- Step 7

Step 7




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Step 7

Postby JR » Sat Nov 05, 2005 2:03 am

"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings"

I love this step because it is just a prayer, right? All I have to do is be willing to let God have all of me, the good parts and the bad parts. To pray that God remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to Him and my fellow man. To pray that I be given the strength to go out and do His bidding.

It says I have to "humbly" ask. What do I, a selfish, self-centered alcoholic know about humility at this point. Practically nothing.

In the 12X12 on page 70 it says "the attainment of greater humility is the foundation principle of each of AA's 12 steps. For without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all."

12X12 pg. 72 "The basic ingrediant of all humility, a desire to seek and do God's will"

So, I guess it takes some humility to admit I am powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable. To begin to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity requires some humility. I must humble myself to make a decision to turn my will and life over to God and say the 3rd step prayer. It is an act of humility to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and reveal this to another human being. In step 6 to inventory myself further and realize I have a long way to go and be willing to continue on that journey is also an act of humility. To be honest, open minded and willing; to see that character building and spiritual values have to come first requires humility.

12X12 pg. 74 "Where humiilty had formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingrediant which can give us serenity." pg. 75 "We saw we needn't always be bludgeoned and beaten into humility. It could come quite as much from our voluntary reaching for it as it could from unremitting suffering."

I have always been a slow learner, so forced feedings on humble pie and being bludgeoned by circumstances into turning to HP have been a way of life for me at times. Like the BB says on pg. 43 Most alcoholics have to be pretty badly mangled before they really commence to solve their problems. And BB pg. 44 To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face (I find this quote very humorous). This is the type of alcoholic I am, stubborn to the core. So, I am glad that I am not alone. I am glad that I am not the only person who finds it difficult to choose between spiritual living and an alcoholic death. I am glad I am not the only one who has to be pretty badly mangled before I'll take the actions necessary for relief. I'm glad because you are showing me the way to live life on a different basis. You are showing me a design for living that works better than anything I could have planned for myself.

It goes on to say that our deeper objectives of step 7 are the desire to live at peace with ourselves and our fellow man and to be assured that the grace of God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

If the basis of my life is to live at peace with myself and others and to have faith in God, surely the practice of this will help me be rid of some social/spiritual handicaps.

Pg. 76 of 21X12 says step 7 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. What an order! This is the change in attitude that I must have to complete the tasks ahead. Step 8 and 9.

So, making the amends is practicing humility too.

Easy Does It,

JR
JR
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:24 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Step 7

Postby Buck V » Thu May 04, 2006 5:56 pm

JR,

I'm Buck, a newbie on the block, both to this furum as well as AA. In fact you posted this on the 7th step before I even knew about AA.

Anyway, when I first read the BB and the 12 and 12, I kinda bleeped over all the steps after number 5. I was still struggling through the 1st 3 Steps! I diligently and honestly worked these steps to the best of my ability and felt comfortable with them. With the help of my sponsor, I worked the 4th and 5th steps in my fourth month sober (way too soon some might say). I was really looking forward to steps 6 and 7...after all they take up only two paragraphs in the Big Book.

I came to a screeching halt at step 7.

This is the only step in whick we "ask" God for anything. We acknowledge Him in step 2, We turn ourselves over to Him in step 3. We seek knowledge of His will for us in step 11, but we specifically "ask" Him do do something for us in step 7. Who am I to ask Him for ANYTHING?

Almost everything I've read or heard about this step dwells on humblness, but for me this step contained far more than that. It was a huge turning point in my program. Although I've believed in God my whole life, and have asked him for tons of things (I must have asked him a thousand times to help me stop drinking before I came into AA), this was the first time I truely understood how BIG God was. I was afraid He'd say "NO!"

Whew! I was one confused, dry drunk.

I thought that maybe I hadn't worked the first 6 steps completely and that I should start over. After a couple of weeks of agonizing over this, I finally came to realize a couple of things One was that I was afraid to ask God to remove my shortcomings because that is asking for forgiveness and I hadn't forgiven myself yet. I also realized that God (at least the one of my understanding) has already forgiven me and does listen to me. And finally I saw with utter amazement how this program has taught me how to better understand God and His Will for me.

Sorry for rambling. Everyone in AA talks about "moments of clarity". I've already had several in my short time AA. Step 7 was a biggy.

Buck
Buck V
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 5:15 pm
Location: Oak Island, NC

Postby Dallas » Thu May 04, 2006 8:03 pm

Thanks for sharing Buck! I enjoyed reading your reply. Also, welcome to the site!!! It's great to have you here with us. It sounds like you've got a really good sponsor and that you have been reading the Big Book, and taking the actions necessary to recover!!! It's always refreshing when I see someone take hold of the 12 Steps they way you are doing. And, I appreciate you sharing your experience and your adventures with us. Keep it up!!!

Best regards to you,

Dallas
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby JR » Fri May 05, 2006 3:32 am

Buck,

I really liked what you said about forgiveness. I am a firm believer that the steps are a process by which we learn to forgive ourselves and we learn to forgive others. It is also a process by which we learn to accept God's forgiveness. It is often difficult to believe God will forgive us, but I like you, believe that we are already forgiven and it is a matter of a psychic change which allows us to accept that forgiveness as being real and deserved. How do we achieve that psychic change? Through the steps. It is called a Spiritual Awakening. It is the result of practicing all of the steps and putting them to practical use in our daily lives. Dr. Bob summed it up as "Love and Service."

We alcoholics are quite lucky. Most spiritual practices require years, perhaps decades of dedicated practice to achieve Awakening and even then it would be very un-humble to claim you are awakened. For us alcoholics, we need that awakening if we are to live at all. We will die without it. The 12 steps are the process by which we can achieve a psychic change and enter a new life as a new being. AMAZING!! And like you, I believe it is about forgiveness.

It is never too soon to start the steps if you meet the BB test. The BB says that if you have decided you want we have and are ready to go to any length to get it then you are ready to take the steps.

Thanks for responding to my post,

Jr
JR
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:24 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Postby Rusty Zipper » Fri May 05, 2006 1:06 pm

o'la Buck, nice to meet you... and a howd'y JR... step 7! ...this one is a little easier for me today.... as i work'd frantictly on step six.... another i'sm.... the flaws said "No Never to" well they just seam'd to slither away.... no concisous thinking about them... well cept when i do, or say something like a ass... it hits me right smack in the face.... i dont have to go away and think... wait a min, do you know what you just did? said, or thought? ... time is a remakable thing when coupled with the 12 steps... the more I, ME, stay out of the way. Keep the Band of Gypsy's away... the more change there is in me.... i aint gunna kid anyone, flaws!, ha!... ppfftt, i have brought the numbers a bit, down to about 326.... used to be about 525,600 ### any idea what that represents?#### of um.... hahahahaha.... i keep on keep'n on, do'n what i do best, recovery... and mabe i might the # down to under a hundred! we see, possibilities........ agw, & tol, Z
Rusty Zipper
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:19 pm
Location: My Room in CT.

Postby anniemac » Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:05 pm

First off, I'm going to say that really, I don't try to be difficult; it just seems to come naturally to me. :oops:

Step 7 has always rubbed me the wrong way. I have "done" the Step formally, but truthfully I don't know how sincere I was with it.

I did come to believe in a power greater than myself. And I do believe that that power can restore me to sanity. However, I just don't believe in a "puppet-master" kind of God (don't mean to be offensive; just don't know how else to describe it).

So, along those lines, I have great difficulty believing that God "removes" defects of character. I'm more along the lines of "God helps those who helps themselves", and that if I work hard at finding healthy substitutes for these defects (because nature abhors a vacuum so I have to find something to replace them with) and be conscious of implementing them in my life, then my life will be more alligned with God's will for me. Yet, I just don't see God actually removing them from me.

Am I splitting hairs and getting hung up on semantics?

And then, what happens when for all intents and purposes, these defects seem to be gone, for a long stretch of time, and them, WHAM, there it is again, rearing it's ugly head. What does that mean, in context of this Step? That I was a bad girl and God is punishing me by returning that defect to me? That's not the impression I'd like to have of God, but then, what else would the answer be?

Then I hear people say that God removes these defects in God's time, not mine. However, according to my beliefs, God is in the Now, that is the only place where God exists -- therefore, God's time is always Now.

If anyone can stop shaking their heads in dismay long enough to gently respond, I'd love to hear what you think of what I think!!

:D
anniemac
 
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Postby Rusty Zipper » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:21 pm

annie, how ya? ... ppfftt!, semantics... shmantics... you go right ahead and split all the hairs you like... thats "Action" just what recovery is all about for me... ask. ask, ask... get all the imformation you can... you will find whats right for you... and when you find it. it may change, then change again, and maybe even again... it did for me.

annie, there's that word we can tend to forget, "Humbly"... humbly ask''d God to remove the shortcomings. theres that line "When our will conforms with Gods will" and i have to always remember it's the God of my understanding. for me, my God does not want me to lie, cheat, steal...ect... my God doesnt want me to take all my natural instinct and run them amuck... everything i did was over the top. the extreems... always more, more, more. after beating myself up sencely trying to remove all of my flaw's... and i had a few, lol... stil do mad'a of fact... i'm aware of them now when they Pop goes the Weasle. yikes! they stand out glaringly most of the time. annie, i found the answer was in my pocket. my 90 day coin... yep, i took it out, and realy got into what is written on it.


"To Thine Own Self be True"

"Unity, Service, and Recovery" ... and the Flip side, yep! the Serenity Prayer...

annie, once i realy look'd at the self's in my make-up ### self-centeredness #### and gave them a by-by................ Vou'la, the new improved me... i may not sound very humble right now... but it's my way of passing on what i have traveled...


so annie, when i'm not get'n nerved up cause the dude at the Gas pump is pump'n to slow. not trying to plan the outcome of today, or manipulating into tommorow, i think i'm on my way.



all good wishes annie, and give a little love, ................ xxoo, PC



ps, i live in the armpit of the East, Conneticut... rotfl :roll:
Rusty Zipper
 
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:19 pm
Location: My Room in CT.

Postby Dallas » Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:41 am

Great discussion!!! Step 7. I'm not sure how I missed your post to it, Anne. :lol:

Step Seven has grown to be more to me now, in my understanding of Step 7, and how I use that Spiritual principle today, than it meant to me, when I actually took Step Seven for the first time. What an awesome experience that was! An experience I can't (and wouldn't want) to ever forget! (That incredible!).

I enjoy reading what Bill W., wrote about Step Six and Step Seven in the book 12 Steps & 12 Traditions.

For me, Step Seven is... first of all Ego deflating... reminds me that I do need the help of a Higher Power as I understand it... to make progress with the Character Building.... which is a direct result of spiritual progress. (Kind of like a way to measure whether I'm really making Spiritual progress... or whether it's one of those little airy thoughts in my head).

It reminds me that I'll never reach perfection... in regards to the character building... which provides the room for me to forgive myself when I do it wrong... and still provide me with a guideline towards perfection... progress that I can continually work towards.

If I'm really changing on the inside... like my head can tell me that I'm doing or not doing... my list of character defects can provide a yardstick for me to measure my progress in reality. (Which may or may not be according to what my head is telling me). :wink:

On page 88, of the Big Book, Bill wrote... "We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined."

He wrote this as the next-to-last paragraph of Chapter 6, Into Action, before he goes into an indepth discussion of Step 12, in Chapter 7.

What did Bill just outline... that could be used as a simple way for God to discipline us? I think the answer to that, is on page 85, "the spiritual program of action."

On page 85, we are reminded of the importance of "daily spiritual progress."

How do I make daily spiritual progress? I make it through my actions... and my actions then change my thinking... and as my thinking and perceptions are changed... it influences my future actions.... in the cycles of changing for the better. And, when I change, from the inside out, for the better... my life continually gets better and better. And, as my life is continually getting better and better... I discover that it's because I'm continually making the efforts to change... and, as a result of these "actions that I'm forced to take... if I want to live happy, joyous and free... while sober"... have turned what first appeared to be a curse... into a cure!

My alcoholism forces me to treat it.... I can either treat it through the application of Spiritual Principles... or by drinking. :wink: There are tremendous benefits for me to treat it with Spiritual Principles... and there can be tremendous tragedies when I don't.

Dallas

Little added note here: Steps 4-9, as practiced in Step 10... remind me, that true Spiritual Progress... is not made simply by retiring into a routine of "prayer and meditation..."... "faith without works is dead." :wink:
Dallas
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:05 pm
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas USA

Postby wareagle10 » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:12 am

Hey Annie: I read your post on step 7; I don't know how to reply in a way that won't also offend those on the board. I have a habit of doing that from time to time. I have always had a hard time with the removal of defects of character by God. I happen to have the same mindset regarding God help's those who help themselves. I used to think a lot about God, I have had no formal training in religion or a God, so I have a lot of trouble with the God steps, they are extremely difficult for me.

That being said, I try to be the best person that I can, that does not mean that I don't lie from time to time, or that I don't have evil thoughts, I do. But I don't get into them and play around with them. I try to get out of that part of my head as fast as I can. I try, TRY, to replace them with good thoughts of others and, yeah, for me. I figured that if God had all this power how come he let me puke in all those alleys and ME. Why would a God allow someone to get lost in that dark world I was in??? When I came to AA I came in with the attitude that I would not drink no matter what, that did not include getting on my knees and asking a God that I had no faith in to rescue me. I was the one that poured the booze down my gullett and so I was responsible for getting myself sober. I found some crusty old winos that helped me along those lines, some were believers and some were not. I got sober working the program that I could work as outlined by AA and Bill W's writings in the "Language of the Heart", I worked the steps as best I COULD, not according to someone else's idea of how I SHOULD WORK THEM. You know what? It's been a lot of years since my last drink and I am a pretty happy guy, many things have changed since those first days, many changes of attitudes and ideas and beliefs. I am still changing all the time and who knows, I may even be able to find that elusive God along the way. I do know this, the program will work even if it isn't done to perfection, I've got the rest of my life to work on that.

I enjoyed your post and hope to see more.

Take care and straight ahead, John.
wareagle10
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:10 am
Location: Costa Mesa, California

Postby Buck V » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:24 pm

Step 7 - This was a toughie for me when I first encountered it (as I previously posted). Just the asking part really hung me up. But that's all I'm doing is asking...not demanding....and not necessarily expecting to wake up tomorrow free of my shortcomings. By asking, I'm able to better put my shortcomings and defects into perspective, to recognize them better, if you will, so that I may deal with them in a manner which I feel is in my HP's will for me. I think that the phrase "God helps those who help themselves" is very apt for this step. I help myself by following the principles of this program and by trying to apply them in all my affairs. And I've noticed that by doing so, my defects and shortcomings, while still there (and probably always will be) have become more manageable. And I attribute this "progress, not perfection" to my HP. For me, this step, as with all of the the other steps, wasn't just something I "did", checked off the block, and moved onto the next, it's something this alcoholic has to "do" on a daily basis. And life keeps getting better.

Thanks for letting me share.

Buck
Buck V
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 5:15 pm
Location: Oak Island, NC

Next

Return to 12 Steps

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest









.








12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - Step 7