An Understanding of the Twelve Steps of MA

We were once asked what was meant by the reference to “these principles” as they are mentioned in our Twelfth Step. After discussing this question, it seemed to us that “These Principles” were something suggested or arrived at by working the Steps. The Steps were the tools to be used to discover the “Principles”. Of course this is a program of action and a personal thing, an individual program, so each person will probably find their own principles for themselves. After much meditation, we have discovered the following principles have greatly helped us to understand and practice our program. When all these principles are given meaning and purpose through LOVE – LOVE OF GOD, OF OUR FELLOWS, AND RESPECT FOR OURSELVES, then they truly become the heart of our program of MA. With a deep sense of gratitude and the help of a Power greater than ourselves, we can live in emotional and physical sobriety with serenity and comfort one day at a time.

  1. In working the 1st Step, when we “admitted we were powerless over marijuana, that our lives had become unmanageable,” we had at last found the courage to face the truth and tell it; we were practicing the principle of HONESTY.
  2. In working the 2nd Step, when we “came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity,” we were practicing the principle of HOPE.
  3. In working the 3rd Step, when we “made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God,” we were practicing the principle of FAITH.
  4. In working the 4th Step, when we “made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves,” we were practicing the principle of COURAGE.
  5. In working the 5th Step, when we “admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” we were practicing the principle of INTEGRITY.
  6. In working the 6th Step, when we “were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character,” we were practicing the principle of WILLINGNESS.
  7. In working the 7th Step, when we “humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings,” we were practicing the principle of HUMILITY.
  8. In working the 8th Step, when we “made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all,” we were practicing the principles of LOVE and FORGIVENESS.
  9. In working the 9th Step, when we “made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others,” we were practicing the principle of JUSTICE.
  10. In working the 10th Step, when we “continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it,” we were practicing the principle of PERSEVERANCE.
  11. In working the 11th Step, when we “sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out,” we were practicing the principle of SPIRITUAL AWARENESS.
  12. In working the 12th Step, when “having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to marijuana addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs,” we were practicing the principle of SERVICE.

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous have been reprinted and adapted with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (“A.A.W.S.”). Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions does not mean that Alcoholics Anonymous is affiliated with this program. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only – use of A.A.’s Steps and Traditions or an adapted version in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but which address other problems, or use in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.