It doesn’t lighten our load by making the burden of others heavier. ~ AA 12 X 12.
More considerations need to be made in working Step 12 within our ranks. I know we all know that we are expected to work with newcomers and to be available for 12 Step calls/visits. But, we also need to consider that there are many opportunities to work Step 12 within our groups. Take for instance the members who have serious illnesses or accidents. They may be in need home visits, meals, help with their kids or errands, etc. Another opportunity is to help elderly members who may be home bound or unable to drive. So, visiting their homes and having meetings there may be helpful and welcomed. Giving them rides to the meetings may also be helpful. In one instance this year, my home group got together and helped to plant flowers in the yard of an elderly member. He was so thrilled to have that small but generous gesture sent his way. Much of this work goes on quietly and peacefully.
I know there have been a few times when such charity came back to me in my hours of need. I cannot express how very much these gestures were appreciated. A struggle in life is a struggle in our recovery program. So, when others share our struggle and offer assistance, we are shown that we do not have to work this hard row to hoe alone. This lighten our load. We do not have to overburden one other person or ourselves with the whole burden. When the whole group participates, we all benefit. We become more solidified in our unity, and we all act as one. We learn to trust in others, and they learn to trust in us. So, let’s consider Step 12 within as part of the whole process of recovery. Consider this: is there someone in your group who is ill, laid up, home bound, in the hospital, or who is otherwise struggling with life events? Ask today, “what can I do to lighten that fellow alcoholic’s burden”? Then do it.