12 Step Program Paradoxes

Alcoholics Anonymous is full of program paradoxes. First things first though, what the eff is a paradox?

Merriam-Webster defines a paradox as follows:

“a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true.”

This is the meaning of paradox I have come to know. There are MANY in the program that I have come to believe through my experience are true:

  • I have to give it away to keep it
  • I have to  surrender to win
  • I have to admit powerlessness to regain control
  • My darkest past becomes my greatest gift – Said in other words, the worst thing that happened to me is the best thing that ever happened to me — ROCK BOTTOM ANYONE?
  • Some of us have to die for the rest of us to live — A some what controversial belief…
  • I find strength from my weaknesses
  • The half of the 11th step prayer… kind of
    • I must forgive to be forgiven
    • I find myself by self forgetting
    • I must love to be loved

I’m sure there are more out there! Do you know any that I missed?


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