What Are the Spiritual Principles of AA?
Most people have heard about Alcoholics Anonymous or AA. If you’re trying to achieve or maintain your sobriety, you may be considering joining this program.
If you’re not sure about what AA is or you’re confused by the spiritual principles, you’ve come to the right place for straightforward information.
What is AA?
Let’s briefly explore what AA is so we can start on the same page. Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who have a problem with drinking.
It is best known for its 12-step program which is spiritually inclined though not based on any particular religion. People of all ages, races, genders, political persuasions are welcome to join if they want to get help for their drinking problems.
What Are the Spiritual Principles of AA?
The 12 spiritual principles of AA are directly linked to the 12 steps. They include things like courage and discipline which are necessary during an individual’s sobriety journey. These principles can be followed by people of any faith. Let’s take a look at each of the 12 principles.
The first principle you need to practice is honesty. You need to admit that you had no power over alcohol and your life had become unmanageable.
This is a powerful admission since many people who are addicted to alcohol believe they can stop at any time they want or that their lives aren’t being adversely affected.
The only way to take back control of your life is to be honest with yourself about how powerless you are where alcohol is concerned.
The next principle is all about never giving up and it’s tied to the second step which is finding faith in a higher power.
As you go through your sobriety journey, you’ll experience challenges and setbacks. However, if you have hope, you’ll be able to recover from setbacks.
The first two items in the 12 steps list require you to rid yourself of ego and power. In the third step, you’re asked to turn your life over to God or whatever higher power you recognize. The principle of surrender asks you to remember that you’re at the mercy of a higher power.
The fourth step in AA is to document every mistake you’ve made. This is linked to courage since thinking about many of the things you’ve done will cause you pain.
You’ll likely regret many of the things you said and did while you were intoxicated. Courage allows you to face up to your past and prepare for a fresh start.
After taking your moral inventory, you need to own up to your past behavior before your higher power, yourself, and another person, in that order.
You need to be able to talk through your mistakes and the things you feel bad about and them release that guilt and shame. By living honestly and with integrity, you’ll find inner peace and start the process of becoming whole again.
This principle refers to your willingness to let go of old behaviors that no longer serve you. Even though people who are addicted to alcohol experience numerous negative consequences, it can be hard to change their behavior.
Going through the previous steps and following the related principles prepares you to embrace this sixth principle.
This principle is centered around asking God or another higher power for forgiveness. When you’re humble, you recognize that you’re only a small part of the bigger picture. As you go through your daily life, you won’t see yourself as more important than you actually are.
The principle of love relates to compassion and empathy. In step 8, you’re asked to make a list of all the people you have wronged and be willing to make amends.
This shows that you love and care for these individuals. Part of your recovery is learning that you exist not just for yourself but for the people you care about.
By the time you get to the ninth step, you’ve forgiven yourself for your past and identified the people you’ve wronged. This step involves making amends to people you hurt wherever possible unless doing so would harm you or someone else.
The role of responsibility here is clear. If you want to keep certain people in your life or rebuild failed relationships, you have a responsibility to be open and honest about how you hurt those people.
It’s important to remember that you don’t only take personal inventory and admit that you were wrong one time. You need to continue doing this throughout your lifetime. This is where discipline comes in.
Step 11 is centered on moving forward without losing sight of the role of a higher power in your life. This means you need to continually be aware of God or any other power that guides you throughout your life.
The last item on the 12 steps list is paying it forward. Having experienced spiritual awakening by following the previous 11 steps, you must spread the message to other people struggling with their drinking.
Just as others helped you when at the start of your sobriety journey, you will help others with their journeys. Guiding individuals who are less experienced than you is an act of service.
Benefit from the 12-Step Model of Addiction Treatment at Circle of Hope
You now have more information about the spiritual principles of AA and how you can use them throughout your sobriety journey. We use a variety of treatment models at our luxury rehab center in Los Angeles and tailor our programs to meet the needs of each client.
One of the options we offer is the 12-Step Model of addiction treatment. We can help you to work through the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional challenges associated with alcoholism.
Using the spiritual principles of AA, you can achieve and maintain sobriety while reducing your stress levels. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you overcome your drinking problem.