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The Sum of One and One

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Step Eleven—Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will and the power to carry that out.


At a recent meeting, the topic for sharing was “What Step has been the most meaningful in your recovery?” As you can imagine, a dozen members presented a dozen different responses. I will share my answer with you.

If I were to be accused of two-stepping, I hope that my evidence would point to Steps Three and Eleven. If I have to choose just one, then Step Eleven, for me, has been the glue holding all the others together. I see God all through the Steps; OA is a spiritual program of recovery from the slavery of food obsession.

I learned at my first meeting, more than thirty-three years ago, that God wanted to be involved in my struggles with weight, food, and body image. Although I had a relationship with God before OA, I had thought I was on my own to manage the mathematics of calorie ingestion and expenditure. After that meeting, what was once rote prayer became real conversation with God, and journaling became a significant avenue for me to establish conscious contact with my Creator. The Step Eleven prayer on page 99 of AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions was recommended to me for meditation that further enhances prayer life.

I have found no conflict between my religious practices and Twelve Step living. The Twelve Steps have augmented my spiritual journey in a way I never thought possible. Today, I understand how food obsession acts as a powerful barrier to the love God has for me. I did not learn this in a church pew, but on a folding chair in an OA meeting, surrounded by firemen, office workers, and grandparents caring for small children.

Thank you, God, for bringing us all together.

— Edited and reprinted from The Butterflyer newsletter, Chicago Western Intergroup, October 2015

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