In addition to the twelve steps and twelve traditions, Heart t’ Heart has nine tools to help with recovery. To be useful, a tool must be picked up and used. Not every person in Heart t’ Heart uses every tool listed below. Those who do use them do not always use each of the tools every day. However, we have found that the more tools we can use on a consistent, daily basis, the greater our potential for staying in recovery. The tools are not a replacement for the twelve steps, rather they help us work on the principles of the steps and traditions.
The information below is excerpted from our pamphlet, The Nine Tools of Heart t’ Heart, which you can download here.
Abstinence, simply defined, is the action of refraining from our compulsive behaviors, whatever they may be. Abstinence is a personal matter between ourselves and God. It will differ from person to person, even if their compulsions are the same.
Anonymity is called the spiritual foundation of this program. This tool reminds us that the focus in this fellowship is on the principles and not the people in it. It assures us safety in the freedom of expression of our innermost thoughts and feelings without the worry of gossip or retaliation. Our sharing will be received with respect and kept in confidence. Even our presence at these meetings will not be made known without our permission.
Literature and Music
Literature is used to help us more fully understand our path to recovery and to reinforce the use of the twelve steps. It gives us the ability to have a meeting with just ourselves when we are not able to reach out and connect with someone else.
It has been said that music is a powerful way to speak God’s language, to praise Him and to express our deepest feelings to God and to others. It can be felt inside our hearts or performed aloud for others to enjoy. Listening to inspired music is both comforting and healing to our souls.
Meetings are an opportunity to come together to share our experience, strength, and hope. It is a way of providing ourselves with the fellowship of others who have finally decided to acknowledge personal powerlessness over one or more compulsive addictive behaviors.
Prayer and Meditation
Prayer and meditation are two sides of the same coin and are probably the most vital to recovery of all the tools. The whole focus and purpose of the twelve steps is to bring us closer to God.
Service is a way of getting out of our compulsive behavior and into recovery. Sharing the message of recovery through faith in Jesus Christ and the application of the twelve steps is the most obvious form of service we can perform. Other acts include going to meetings, sharing, listening to others share, talking to newcomers, and telephoning between meetings.
A sponsor is someone who is living the twelve steps to the best of his or her ability and can help us as we do our own twelve-step work. Sponsors generally have more experience in the program and have maintained some level of recovery. It is recommended that we ask someone to be our sponsor soon after coming into the program.
At Heart t’ Heart we are encouraged to use the telephone as a means of breaking through our isolation and getting back on the road to recovery. Using the telephone to call other members has been compared to having a meeting between meetings.
Those who are most successful in the twelve step programs use the tool of writing frequently. Writing is a way of bringing our feelings to the surface and exploring them. Writing can also be used as a means of communicating with God.