Between 6 and 7

Preparing for the 7th step-

As we reconfirm our commitment to this new way of life, I am reminded that I am no longer the same person I was when I first found sobriety. I have undergone a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery.

To me, the essence of the 7th step is humility and sacrificing what I was for a chance to be part of something greater. It is the opportunity to no longer be a victim of my own dishonesty, resentment, selfishness and fear. I no longer have the luxury of blaming others for how I feel or how I deal with life.

When I give all of me, the good and the bad, it means I don’t necessarily know what stands in the way of my usefulness to the Universe or my fellows. It means that I am becoming accountable for my actions.

When in doubt, I have a new set of principles to operate on. I am armed with self awareness and know the exact nature of my wrongs. These are my defects (what I do) and my shortcomings (what I don’t do). This brings forth a responsibility to do everything in my power to act different, and when I can’t, I turn to the Universe for strength and guidance.

I cannot remove my own defects or shortcomings but I can decide to respond to life, instead of reacting to it with my old set of ineffective values which no longer serve me. I always have a choice to get on my knees or to be forced to them. I can decide how much I choose to surrender or fight.

If the first 6 steps were effective, then I have been practicing acceptance, hope, commitment, honesty, truthfulness and willingness. These spiritual “tools” deflate my ego and bring me out of my own self-centeredness. With the step 7 comes a realistic assessment of both my assets and my defects, I become right-sized and teachable. I learn to no longer think less of myself, but to think of my self less.

Sharing the 7th step prayer with another who suffers from the same internal condition as me, further entrenches me in this new state of being.

~S.D.

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