Skip to main content
Love conept - People at outdoor meeting holding hands

The Next Logical Step

If you think back to our discussion on the principles of recovery a few weeks ago, you’ll remember we left off on humility. We quoted the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous as saying that, “the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of A.A.’s Twelve Steps. For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all.” We also talked about the fact the humility is not thinking less of oneself but, rather, thinking more about other people. This week we’re going to continue the discussion with the eighth spiritual principle of recovery: love.

A Program of Action

Of course, we’re not talking about romantic love here. Instead, we’re talking platonic love, what the Judeo-Christian tradition calls “brotherly love,” or what Buddhists call “loving-kindness.” This type of love is the next logical step after humility. We hear many times in meetings that twelve-step programs are programs of action. If through humility, we are thinking more of other people, love is where we begin to put those thoughts into action. This is the point at which we learn to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we don’t, we run the risk of living with resentment. And as we learned in our discussion of courage and the fourth step, resentment has no place in recovery

From Inward to Outward

Let’s take a closer look at the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for a second. Steps one through seven focus completely on us – that is, those of us working the program, as individuals – and our relationship with our high power. We’ve taken a look at ourselves, where we’ve gone wrong, and asked our higher power to remove our shortcomings. This puts us in a position where we can begin to love ourselves. Step eight, however, reads we “made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all”. Step eight is where our focus turns to the people around us. This is how we make our re-entry into the world. By making amends and righting our wrongs, we love our neighbors in the same way we’ve recently learned to love ourselves.

Real Courage Means Asking for Help

Love is central to creating the fellowship of a recovery community and community is a cornerstone of Ocean Recovery. We have been helping men and women overcome substance use disorders since 2002. We have also made numerous appearances on Dr. Phil to assist with his difficult cases. At our facilities in Newport Beach, California, we’ve helped hundreds of clients overcome their disorders and live happy, contented lives.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and seeking substance abuse treatment, please give us a call today. Our drug and alcohol rehab in Orange County has helped countless individuals overcome addiction and find healing. Real courage means asking for help. Ocean Recovery is ready to answer.


Ocean Recovery has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations for our references. We avoid using tertiary references as our sources. You can learn more about how we source our references by reading our editorial policy.

1. Wilson B. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book. Courier Dover Publications; 2019.

Last medically reviewed July 31, 2022.