20th Anniversary Issue Twenty years ago when I was still a year away from publishing my first book, Spiritual Housecleaning: Healing the Space Within by Beautifying the Space Around You (New Harbinger Publications, 2001), which I wrote about here at SoulfulLiving.com, I was also imagining a musical that showed the compassionate tension, transformational pathos, and gallows hilarity of a 12-steps recovery group. Everyone was doing them in the 1980s and ’90s. For substance abuse of all sorts, but also for codependence, childhood abuse, and toxic family issues, the 12 steps were (and still are) unsurpassed in their potential for healing and recovery in an atmosphere of fellowship and community. Somehow they seem to have gone out of fashion. But now, after all these years, my show “12 STEPS:The Musical!” is ready to be produced. My hope is to shine fresh light and inspiration for recovery onto the scourge of addiction that strangles our country today in epidemic proportions. The conversation has to go beyond law enforcement vs. treatment. We won’t cure this disease until whole communities embrace the value of living authentically and mindfully, trading addiction for long-term recovery, and understanding the bankruptcy of quick fixes that never address our attachment to a culture that thrives on consumptive addiction. We need to once again ask the question: what inspires someone to wake up, to face themselves and their fears, and to make the decision to become a person who deals honestly with those fears rather than succumbing to mind-altering substances—or ideologies, for that matter—that destroy self and others in unconscious reactions? Inspiration to make that decision, along with...
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