As we approach the actual taking of Step Seven, it might be well if we A.A.’s inquire once more just what our deeper objectives are. Each of us would like to live at peace with himself and his fellows. We would like to be asssured that the grace of God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We have seen that character defects based upon shortsighted or unworthy desires are obstacles that block our path toward these objectives. We now clearly see that we have been making unreasonable demands upon ourselves, upon others, and upon God.
I went to a meeting last night, and I noticed that they had their “Think Think Think” sign upside down. I’m always happy to see that. It’s the way I was “brought up.” I also noticed they had a sign up that says “But for the Grace of God.” It’s a common AA sign and concept. I’l have to write about it at length some other time. I’m on the lookout for these things, because it surprises me how many people read my AA Discussion Meeting Topics page. I’m on a mission to include was many as I can.
In looking at the above paragraph from Step Seven, I tried to boil it down in my understanding. Asking ‘what are my deeper objectives?’ is a really good idea. I do so appreciate Bill W’s writing. I want to live at peace with myself and at peace with everyone else. I want to be open to God’s grace (which is the way I interpret that, that I can be open to it or closed to it, since it always exists). My character defects prevent these things. They prevent me from being at peace with myself, they prevent me from being at peace with others, and they prevent me from being open to God’s grace.
They, my character defects, are, to some degree, the same character defects that every person has. I have more of some and less of others, but I don’t believe there is some mystery combination within me that separates me from the rest or even most of humanity. They are based on shortsighted or unworthy desires. I desire too much security, material things, and positive sensory experiences (like moose tracks ice cream).
Unreasonable demands I make on myself. I think I’m not demanding enough of myself. Maybe that’s where the unreasonableness comes from. I don’t know what I can reasonably expect from myself, but I know it’s more than I do now. There may be something here I’m not getting.
Unreasonable demands I make on others. It feels to me again as if I’m missing something. This is probably part of the root of every problem I have with other people.
Unreasonable demands I make on God. I mostly think that the world is in motion, and God does not bother with the details. But I’m not sure.
I’m going to continue with the step, and I hope I can keep these concepts in the front of my mind as I face challenges, and that is will become clearer to me.