The Prep Steps

The Prep Steps

The Prep Steps

“Have you ever heard of the Prep Steps?”

I had never heard anyone say these words out loud or infer that what I’m even sharing in this post is true.  It’s certainly not in our literature anywhere, but it absolutely is MY experience.  The interesting thing about it though is that I only realized this AFTER taking the Steps. If this is not your experience, that’s totally cool.  That’s the beautiful part of our program – you work it your way and I work it mine. 🙂

My Experience Is: Step 2 is the Prep Step for 3

Think about it… how could I ever become willing to turn my will and my life (or my thoughts and my actions) over to the care of God as I understood God if I had not first come to believe in a God? For me, Step Two is about HOPE and Step Three is about FAITH.  I had to have some kind of hope that there was something out there bigger and more powerful than I was before I could ever have the faith to turn my will and my life over to it. This, of course, is where I am as I write this at 36 years of sobriety. I know there are many newcomers who struggle with Two, but I can say it’s been my experience that when I hung in an trusted the process, it finally did happen. It’s very easy for me to see that Two is the perfect lead in into Three and how they compliment each other nicely.

My Experience Is: Step 4 is the Prep Step for 5

These two more than any are probably the biggest no brainer (with 8 & 9 coming in a close second). I can’t sit down and do a real 5th Step with someone unless I have first actually taken the time to follow the instructions in the book and wrote out the causes and conditions of my failures.  I needed to be armed with the facts about myself so I could share them with whoever was listening to my 5th Step.  I had to write them down, see them in black and white so I could be clear about them and share them.

My Experience Is: Step 6 is the Prep Step for 7

Becoming entirely ready to have God remove all my defects of character is the launch pad to me humbly asking Him to remove them. In Seven, I am going to God and asking that all of those things that bring me nothing but pain be removed.  I need to know what those things are.  While Six doesn’t necessarily have us sit down and write a list of them, I do need to know what it is that I am asking God to remove from my life so I can become useful.

My Experience Is: Step 8 is the Prep Step for 9

Much like Step Four, this IS a list.  A list of every single person I caused hurt and harm to.  This list is vital because it also helps prioritize them (maybe not the right way of saying that) and helps me see who I need to go to to begin cleaning up the wreckage of my past.  Step Nine has me going out and doing the legwork from the list I created in Step Eight.  I just need direction on who I need to go to and I can’t do that unless I have prepped that process.

I will close by saying once again, this is only my experience and yours may be different.  I’m a checklist kinda guy – show me what I need to do and I will get it done.  I understand that I…

  • can’t… turn my will and life over to a Power Greater than myself until I know there is one out there (2 -> 3)
  • can’t… sit down and talk to another person about my resentments, fear, and sex history unless I have clarity on what it looks like (4 -> 5)
  • can’t… ask God to remove shortcomings that block me from the sunlight of the Spirit until I become ready to let them go (6 -> 7)
  • can’t… go out and make right all the wrongs I caused until I know what they were… (8 -> 9)

I must first have a firm understanding of the foundation of my actions and effectively doing the prep work for 3, 5, 7, and 9 are a vital part of my spiritual growth.  I hope this has been helpful to you. God bless!

In love & service,


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