When several members of a Al-Anon group agree to meet once a week in addition o their regular home group meeting, for a mutually agreed number of weeks, to discuss the 12 Steps, it's commonly called a "Step group."
Last night was the first meeting of our new Step group, and it was wonderful. I love Step groups. I love the intimacy, the learning, the trust. I've been in groups which have started out rather raggedly because of clashing egos, but through assiduous practise of "principles above personalities" have melded into powerful rooms of change for all involved. That's something to see.
I remember every Step group in which I've taken part.
I was participating on a fairly shallow level at the beginning, because I was new to them, and new to trust, and found the revealing of myself to be quite frightening. But, just as it does in a regular meeting, the honesty and willingness to share being demonstrated by the other people at the table, showed me that it was safe to do so. Nothing terrible was going to happen if I was honest about my thinking, and my feelings.
There have been times when I haven't realised the effect of a Step group upon my growth, until long afterward. My thinking may have altered ever so slightly in one area - which shifts my perspective, and my perceptions. When I think differently, I see differently. In turn, when I see differently, I think differently. When I'm able to stay open to this process, it's a self-perpetuating movement towards a healthier way of life.
I encourage any of you who haven't yet joined a Step group to make the committment to the next one available to you. It's an experience difficult to articulate with clarity, but unremittingly positive for all concerned.