The Twelve Steps in Everyday Living: Part Seven

Step Seven:  Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings

Step seven seems almost impossibly easy… if you have completed 1 through 6 to the best of your ability; all you have to do is ask God to remove your shortcomings?  I remember in early days of sobriety thinking, “ooh, I can’t wait to get to that step; I will breeze right through it!”

Not so fast.  There’s an unspoken end to this step:  then you need to act as if He has already removed it.  There’s the rub!  Yes, I was entirely ready to have God remove the obsession to drink and use drugs, and yes, I humbly asked Him to remove the obsession, but the action in this step is for me to get up from my knees, and go about life as if the obsession is gone.  Some days easy, some days difficult, but it is in the continuous practice of this step that I finally found my release.

And it was one of those things that I did not even realize it had happened.  I would have a thought about my addiction, and then I would try to remember when my last thought had been, and I couldn’t!  And that is when I realized the miracle had taken place.

This step can be more challenging when dealing with less urgent shortcomings.  Let’s take an easy one to identify, impatience.  I’m sure every human being deals with it at some point in their lives, for me, it is definitely a character defect with which I still struggle.  I have identified it, I have been more than willing to have God remove it, and I have asked Him, numerous times, to remove it.  But it’s the acting as if feature that I still have work to do.  I will find myself in the middle of yelling at one child or another, and I realize that I have reverted to my more basic nature.  Depending on how deep I’ve gotten myself into the given situation, I will attempt to ask God in the moment to remove it (most of the time through gritted teeth, but still!).  Now the real work begins for me… I need to act as if it is gone!

Of course, obstacles block the path to this step at every turn.  I want to be patient and tolerant, but then the people around me behave in ways I find unacceptable, and I lose sight of these attributes.  I want to have the best possible relationship with my loved ones, but if they have done me wrong, how do I handle that and have a good relationship?  Sometimes, when practicing this step, it feels like I am always being the bigger person, and when the hell does everyone else get to practice a little humility?

Which of course brings it back to full circle… there is only one person I can control, only one set of behaviors I can correct, and only one person’s feelings with which I have to live… my own.

So if someone else is behaving badly, that does not excuse my bad behavior.

If I have a complicated history with a loved one, and I believe I have been wronged, that does not give me the right to respond in kind.

If my children make the same mistakes over and over, I do not have a pass to rant and rave about it.

It is every easy, when dealing with everyday life issues, to play the blame game, and justify why I revert to character defects… I am simply reacting to the bad behavior of others, and anyone would do what I am doing if they were in my position!  But, of course, the victim mode is a slippery slope, and in the end, I am only hurting myself, and my own peace of mind, when I play that game.  Bring it back to center, take stock of myself, and figure out what God’s will is!

Today’s Miracle:

My daughter will be turning 13 this weekend, and I will be spending the day figuring out how to make this event as special as possible… not too shabby!

Posted on May 24, 2013, in Twelve Steps in Everyday Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Such wonderful stuff here, Josie! I love that quote at the top, by the way – gonna steal it 😉

    I too realized that when it came to this step, I had to act as if the thing has been removed. Ugh. i have to not be jealous or envious? I have to not get impatient (like you)? I have to let things go, for real? This is *work*. ha ha. I find that when I get one thing going well, another old thing pops back up. And then when that is going well, another thing pops up. Never ends. But it gets better. The thing I have to remember is that I am not in control of what gets relieved from me. Too early to tell for me, but I know that while I may think that my over-explainy nature, or my softy tendencies might need to be relieved, God might want those to help me communicate to other alcoholics, or to empathize. I don’t know – just an example. But I do pray that I can be more silent, or be more open to listening to others rather than interrupt (another character defect). But I know that when someone is talking, I bite my tongue and listen. It’s been getting much easier.

    “Bring it back to center, take stock of myself, and figure out what God’s will is!” I love this – perfect. I don’t think it could be put any better. Gonna steal this one too 😉

    Awesome post – love this series you have. I should probably delve into the steps as well!!

    Blessings,
    Paul

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  2. Very inciteful message! You certainly have a gift for getting to the heart of the matter. We can all benefit from applying this step to our lives. Just beautiful.

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  3. The victim mode is indeed a very slippery slope and thank you so much for reminding me that it is one I do not want to go down again. It can be so easy to react to other people’s shortcomings instead of taking a step back. Yet none of us is perfect, so we all need to find our humility and simply come back to God.
    I’m so glad I read this today. It will take me to a much needed quiet time with God.
    And I hope you and your daughter have a fabulous time this weekend 🙂

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  4. Love this article. Will be reposting it on my recovery blog for people to see.

    Thanks!

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  5. Reblogged this on sidestreetcentre and commented:
    So, for an interim article on recovery, or in case next Monday doesn’t yield a post from Yours Truly, you can read this article on the recovery process.
    Hoppy

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  6. – Sometimes, when practicing this step, it feels like I am always being the bigger person, and when the hell does everyone else get to practice a little humility? – oh I got a good chuckle out of that, this is sooo me! I swear sometimes I just feel like a spoiled child, and just want to be bad! Lol! Great post, thank you so much, I love the connections that you have made in this; this is the awesome part, you really can use the steps in every day life!

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  7. Time With Thea

    Happy birthday to your daughter. You have given her a special gift by planning a special day with the most important person in her life… a healthy you. Best wishes, Thea

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  8. My favorite humility quote from the rooms: Humility is thinking about yourself less, not thinking less about yourself!

    Thanks for the wonderful post, my friend!

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  9. Enjoyed your post. I just wrote a chapter in my book called Humble Pie. My issue was sugar addiction ballooning me up to 430 pounds. Its a long hard road and many times I go back to the prideful attitude of I am OK. I can do this myself. That’s when humility kicks in big time.

    Also, thanks for following my wordpress.com account. I need to figure out how to attach my new website to it. It’s over at wordpress.org. Love for you to check it out. If you sign up for the free book you will receive my updates. http://teresashieldsparker.com.

    Nice meeting you.

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    • Thanks Teresa, I did head over to your blog (though not through WordPress, I am a bit of a dunce when it comes to technology), and I absolutely loved it! You are speaking my language, through and through. I really appreciate your comment, and can’t wait to read more!

      Like

  1. Pingback: No one said life was easy | crazylittlepeanut's Blog

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