By Patricia O’Gorman Ph.D., and Phil Diaz, M.S.W.

excerpted from The 12 Steps to Self-Parenting (HCI, 1988)

Step 1 Admitted our powerlessness to change our past — that our lives had become unmanageable and became willing to surrender to our love and not to our fear.
Step 2 Find hope in the belief that recovery is possible through faith and an acceptance of the fact that we are never really alone.
Step 3 Learned to let go of compulsive self-reliance by reaching out to our Higher Parent.
Step 4 Made an honest assessment of our strengths and weaknesses and accepted the impact our childhood had had upon us as adults.
Step 5 Learned to share our self-parenting issues with others without self-recrimination or shame.
Step 6 Become ready to change by giving up the demand to be perfect.
Step 7 Learned to embrace our uniqueness and connectedness to others in a spirit of love and humility.
Step 8 Learned self-forgiveness and made amends to our inner child.
Step 9 Healed our inner child by realizing the promises of self-parenting in our daily life.
Step 10 Practiced daily self-acceptance and learned to live in the present.
Step 11 Allowed the divinity in us to shine forth by surrendering to our Higher Power.
Step 12 Having had this spiritual awakening, we reached out to others in the spirit of giving, love and community.