REVISED VERSION OF PERSONAL SHARING AT ONLINE MEETING
April 18, 2013
My thoughts are running through all the steps, this morning, and I am seeing that these many years has been a process of surrendering my pride--my stubborn self-sufficient (like a 2 year old insisting, "No! Me! Me do it!.") soul to deeper and deeper levels of the truth.
I see that steps 1-3 usually covers the beginning of the journey, the process of "recovery," of awakening, of "coming to ourselves," specifically about what we have been doing that is detrimental to our lives. We hear "turn our will and lives" over to God and we think in terms of this or that thing that we need to do differently.
Then we get to Steps 4-5, and we're not just asked to inventory our "DOINGS," but also our beliefs and thoughts and feelings. Those invisible, "inner life" motives and motivations that moved us to DO the doings. This is where we must get introspective at a deeper level and ask ourselves, Why did I act out? What was I thinking? What was I feeling? And the deepest, most important question of all: What was I believing? In other words: What was I believing about myself, about life, about God, etc. . . . that set me to thinking and feeling--and finally to doing whatever the not-good doing was?
And after Steps 4-5 get us to face that it isn't JUST our doings that we need to face the truth about, but it is about our very CHARACTER -- we come to Steps 6-7. And Step 6 says that during it we are going to "become entirely ready to have GOD remove our defects. Here we go again! Something else we can't do for ourselves. Though in our still harbored ego/pride, we will try. And try and try and try and try and try . . . and try (you get the picture, I'm sure).
In my recovery journey, I’ve been living that “picture” for a number of years: Trying, striving, trying, failing. Trying to be a better person. Trying to change my character, my heart. Trying to get past my self-pity and self-will and self-righteousness (my need to be right). And FINALLY admitting to myself, to God and to others that I can not make myself a better person. I have given lip service to the truth that only God can change a heart (character), but it has taken me years to humble myself and surrender to that truth in my own soul.
In awe of God’s patience and kindness and long-suffering toward me, I stand all amazed today that through all of these Step 6 years, He has never abandoned me, never gotten impatient or frustrated with me. Instead He has continued to be gracious and generous toward me, favoring me with His Spirit and His communion, His counsel and comfort on any and ever occasion I have sought it from Him. And, just lately, I have been realizing that I am finally coming to the “end of myself,” to the end of my willful self-righteousness (need to be right, need to be my own savior). In other words, I am finally arriving at Step 7 and accepting life on God's terms–which terms are that mortality is a state of existence where I must learn to love and accept and have compassion on imperfection–in myself as well as in others.
As I allow this acceptance of life on God’s terms, as mortal and messy, imperfect as it is, I'm finally experiencing a degree of humility, a willingness to cast away impatience and judgment, even towards myself, deeper than I have ever known before.
I think I may soon be ready to move on to Steps 8-9 and revisit them with a heart truly free of negative feelings--able to see me and everyone else with the same compassion so that my desire to make amends may be genuine and more thorough than ever before.
No questions, no advice, just sharing
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