The gift of a life worth living is magnified when we practice the steps, but we are truly filled beyond measure in the practice of being of service to others. In fact, the rewards one can expect actually penetrate into the deepest layer of our most primitive area of the brain: the amygdala! Self-less acts of giving (the act of generosity) through being of service to others, has a reward at the very cellular level, by activating the brain’s relaxation response and effectively, physically calming the amygdala. This is one of the most effective, least expensive, antidepressant remedies–with no physical or sexual side effects. I want to share a catchy little twist of a recovery prose:

The Twelve Steps to a Life Worth Living

On the First Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me:    the gift of desperation and a life of unmanageability…

On the Second Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me:   a belief that there was something much bigger than me and the hope of being set free…

On the Third Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: knowledge that He that was bigger than me could set me free if I would agree wholeheartedly…

On the Fourth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: courage and a writing pen, and spoke about notes and the loss of friends, family, and morality–that this would give me new eyes to seewhat was my part in a stock-taking, bottom-line accountability…

On the Fifth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me:        a chance to speak of my worst and my best, and get it off my chest with another caring being, who could introduce me to God for the very first time…

On the Sixth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me:   the strength to let go of all things that were spiritually blocking me…

On the Seventh Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: a sense of time that was no longer mine, and said to overcome I must let go and learn about trust–and if I was to grow–this is a must…

On the Eighth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me:    a list of all those who had felt my sting, and be willing to patch the scratch, fill the gouge and cross the fiery bridge with humility and an olive branch…

On the Ninth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: boots to travel to the ends of all creation and a hat to hold when asking for forgiveness of gold, and to make whole what once was broken, to give back what was stolen, recant the vicious lie–at whatever cost, and do no further damage to another’s tender heart…

On the Tenth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: the mirror of accountability–the task was to examine all my actions; for it was a journey with many distractions, and when off course, set it right immediately, no matter the bite, and God would see to the rest–after all, it is for my best, if done each and every night…

On the Eleventh Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: a personal conversation with God to speak the words of gratitude, for the rescue from a hopeless state, and listen for thoughtful instruction for course corrections to my spiritual compass and examine every mistake…

On the Twelfth Step to a life worth living, my Higher Power gave to me: the spirit of the universe now alive and growing in me– with the agreement that if I stay the narrow way, I would find my greatest joy in work or at play–for when I am in the service to my fellow beings, I am but in the service of my God.

When sharing the living gift of recovery, we fill the measure of our creation and find joy therein. Love and tolerance is our code, and service to our fellow beings, we have found, to be the lightest load.

Extending the reach of our own heart lets us live in the world in ways that embody greater wisdom and compassion. May 2014 greet you with a willingness to modify your perspective as you acquire new knowledge and arrive at new levels of understanding and insight.

God Bless! … Until next month, thanks for letting me share!

Dr. Kramer

“Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.”

– Mahatma Gandhi