Filling the defect void with livable assets
There is a partnership in step 7 that says if we take the weight of our character defects and transfer them to the shoulders of a higher power, the load will be light, and execution will be much more successful.
This certainly is based on the strength of Step 2, in which we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, and Step 3, where we made that decision to turn our lives over to the care of that higher power. So then, taking inventory in steps 4 and 6, we identified areas of the desired change.
Step seven has us embracing a partnership that we had already pre-arranged.
Think about the strength of a mechanical bobcat as it picks up mass amounts of rock faster and more efficiently than a single human.
Friend Karen joined Mike and Glenn in discussing the 7th step of a 12-step program on a sober coffee podcast that aired on May 26, 2021. The session was filled with knowledge nuggets and some walk-away action steps that helped the cohosts. You can hear the episode here.
Step Seven and Forgiveness
How does step seven help us in the area of forgiveness? First, we discovered that learning that we are human affords us the acknowledgment that others are also human and flawed. “As we forgive our trespassers.” See, we can forgive others as we have been forgiven. This by no means condones terrible behavior, but it does preclude us from carrying an unnecessary and unhealthy grudge.
Can we find balance in this new life?
The challenge is to live on the other side of the defective character tree. That other side finds assets. Filling the “now what” void takes effort, honest work, and willingness.
If we take off a character defect or shortcoming in our personality, should a character asset fill the void left? If we no longer hate, then shouldn’t the action be love? If we no longer control, then shouldn't our action be meek? If we are no longer conceited, shouldn’t our actions be humility? If we are no longer dishonest, then shouldn’t our action be honesty? If we are no longer suspicious, shouldn’t our action be trusting? Etc. (to be a complete list of opposites, click here)
For some, it's as simple as minor modifications. For others, like us, it is a complete teardown and rebuild. We felt that reality early on, but the effort was well worth it as we came to appreciate the new beings being formed. This rebuild would have seemed insurmountable into unattainable had it not been for our willingness to humble ourselves to a power greater than ourselves who could work this magic within.
We find that these new standards are what we work for now. They provide two clear benefits: A) they make us a better person within and to be around, and B) they transform our old selves into new selves that don't need to drink or drug to drown the effects of a personality shortcoming.
Some of these take actual practice to become natural responses. But, like anything that involves change, pain or uncomfortableness is more significant in the beginning than at the end.
There Is peace and assurance that we claim - to become the people we always wanted to be.
There is freedom and confidence that comes with positive transformation.
You see, the whole purpose of this step is to fit us, to eliminate the defects that stand in the way of our usefulness to God and others. Said another way: We can't be of full service if we carry rocks of separation.
Step 2 promises that there is a power greater than myself that can restore me to sanity. This doesn't stop at the drink as it starts in the heart.
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #8 Step 7 - Karen joins to Chat about "Humbly asked Him...."The podcast dropped on 3/15/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own