Step 7

Step 7 – Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

The Step 7 prayer in the Big Book suggests a willingness that my creator ‘should have all of me, good and bad’. The inclusion of the word ‘good’ has always had a profound effect on me.

My initial thoughts were that not only do I have to be willing to hand over what I believe to be my defects of character, but also the strengths of character I deem to possess too. Hand over ‘all of me’ and let my creator decide what my defects are. Fair enough, I’m not the best judge. I discovered this when I looked at the second half of step1. Step 10 reminds me on a daily basis.

In essence, I am handing over my shortcomings but only as a result of handing over my thinking, my perception, my justification, my rationalisation, my logic, my decision making.

Some shortcomings are clearly present and I can be specific with the wording of the prayer, others are less clear and a more open-minded approach is required.

Just my interpretation, but what an amazing step. What an amazing leap of faith. 🙏

Gratitude List 23/05/2019: Overspill

Gratitude List 23/05/2019

Today I am grateful that by attending fellowship meetings I have learnt so much. What happens in those rooms is nothing short of magical. The blessing is, if I work it, the magic overspills into my life outside the rooms.

Today I am grateful that by sharing and listening in the rooms, I now communicate better with my family, friends and loved ones.

Today I am grateful that by continuously speaking aloud in the rooms, I am more confident in speaking in front of people at work.

Today I am grateful that by practicing anonymity in the rooms, I have become a more trustworthy friend and less of a gossip.

Today I am grateful that by being honest in the rooms, I am now more comfortable in telling my family how I feel.

Today I am grateful that by doing service for others in the rooms, I can do things for my girlfriend without expecting thanks.

Today I am grateful that by using open-mindedness in the rooms, I am able to remain open-minded when I come across spiritually sick people.

Today I am grateful that by reading Just For Today in the rooms, I am not afraid to enjoy the beautiful world around me.

Today I am grateful that by being vulnerable and admitting my own flaws in the rooms, I judge less the people who harm me.

Today I am grateful that by saying the serenity prayer at the end of each meeting, I can accept the things I cannot change, I can change the things I can and the wisdom in knowing the difference is forever growing.

Gratitude List 21/05/2019: WILL

Gratitude List 21/05/2019

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best father I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best son I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best brother I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best boyfriend I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best friend I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best member of the community I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best colleague I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best fellow I can possibly be.

Today I am grateful I am, to the best of my ability, doing all I can to be the best version of me.

Today I am grateful I am aware that to be the best version and live a life beyond my wildest dreams, full of happiness, serenity and success, I need only focus on one thing – recovery.

From experience…

if I try to be the best father I WON’T.

if I try to be the best fellow I WON’T.

if I try to be happy I WON’T.

But….

if I hand over my life to a Greater Power

if I do my daily suggestions

if I complete and then work the steps

if I practice unity

if I serve others

I WILL grow spiritually and I WILL give myself the best possible chance.

Gratitude List 04/02/2019: Continued…

Gratitude List 04/02/2019

Further to yesterday.

I woke this morning feeling a little drained, emotionally drained. Yesterday, I was met with my biggest test yet since being in recovery. Despite the challenge, as time has passed, I have been able to see plenty of positives. That has continued to be the case today and, upon reflection, I am full of gratitude.

Today I am grateful that this challenge has not led to me acting out in a negative way. Who knows what this could’ve led to. Working the program means I was less vulnerable.

Today I am grateful that my humility and consideration overpowered any resentments that briefly came to mind.

Today I am grateful I have been in recovery for the last year. Had I not been, I seriously believe I would be in a very, very dark place today.

Today I am grateful that my reaction has been to carry on as normal – which has been to work the program in my daily life. Being in recovery means that no desperate or drastic changes to my behaviour were necessary.

Today I am grateful I intuitively knew how to deal with this test (that would’ve previously baffled me). On reflection, the tools I have gained through this program were working without any conscience thought of my own. It was a miracle.

Today I am grateful my ego and self-will was not in control. Instead, my greater power carried me through. Under pressure, it would’ve definitely been the other way round. Does this mean my natural behaviour/reactions have changed?

Today I am grateful that this has reinforced my faith in this program and that ‘it works if I work it.’

Today I am grateful for that ‘moment of silence to remind myself why I am here’. I’m here because I need to be!

Today I am grateful I am not alone. Thanks to the honesty I have practiced, I have been able to share this situation with my partner, my fellows and my sponsor. Such a blessing to have this support instead of suffering alone.

Today I am mostly grateful that two people, who I severely harmed in the past, have had some release. They have been suffering and this would have been a big lift for both of them. I pray that my future conduct will assist in further amends.

Gratitude List 27/01/2019: The Jaywalker

Gratitude List 27/01/2019

Last night served up a reminder of one of the many stories that helped my recovery. Almost 2 years ago, I began to go through the Big Book. I don’t have a drinking problem (yet) but it made no difference at all that the book was initially written for the alcoholic. By simply substituting one word to another I could relate to the contents almost 100%. The words are magic to me and played a huge role in changing my life. Today I am grateful for this amazing text. Text that, despite there being 4 editions, has been left untouched (bar the experiences shared in the back) for 90 years. Today I would like to share the story of the Jaywalker. This story helped me understand that all addictions share huge similarities, and therefore share one solution.

“Our behavior is as absurd and incomprehensible with respect to the first drink as that of an individual with a passion, say, for jay-walking. He gets a thrill out of skipping in front of fast-moving vehicles. He enjoys himself for a few years in spite of friendly warnings. Up to this point you would label him as a foolish chap having queer ideas of fun. Luck then deserts him and he is slightly injured several times in succession. You would expect him, if he were normal, to cut it out. Presently he is hit again and this time has a fractured skull. Within a week after leaving the hospital a fast-moving trolley car breaks his arm. He tells you he has decided to stop jay-walking for good, but in a few weeks he breaks both legs.”

“On through the years this conduct continues, accompanied by his continual promises to be careful or to keep off the streets altogether. Finally, he can no longer work, his wife gets a divorce and he is held up to ridicule. He tries every known means to get the jaywalking idea out of his head. He shuts himself up in an asylum, hoping to mend his ways. But the day he comes out he races in front of a fire engine, which breaks his back. Such a man would be crazy, wouldn’t he?”

“You may think our illustration is too ridiculous. But is it? We, who have been through the wringer, have to admit if we substituted alcoholism or any addiction for jay-walking, the illustration would fit exactly. However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane. It’s strong language but isn’t it true?”

Gratitude List 26/01/2019: Exactly where I should be

Gratitude List 26/01/2019

What if Bill’s brother-in-law took him to a different hospital? One without Dr Silkworth?

What if Rowland and Celebra went to the wrong court house?

What if Bill never answered that call from Ebby?

What if Bill wasn’t compelled to help another alcoholic in Dr Bob?

What if the fellowship didn’t publish the Big Book?

What if there wasn’t a chance meeting in January 1957?

What if the publicity by a prominent newspaper columnist and TV commentator wasn’t favourable?

What if GA decided not to use the 12 Step Program derived from AA?

What if my friends had lent me the money I begged for?

What if ‘Question 20’ was more than just a fleeting thought?

What if I didn’t attend the meeting when I heard that strong message? When the coin finally dropped?

What if my now sponsor wasn’t present to witness my desperation?

I am where I am today because of everything that has happened. The above situations are just a few that have led me to recovery. If just one went differently I may not be enjoying life as much as I am right now. I might still be in action. Furthermore, outside of recovery, millions of scenarios, good and bad, have played out and each one has had a bearing on my current circumstances. I truly believe I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing.

Today I am grateful for my past and where it has taken me.