Definition of Growth:
The process of growing or increasing in size.

Synonyms of Growth:
Development, maturation, growing, blooming, thriving, etc

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.


Our best measure of growth is our spiritual condition, the basis of our recovery. If we’re still depending on people, places, and things to provide our inner satisfaction, we have some growing to do.

If we stand secure on the foundation of our spiritual condition, considering its maintenance our most important responsibility, we can claim maturity. Upon that foundation, our opportunities for growth are limitless.

One of the ways we express our gratitude for the gifts of recovery is to help others find what we’ve found. The spiritual life given to us in recovery asks for expression, for “we can only keep what we have by giving it away.” –Just For Today | More…

Change is the characteristic of all growth. From drinking to society, from dishonesty to honesty, from conflict to serenity, from hate to love. Such changes are accomplished by a belief in and a practice of sound principles. Only God is unchanging; only He has all the truth there is. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.76)


Some things we must accept, others we can change. The wisdom to know the difference comes with growth in our spiritual program –Just for Today | More…

Someone once defined the ego as “the sum total of false ideas about myself.” Persistent reworking of the Twelve Steps enables me to gradually strip away my false ideas about myself.

This permits nearly imperceptible but steady growth in my understanding of the truth about myself. And this, in turn, leads to a growing understanding of God and other human beings. –A Day At A Time | More…

There is no magic. Nothing is going to give us instant and permanent gratification. When we seriously and with honest effort work our way through the Twelve Steps, we begin to grow up emotionally and spiritually.

Abstinence makes this growth possible.Acceptance is necessary if we are to live with satisfaction in the real world.

Grandiose illusions are of no help. We come to understand that certain emotions, and attitudes, are not for us if we are to maintain our sanity. –Food For Thought | More…


The combination of heart and mind is very powerful. The Medicine Wheel teaches that two worlds exist – the seen and the unseen.

The seen world is the physical and the unseen is the spiritual world. Both of the worlds are necessary to discover true reality.

The seen world is easiest seen by the male side. The unseen is easiest seen by the female side.

The heart is the unseen and the mind is the seen. Blessed is the leader or person who has developed the heart and the mind. Truly, the person is of tremendous value to the Creator and the people. –Elders Meditations | More…

Variety in experiences is necessary for our continued growth. We don’t know how to appreciate the calm without the occasional storm that pushes us to new limits of ourselves.


We long for challenge even in the midst of the calm that blesses us. For to reach our destination, we must be willing to weather the storms. They are challenges, handpicked for us, designed to help us become all that we need to be in this earthly life. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

Every human being is a problem in search of a solution. –Ashley Montagu No school or parent can ever teach us enough to smooth our search for solutions.

We become complete human beings by living through the muddle, by truly trusting our connections with God and other people to carry us along until we find clarity again.

We learn to see we have this process in common with every human being. Rather than resist our problems, we band together with others and pool our strength to find solutions. –Touchstones | More…

Let us never fear needed change. The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails.  –As Bill Sees It  | More… (p.115)

Life is unfolding for us. The pain of the present may be necessary for the pleasure of tomorrow.


We can accept the unfolding. Our inner selves have a goal; experiences of the past must be left in the past; experiences at hand will lead us to our destination today. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey 04/09 | More… 

This is our road to spiritual growth. We change every day….  This growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer.

Our only option is to actively participate in our program of spiritual growth. Our spiritual progress picks up speed and momentum, driven by the Higher Power we are coming to understand better each day. –Just For Today | More…

We are where we are for a reason. Growth is work. We must be willing to do the simple things that our new understanding asks of us.

We are never given more than we can handle, and the loving help we need along the way is always available. But we never get this help in advance, only as we need it. –Day by Day | More…


The other Steps can keep most of us sober and somehow functioning. But Step Eleven can keep us growing, if we try hard and work at it continually. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.264)

If human beings didn’t feel pain—either physical or emotional We would abuse ourselves for lack of a natural warning system.

Just like physical pain, emotional pain lets us know when to stop doing something that hurts. Emotional pain provides a basis for comparison when we are joyful. We couldn’t appreciate joy without knowing pain. –Just For Today | More…

Ever deepening humility, accompanied by an ever greater willingness to accept and to act upon clear-cut obligations–these are truly our touchstones for all growth in the life of the spirit.  –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.271)

Our program helps us accept the stages of our life. The child in our heart is getting happier, and in some ways, we feel younger every day.

We’re also starting to feel older and wiser, and it feels good. We’re not so afraid of the world, because we’re learning better ways to live in it. –Keep It Simple | More…


As I continue to grow in sobriety, I become more aware of myself as a person of worth. In the process, I am better able to see others as persons, and with this comes the realization that these were people whom I had hurt in my drinking days.

What were seemingly impersonal acts, were really personal affronts, because it was people – people of worth – whom I had harmed. –Daily Reflections 10/08 | More…

The sun is power. It warms, and it burns, it feeds the plants without which we could not live. Yet, for all its power, the sun cannot make so much as a rainbow by itself.

For that, it needs the rain, at just the right time and angle. Like the rain’s part in the rainbow, the contributions of others do not detract from our achievements, but enhance them and bring them to their fullest light. –Today’s Gift 19/10 | More…

With the self-discipline and insight gained from practicing Step Ten, I begin to know the gratifications of sobriety — not as mere abstinence from alcohol, but as recovery in every department of my life. –Daily Reflections 21/10 | More…

It seems to me that the primary object of any human being is to grow, as God intended, that being the nature of all growing things –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.294)


Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for complete approval, utter security, and perfect romance – urges quite appropriate to age seventeen – prove to be an impossible way of life at forty-seven or fifty-seven.

As we grow spiritually, we find that our old attitudes toward instinctual drives need to undergo drastic revisions. We learn that the full satisfaction of these demands cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.330)

One of the first changes we can make is to let go of others: their opinions, their behavior, and their responsibilities. Our need for them to fulfil our expectations is related to our insecurity, not theirs.

Every time we preach or take on others’ duties, we must recognize that we are preventing much-needed growth, ours and theirs. Our intentions might always have been good.

But the time has come to let others live their own lives. It’s quite enough to take care of ourselves. Growth comes from each of us being responsible for ourselves. –A Life of My Own/Karen Casey | More…


Our program helps us accept the stages of our life. The child in our heart is getting happier, and in some ways, we feel younger every day. We’re also starting to feel older and wiser, and it feels good. We’re not so afraid of the world, because we’re learning better ways to live in it. –Keep It Simple.

Growth is a painful process. Whenever we grow, we usually need to let go of emotional attachments. Letting go can be painful. Sometimes growth allows us to deal with fear. All fear can fit into two categories: one, we’re going to lose something we have, and two, we’re not going to get something we want. Both of these categories can cause pain. The best way to grow is to pray to the Great Spirit and ask Him to guide and protect us. All growth is guided by God. –Elders Meditations | More…

Change. It’s scary. It’s hard. It’s needed. Sometimes it feels bad. But one thing is for sure: it keeps on happening. Just when our life seems settled, it changes. We can’t stop life. We can’t stay this age forever. The world changes. Life moves on. There are always new things to do and learn. Changes means we’re always beginners in some ways. We need to ask for wisdom and courage. We get it by listening, by praying, by meditating. When we ask, our Higher Power will teach us to be part of good changes. –Keep It Simple | More…


With the self-discipline and insight gained from practicing Step Ten, I begin to know the gratifications of sobriety — not as mere abstinence from alcohol, but as recovery in every department of my life. –Daily Reflections | More…

The signals that new growth is underway are often very small at first. Time will bring vast changes, but only little signs are showing first and signal bigger transformations yet to come. To be true to them in the long run we must accept them— –Touchstones | More…

Twelve Step groups for codependents are not about how we can help the other person; they’re about how we can help ourselves grow and change. –The Language of Letting Go | More…


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