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Step 12

Section 4: The SEA's 12 Step Workbook
Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous -

The SEA's Program of Recovery
By James J. Messina, Ph.D.

 

Step 12

Having had a spiritual awakening or renewal as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others hurting from low self‑esteem and to practice these principles in our life.

 

Directions: As you systematically work through the twelve steps of the SEA's program, you will be expected to read the material in this section and respond to the questions in your journal. Each step contains key words or concepts, which are explored in the questions under each step. Your recovery from the negative impact of self‑esteem is dependent on your honest assessment, admission, and acceptance of the steps you need to take in order to ensure your personal recovery. Most likely over your lifetime you will need to review these twelve steps, so for later reference keep the SEA's manual along with the other Tools‑for‑Coping‑Series books in a safe place.

Carry this message to others hurting from low self‑esteem.

Step 12 encourages you to join with others who are hurting from low self‑esteem to form a community of support. This is why Self‑Esteem Seekers Anonymous was created. The SEA's program is a safe harbor in the sea of life in which you can lay anchor to give and receive support in your recovery efforts.

 

The Buddy system and group sharing aspects of the SEA's program are developed to ensure you are giving and receiving feedback concerning the practice of the SEA's principles. By your ongoing participation in the SEA's program, you ensure that you are meeting the intent of Step 12.

 

The weekly group sharing format and regular self‑assessment are ways in which you will be prodded to be honest about your efforts at recovery and practice of the SEA's program principles.

 

A second aspect of Step 12 is to assist people you live, work, or play with who are suffering from low self‑esteem to recognize the negative impact it has on their lives. A Step 12 action would be to invite them to gain the benefits of participating in the SEA's program. Tools for Relationships, Chapter 15 Helping Another Recognize the Need for Help, provides useful directions on how to do this. A behavioral intervention as outlined in Chapter 15 is a beneficial tool to make the person aware of the impact of the negative consequences of low self‑esteem making life unmanageable and out of control. Willingness to participate in behavioral interventions with others hurting from low self‑esteem is a way to draw them to the twelve‑step healing process of Self‑Esteem Seekers Anonymous.

 

Give examples of people in your personal, work, and social life whom you believe to be suffering from the negative impact of low self‑esteem:

  • People in my family life
  • People in my work/school life
  • People in my social life

 

How comfortable are you in carrying the healing message of the SEA's twelve steps to these people? Answer this for each of the people you identified:

  • What people could you enlist to help you perform a behavioral intervention with these people?
  • List specific intervenors for each of the people you identified.

 

How comfortable are you in performing a behavioral intervention with each of the people you identified?

  • What obstacle(s) exist for each of these people preventing them from being open to your message of hope and healing?

 

How do these people's problems impact your own personal efforts of recovery and self‑healing?

  • Give specific examples for each of these people.

In order to maintain your serenity and personal recovery, you might need to "let go" of people who are not able at this time to accept their own need to change and heal. If their problems prevent you from staying on track with your program of recovery, your only option may be to work away from them.

 

How comfortable are you in this possibility of letting go of these people? Answer this for each person identified:

 

What role does your partnership with your Higher Power play in gaining the confidence to let go of the uncontrollable and non‑changeable people in your life who are not open to your Step 12 message to them?

 

Maintaining your recovery is enhanced by involving positive support people in your life. Identify the people in your personal, work, and social life who help you maintain the principles of the SEA's program. Identify how you feel about each of these people and identify a positive affirmation you can share with each one to encourage them to continue to be the healthy support you need in your recovery program.
  • Support people in my family life:
  • Support people in my work/school life:   
  • Support people in my social life:

Practice these principles in your life for full recovery.

The twelve‑step program of recovery of Self‑Esteem Seekers Anonymous (The SEA's Program) is based on the principle that self‑esteem is the key to health for every person on earth. For this reason a person actively pursuing personal recovery from low self‑esteem would never intentionally bring down, harm, or discount the self‑esteem of another person.

 

The person who has increased healthy self‑esteem is an individual who has the skills to cope with the daily trials and challenges of life. Also, the healthy self‑esteem person has the ability to size up a problem and use problem‑solving and decision‑making skills to address it. A third and important mark of a person with healthy self‑esteem is the desire to be altruistic and helpful to others. The ability to cope with life, solve problems, and be generous and helpful to others is the goal of the SEA's program's twelve steps to recovery. The essence of this goal is contained in the Prayer for Peace of St. Francis of Assisi.

 

Prayer for Peace

Lord,

Make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred,

Let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

 

O Divine Master,

Grant that I may seek

Not so much to be consoled,

As to console;

To be understood,

As to understand;

To be loved,

As to love.

For it is in giving

That we receive;

It is in pardoning

That we are pardoned;

It is in dying

That we are born to eternal life.

 

How well are you functioning as an instrument of peace, since you have begun to recover from low self‑esteem?

  • Are you still caught up in a compulsive need to have others make you feel good about yourself?
  • Or are you more self‑reliant in self‑affirmation?
  • Are you caught up in the unhealthy selfish need to have people "do for" you?
  • Or are you practicing healthy selfishness and "doing for" yourself, requiring no one in your life to serve you in order to get your approval or recognition?

How do you feel about your relationships with the people in your personal, work, and social life?

  • How healthy are you in these relationships?
  • How well do you affirm the self‑esteem of these people?
  • How giving and helping are you to them?
  • How open are you to see your behaviors as having a potentially negative impact on their own self‑esteem?

 

Give examples of people in your current life with whom you have a relationship and answer these questions for each one of them:

  • People in my personal/family life
  • People in my work/school life
  • People in my social life

 

In your relationships with your SEA's buddies and share group members, you are expected to experiment with new behaviors which will enhance your carrying the message of hope about the SEA's program.

  • How well do you apply the Buddy rules in your SEA's recovery efforts?
  • How well do you listen to and affirm your buddies and group members?
  • How do you feel when you think you have “given'' more than received by listening and affirming in a group or to a buddy?
  • How do you feel about your efforts and progress to keep your buddies at SEA relationships one of support, affirmation, and fun and not of gossip, self‑pity, and mutual commiseration?
  • How well do you function as an instrument of peace in the share groups and with your buddies at SEA's?
 

By practicing in all aspects of your life the SEA's helping, listening, and affirming principles, you can enhance your effectiveness as a spouse, parent, supervisor, coworker, and friend:

  • How well do you carry these principles practiced at SEA's into your daily life?
  • How do you feel about your increased efficiency and productivity in your daily life?
  • How do you feel about the response of people to your new changed behaviors and "new you?"

 

Give examples from various aspects of your life about how your relationships have changed with people and answer these questions for each person:

  • Spouse or significant person in my life
  • Children
  • Other family members
  • Work/school associates
  • Friends and social contacts          

 

What more do you need to do to become a true SEA's healthy self‑esteem instrument of peace?
What monitoring directions and permission do you need to give others in your life to keep you on track in putting the principles of the twelve‑step program of recovery of SEA's into your personal, work, and social life?

 

Conclusion
As you participate in the SEA's program and incorporate the principles in your personal, work, and social life, reframe Step 12 and state it in a way which clearly emphasizes how it helps you on your road to recovery from low self‑esteem.