WHAT I LEARNED: 1. I would consider this the “lite” version of Paths to Recovery (item # B-24), but it still packs a punch. Each section starts with a 2-4 page essay, followed by a “Thinking It Over” reflection, & lastly a personal story. The average is 6 total pages per each Step (but of course Step 4 gets 8 pages – ha ha 🙂 ) & the average for each Tradition is 4 total pages. Due to its easily digestible format, I wonder why more groups don’t use it more often, but I digress… If I had to name the book’s overall theme it would be humility. I’ve seen the Steps & Traditions described in terms of love (see Forum Favorites, Vol. 4 (item # B-9D)), but not humility & this book certainly had that thread running through almost each section (see pages 31 & 45 for quick summaries).
2. I have 3 favorite lines from this book:
From pages 39-40: “The 12 Steps may seem to ask us to strive for a kind of impossible freedom from all faults. Not so! We came to believe that their real purpose is to show us we have unlimited potential for solving the problems of living.”
From page 75: “There is opportunity to serve, & he who overlooks it robs only himself.”
And a superb honorable mention goes to the heart-wrenching amends story to an alcoholic father that starts on page 59 & includes this line: “Step 9 brought me freedom & love – freedom from lifelong anger & freedom to love & be loved.”
3. While reading this revised version (that came out in 2005), I couldn’t help but wonder what was in the original version from back in 1981. What was different? Why did it have to be revised??? Stay tuned to my next blog entry to find out!