“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other sex addicts and to practice these principles in our lives.”— Step Twelve, Sex Addicts Anonymous, p. 21
The Twelve Steps of SAA are the heart of our program. They contain a depth that we could hardly have guessed when we started. Over time, we establish a relationship with a Power greater than ourselves, each of us coming to an understanding of a Higher Power that is personal for us. Although the steps use the word “God” to indicate this Power, SAA is not affiliated with any religion, creed, or dogma. The program offers a spiritual solution to our addiction, without requiring adherence to any specific set of beliefs or practices.
The Twelve Steps are more than a series of exercises. They provide basic principles for living. Most of us find opportunities on a daily basis to apply one or more of the steps to some challenge in our life. Over time, the spiritual principles in the steps become integrated into our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. We find that we are not only working the steps – we are living them.
We have been given a new chance at life, awakening to a spiritual dimension we never knew was available to us.
In taking the Eleventh Step, we dedicate ourselves to an increasing spiritual awareness and a greater connection with our Higher Power. We seek to improve [our] conscious contact, so that our spiritual connection will become, not only the means by which we recover from our sex addiction, but our daily source of guidance and strength.
Our message is simple and profound: that recovery from sex addiction is possible through working the Twelve Steps of SAA, and that following this program results in a spiritual awakening.
Through the process of the Twelve Steps, we let go of ways of thinking and acting that are based on fear, shame and isolation and we learn to rely on the guidance and care of a Higher Power. When we first came to the fellowship of Sex Addicts Anonymous, we may have sought only to stop acting out. But every step of the program contributes to a fundamental change in our outlook, from self-obsession and control to surrender and acceptance. Our sexual sobriety goes hand in hand with our spiritual growth.
The Steps are an expression of spiritual principles that can be practiced in all aspects of life. Honesty, willingness, courage, humility, forgiveness, responsibility, gratitude and faith are just some of the names we give to the spiritual principles that gradually come to guide us in our lives.
Continuing to apply these Steps on a daily basis keeps us spiritually fit and growing in recovery.
Practicing these principles in our lives means applying program principles at home, at work and wherever else we gather with others for a common purpose.
We find that spiritual principles can guide us in the everyday challenges of life, and they can help us face even loss, grief and death with fortitude and grace. What we gain in the program is a blueprint for full and successful living, whatever may come.