Monday, August 3, 2009

Step Seven.

"Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings."

I reached this Step, and the word "Humbly" brought me to a screeching halt. I couldn't get past it; it was a monumental roadblock to my progress.

I was stuck. On one word.

The very arrogance which was one of my worst character defects, now barred me from moving forward in my recovery, because it wouldn't allow me to consider choosing to be humble.

My definition of "humble" at that time was: obsequious, subservient, timid, servile.

My sponsor, God bless her, suggested that I pray for a different definiton of humble. I recall sitting in her kitchen, fiddling with the salt and pepper shakers as we spoke (I was a great fidgeter back then, it was an sign of my inner turmoil) and wondering, how would that help? She pointed out that it was my definition of the word that was interfering with my recovery, so, ask my Higher Power to give me a new definition!

Years later, she would laugh uncontrollably at the memory of the look on my face when she made this suggestion, and my terse reply of, "Sure; presto, chango!"

I went home and dutifully prayed for a new definition of "Humbly." One morning a week or so later, I woke up, and the first thought that went through my head was, "I'm allowing my shortcomings to be the reason I can't ask God to remove my shortcomings!" It made me laugh aloud to realise that. I decided that rather than pray for a new definiton of "humble," I needed to pray to be granted humility. If I couldn't get there on my own, I could be willing to be taken there in God's hands.

It worked. As always, when I am truly willing, miracles happen. Icefloes of long-held resentment melt and shift; rigid barricades to recovery crumble and fall. If I am on my knees (in reality, or just spiritually) and delighted with the feeling of willingness suffusing me, I am near to God, and I feel His presence.

From the ODAT, page 61:

"The attitude of true humility confers dignity and grace on us, and strengthens us to take intelligent spiritual action in solving our problems."

"...intelligent spiritual action..." - I love that.


  1. It takes a very strong person to display humility. That is what I was always taught. Humility is a strength, not a weakness. Beautiful post.

  2. It doesn't mean that I am humiliated but remain humble. There is such a difference. Humility speaks to my willingness to surrender.