Humility is a key concept in AA. Step Seven is “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” I’m stopping to think for a minute about the very word STEP. A step is one of a series of actions you take in order to achieve something. The something is a spiritual awakening. All very vague! I would also argue that the something is sobriety, though I know at least one group of people who would disagree. There were steps that my wife and I took in order to learn how to use the bus in Chicago. (side note: asking a Chicago bus rider how to do it actually resulted in misinformation and a near failure, right at the beginning)
So as one of the 12 steps to a spiritual awakening (and a lasting sobriety) I need to approach the higher power humbly – with a low or moderate estimation of myself – and ask that my character defects be removed.
I’ve been at this for a very long time, so I wonder just how humbly (and how sincerely, and how often) I have asked, because for sure the character defects are still here and still strong. Not, of course, anywhere near what they were when I was drinking, but here enough and strong enough to cause me distress and ill health.
I wonder if my half-heartedness (as confirmed by my half-hearted results) has its home in my lack of humility. That can go either way, making me think I’m too wonderful to really need to change much, or that I’m so bad and lost there’s really no use in trying.