There are some “steps” necessary before someone can successfully complete the twelve step program of either AA or NA. While someone can learn these as they start the process and in some cases will only be learn them by engaging in the step work, the “steps” before the steps are fundamentally necessary for completing them. The ‘steps” to which I refer are about communicating with another human being and following suggestions.
The first has to do with communication. No recovery or transformation takes place without communcating with another human being. For those in recovery this will appear as communication with a sponsor or therapist or hopefully both. Changing or transforming by oneself will eventually turn out to be very difficult if not impossible for most individuals. We tend to repeat that which we have. To get something new we have to look to another human being to assist us in our getting it, in our transformation.
The second “step” has to do with following suggestions. Following suggestions is fundamental to transforming our life. Many people early in recovery have a great deal of difficulty following suggestions and tend to believe that they know how to do recovery or want to do it their way, possibly the easier, softer way. To do recovery the way it was meant to be done a person has to follow suggestions, especially from his or her sponsor or therapist.
In the process of recovery these two “steps” work together. For one to do recovery the way it was meant to be done and to do it completely, he or she has to communicate with another human being and in that communication be able to follow the suggestions given. If one does not connect with another he or she will not follow the suggestions of another human being further along in recovery and will have a tendency to generate the same as that which was done in the past. The past will continue to repeat itself until we connect with another and take suggestions designed to transform our life.