Norman Vincent Peale was right. Years ago in one of his articles in Guideposts, he talked about the 12 steps, including the comment that they would work for most any problem. I then read his book, “The Power of Positive Thinking” which has since become a classic. Putting these two models together has not only worked for all my problems, but has healed my medical conditions, too

My life was unmanageable when I first read his Guideposts’ article. (Step One) I was raised in a domestically violent childhood, with an alcoholic father and a paranoid-schizophrenic mother. This produced many kinds of emotional and physical abuse. I continued to survive in my mother’s second marriage to an alcoholic and sex addicted man. Leaving home for college was a blessing, I thought. Marrying another student, studying to become a teacher like me, I believed would solve my problems. I did not understand that I attracted a person from the same kind of background in which I was raised. My thirty year marriage of battering and rape took place during all the years I taught school.

After my husband attempted to kill me several times, I called to God for help during the last incident. I prayed, “God, please help me I really don’t want to die.” With in a few minutes things had changed, and I was out of immediate danger. As I better learned about the 12 steps I found the second step (Step Two) was replacing the negative with the positive, as I continued asking God for help. I knew from Dr. Peal’s book about positive thinking that it would work. This conscious choice to believe that God could restore my insane life was new to me, even though I had attended church since the age of five. This began a twenty- three year search to find and resolve those inner negative messages that had attracted those unmanageable occurrences. Messages such as: I was no better than my mother and deserved to be beat.

Now turning my will and life over to the care of God became even more meaningful (Step Three). It would only be an improvement. I had been in hell. That God cared for me and I was still alive was an awakening. I had never heard that I should turn my life over to the will and care of God before. Again, this was a positive replacement for the messages I had received at home growing up.

The next step in the process was scary. I did not want to look at those past traumas locked inside my inner vault (Step Four). I certainly did not want you to know, because you would not like me. But as I took many inventories of myself, I began to see how my negative thinking could be changed into a positive. I was eager to finally find out as much about my fear-based life as I could, allowing me to transform my fears with positive thinking and God’s love.

The feedback and help for me to become rational about understanding my crises, turmoil, and chaos, was necessary (Step Five). This sorting out of the truth from the false lead to not only changing my perspective on my marriage, but all my other difficult relationships, finances, illnesses, addictions, and diseases. Sharing with a person, who understood became important. I learned to trust someone, including God.

I finally saw that growing into adulthood meant to release my childish negative ways. (Step Six) They do not work in adulthood, and caused more suffering if I hung on to them. This is also the Third of the Fourth Noble Truth in Buddhism.

Therefore, I began to ask God to remove any negative thoughts, words, or actions and replace them with His love and grace. (Step 7) I found that as I removed the old thinking, my life improved, especially emotionally. Then over time the rest of my life became more positive and attracted more positive people, activities, and experiences. I was becoming a love-based person which was changing my whole perception about life. I was not reacting as that victim of so many years, but responding from the love of our Father toward myself and others.

This step was also very practical. Replacing my illnesses, including mental illness, many addictions, domestic violence, and more can be replaced with God’s grace. I found this to be the most useful step to becoming free of negative thinking and emotions that created my unmanageable life. God has blessed and freed me from all of these as well as alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and prescription drugs.

Becoming responsible for my life meant I needed to make amends to those I had harmed. I found that I headed the list. I had sabotaged my life because of ignorance. I was told in meditation to treat myself like a princess, because God was the King of Kings and I was His daughter. Then, I did make amends to those I harmed, which set the balance right and brought brotherly love and justice into my life. (Steps 8 & 9)

Now, I was ready to live in the present, with my head also in the current experience with my body. I was no longer allowing my past to run or ruin my day by day actions. For me not living in the future anymore was a blessing. My mother, raised in the depression, had a huge fear of her financial future, which I had faithfully learned at her knee. Now, I was free to see that God does give us daily bread to sustain us. (Step 10) My gift is the present. The consciousness of the presence of God in my life has become my most affirmative realization.

This new life of living in positive thinking needs to be practiced. I think that is what the Bible means when it says to pray constantly. I also meditate daily to receive God’s guidance to maintain my new positive life style. (Step 11) I had looked to other people, places, and things for my life, security, love, and protection instead of looking inward where I found the Kingdom of Heaven. In addition, at this time I forgave myself and those who were in my life that played their parts to lead me to a conscious contact with God.

Today, I love carrying the message of God’s love for each and every one of us. (Step 12) Through internationally speaking, writing, and my radio show, I promote a loving message and inspiration that others too can find love, health, and peace.
I love doing workshops, consulting, and spiritual counseling to help others find their deep negative messages that can be transformed into God’s loving grace. We can all find Heaven on Earth, if we are willing to change negative to the positive thinking. Thank you, Norman Vincent Peale!

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could re¬store us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our con¬scious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Author's Bio: 

Marilyn Redmond, CHT, IBRT. BA in Education, Ordained Minister and a Registered Counselor in Holistic Health. . She is an international speaker, writer, columnist, and consultant. Marilyn is a member of the, American Board of Hypnotherapy and , International Board of Regression Therapy. She teaches in colleges, wellness centers, and adult education. Marilyn counsels people to find their inner strength and consciousness for health, healing, and empowerment. She was inducted into “who’s Who for Professional and Executives” for her innovative and pioneering work in restoring traumatic lives, healing emotional causes of illness and releasing negative energy. With hope love, and vision each person can create their own happy and healthy world. She is available for lectures and Seminars. Her radio show, “Marilyn’s Solutions”, and her radio and TV appearances are big successes. Contact her at 253-845-4907 or visit