Applying the 12 Steps of GROW
Since January, we have looked in turn at each of GROW's 12 steps to Recovery. In this article, first published in 2004, Stan Mellett gives us a good overview.
Step 1: People in GROW, when they are struggling, provide dramatic reminders for all of us. What is true for them is also true for us. It reminds us of the need for insight and humility. None of us is complete, none of us is perfect. This is true for us as an organisation. We are radically insufficient, we make mistakes. Therefore we can, as an organisation, admit we are inadequate and maladjusted to life.
Step 2: Because of this admission and this insight, we firmly resolve to seek the help we need, be it from outside, or from within. We therefore reach out to people with management skills, we devise mentoring programs, we provide people with training.
Step 3: GROW believes in the essential spirituality of people. While we channel and welcome the prayerful input of all creeds and philosophies, we encourage the spirituality that lies in the love between people. This can be represented in the form of a cross showing the two dimensions of faith: belief in God or in Goodness and a belief in each other, plus a striving for ideals. We therefore surrender our organisation to all this goodness.
Step 4: Encourages us to acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses. Our organisation is always in the process of growing, so we live in a house that is being built. Our strengths lie in the stories of our members, our Program, our Group Method, our Structure our community, our teams. We also have acknowledge our weakness and our mistakes.
Step 5: Represents a purification process. Identifying problems, taking on tasks to solve them, learning from mistakes. “The idea, the spirit and the community create the organisation, then (unless we are untiringly vigilant) the organisation ends up killing the idea, the spirit and the community.”
Step 6: Perseverance – in the midst of change we need to hang in there. We need to reach into our courage and often renew our will to change. We need to use the hopeful and cheerful language of GROW and we need to keep seeing the whole picture.
Step 7: Taking care and control of our body is a call to stewardship. It means caring for our body. For our newcomers, our organisers and recorders, for our regional teams and staff, reaching out from a strong centre, becoming more strongly, wisely and lovingly the same. GROW is the temple within which we live, we need to tend its soul.
Step 8: Learning to think by reason, calls us to seek the truth, balancing irrational feelings with reason, dealing with problems through sound judgement, welcoming upheaval and change as a matter of conscience, substituting sabotage by following and taking sound advice. Reason is the backbone of the organisation, it involves being objective and prioritising.
Step 9: Training our wills means developing our characters. We do this by developing and practising good habits of love as the guiding principles of how we conduct our work.
Step 10: Taking our place in the community means being friendly with those groups with whom we work, with doctors, the department of health, health boards, prisons, others in the voluntary sector. To live up to our aim and claim to be the missing link in health care.
Step 11: Growing daily closer to maturity can be understood as being an ongoing road that stretches through time, weaving through generations and pulled on the one hand by the black dog of depression and human weakness and on the other by the white swan of human ideals, dreams and potential.
Step 12: Is a call to leadership, to mission, to getting the word out there. This must be done at many levels, through a website, the media, an information line, by individuals telling their stories, by word of mouth.
The GROW in Ireland Newsletter Team