The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God. The whole emphasis of Step Seven is on humility. It is really saying to us that we now ought to be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our other shortcomings just as we did when we admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. If that degree of humility could enable us to find the grace by which such a deadly obsession could be banished, then there must be hope of the same result respecting any other problem we could possibly have.
There is hope, but not much. Why don’t other things yield to the steps with way the obsession to drink did?
Quitting drinking, hard as it was (and it was often so hard it was impossible), was easier than quitting smoking. Drinking had huge dire consequences, often. For me and for lots of people I know, it had to be that way. If it seemed to work at all, and even if it didn’t, I couldn’t give up until smashed upon the bottom.
Cigarettes weren’t like that. The consequences were way way down the road. So very difficult to quit.
So I know that in my disturbances, I am the disturbed element. It is my lack of acceptance, then my character defects that make me angry, sad, hopeless, discouraged. If I could achieve perfect humility, I would not be disturbed. If I could achieve more humility, I would be less distrubed.
And I realize that this all reads back as “what’s in it for me?”
Contemplating this step at this time of year is interesting. I often have black, bad thoughts about people who from with me politically. I may find someone to be a dandy person, all until elections draw near. Then, if they are on the other side, they are either bad, or stupid. Or both.
Be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our other shortcomings. Be humble, not afraid. Be humble, not angry. Be humble, not self-righteous. Be humble, not lazy. Be humble. If I can be humble, my character defects will be minimzed.
A while ago, a friend in the program said something slightly nasty to me. I don’t honestly remember what. But anyway she apologized, and said that was the old her coming through. I remember telling her that you have a “good” and a “bad” side (not that simplistically), and that if you don’t give the bad side attention, food, sunlight, it will grow weak and maybe die. The characteristics, traits and habits that you feed grow strong. Maybe by cultivating love, patience, acceptance, happiness, serenity, the other side will grow weak and maybe die.