Step 7 – Episode 31

end of dayWhat is humility? How do we ask God to remove our shortcomings? Are they really defects?

Listen as Spencer, Swetha, and Kelli, back together at last, talk about Step 7, Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

We explore our understandings of the word “humbly”. It can mean that we accept ourselves as we are, that we are teachable, that we don’t blow things out of proportion, or that we don’t have expectations. When we humbly ask, we say “I am ready to learn a new way of being.”

The readiness we found in Step 6 is essential for us to ask for our shortcomings to be removed. We also know that not all our defects will be removed right away, that there is a process, and that they will go in our Higher Power’s time, not ours. We can start to see the effect these shortcomings have in our lives, even as we continue to act from them. By the time we get to Step 7, we may have some former defects that are gone, or “gone-ish”. This can help us to believe, to have faith in the promise of Step 7.

We each share personal stories of defects removed, lessened, or still present. Kelli and Swetha relate how they used their program, and particularly Step 7, during a “very, very long” 4 day “vacation” with their families of origin. Spencer tells, during the Lives in Recovery segment, of a very recent experience in which he had to use Steps 1 through 7 to regain serenity.

The 7th step prayer asks for removal of “every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows”. We look at various understandings of “defect”. They can be tools that are no longer useful. Swetha puts forth the idea that her character defects were put there by her higher power so that she could learn something, which we all relate to.

Next week, we will be recording a joint sponsorship round table with the Recovered podcast. Our topic for episode 33 is compassion. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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feelings– a meditation

 

Most of the good work in this world was done by people who weren't feeling all that well the day they  did it.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I have some extremely black-and-white thinking when left to my own devices;I think that I can either acknowledge, and therefore must submit to, my feelings or I think I must be in utter denial of my feelings in order to make a logical, rational choice about my behavior. I used to feel this way because I was scared – I was scared that tuning into my feelings and still making conscious choices about my life would leave me vulnerable and open to being hurt and therefore weak. So I moved to extremes in interactions with others – either extreme emotion or utterly shutting down emotion in myself – to protect myself.

Neither of these, however, worked for me. Today, in recovery, I learn that I must acknowledge my feelings and accept them in order to make a conscious decision about my actions. I can choose to act on my feelings or not. But when I ignore my feelings, I am ignoring myself and ignoring my own need for love and acceptance by myself and my Higher Power. Only through this acknowledgment, acceptance, and asking for help (Steps 4, 5, 6, & 7) am I able to do the next right thing, consciously and without resentment. And when I do this,  I am stronger than I have ever been before. After all, what could be stronger than knowing myself, loving myself, and knowing my worth lies, not in the other person's response, but solely with my Higher Power?

A meditation for July 5, 2013.

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