This segment of HTYH is the beginning of Barleycorn’s discussion on Step-Seven, “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” I began with a book titled, Daily Reflections written by AA members for AA members and since July is the seventh month, it correlates with Step-Seven, DF read: We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the Twelve Steps. Willingness, honesty and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery and it then gave the credit for that quote to page 568 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous and it continued with: Am I honest enough to accept myself as I am and let this be the “me” that I let others see? Do I have the willingness to, “go to any length, to do whatever is necessary to stay sober?” Do I have the open-mindedness to hear what I have to hear, to think what I have to think, and to feel what I have to feel?
If my answer to these questions is “YES,” I know enough about the spirituality of the Twelve-Steps to stay sober. As I continue to work the steps of recovery, I move on to the heart of true sobriety: serenity with myself, with others, and with God as I understand Him.
However, when I checked DF’s reference to page 568 in the Third Edition of “Alcoholics Anonymous,” it quoted something quite different, it said perhaps something of more importance, the only words written on page 568 of the Third Edition said: That the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him, who presides over us all.
The Third Edition quote is similar to something said in Doctor Bob Smith’s last lead, “What about humility, when something good happened in our lives did we give the credit to God? Or, did we say something like… Hey, look at me boys, pretty good huh…
Sgt. Bill S. said in his Step Seven comments written on page 300, “On the military firing line, Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”. During the process of their addiction, individuals become more and more self-centered and unwilling to admit their own intellectual limitations. Alcoholics and drug addicts come into treatment convinced that they already know all the answers, and that they know more than the other people around them, whom they look upon as misguided and fools-as stupid people who need to be corrected and brought into line. And, if these other people refuse to be “corrected,” they are convinced that they are fully justified in rebelling against their stupidity.
But one of the major forms of true humility is the willingness to learn. Admitting that we do not have all the answers in fact provides an enormous feeling of new freedom, and dissolves away our false pride and arrogance. Furthermore, developing a willingness to start overcoming our own shortcomings is a sign of emotional growth. In this step we become willing to embrace change and positive growth at deeper and deeper levels of our lives.
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