As they say in the rooms, “It works if you work it!”
By the way, so wonderful to be sharing the Four Foundations of Family Recovery with my current teleseminar students. Seeing the lightbulbs go on in my students is such a wonderful experience for me as a teacher! Up through next Monday, I can still take new students. If you would like to join us, please go to my website to sign up. (www.theempowermentcoach.net – go to 4 foundations of recovery link) Once you do so, I will send you the recording for the first week along with all of the handouts and materials.
All the best,
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, CEC
Family Recovery Coach
786 859 4050