Endigar 797

From Courage to Change of March 5;

When I first started working the Steps, the thought of having my character defects removed made me very nervous. I thought I would end up like a chunk of Swiss cheese, full of holes. But I wanted to get better and I was continually assured that the Steps were the key to my recovery, so I went forward in spite of my fears. I had to take the risk and act on faith before I could receive the gifts my Higher Power held out to me.

Nowhere in Steps Four through Seven do we ask God to add anything, but rather to take away the things we do not need. I found that every single defect that was removed had been hiding an asset. I didn’t lose myself at all. Instead, as I let go of the things I didn’t need, I made room for my strengths, skills, and feelings to become more fully a part of my life. I take comfort in this, because it reminds me that everything I need is already present. But I couldn’t be sure until I worked the Steps and found some relief from my shortcomings.

Today’s Reminder

God knows exactly what I need and has already given it to me. My job is to keep it simple and ask for God’s help in relieving me of the extra stuff –the shortcomings that keep me tied down.

“Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised.” ~ American Proverb

END OF QUOTE—————————————

What if an Alcoholic or an Adult Child of an Alcoholic in my life has helped indoctrinate me to believe that some aspect of normal living is offensive? What if I am taught never to trust “outsiders,” and that the family is different because we are the only ones on the planet that have any dammed sense at all. The result could be a blinding fog of guilt and betrayal in reaching out for help. On a Fourth Step inventory, I might list my lack of devotion to family as my short-coming. That is where my twisted guilt would guide me wrong. I would need an inventory that helps me understand what I need to keep (the ability to reach out) as well as what needs to be removed.

For me, I condemned myself for the weakness of letting love keep me from doing “what needs to be done.” I was proud of being able to harden my heart to attempt to control the chaos of self-will run riot in my family environment. I needed to be able to let go of this dubious skill and embrace my ability to love, even when it meant letting those close to me reap the consequences of their own agency. To love is not weakness. To violate another’s free will in the name of love is predatory enslavement. I cannot engage in this activity without myself becoming enslaved to parasitic spirits. I honor the free will of others, of my God, and of myself. The Steps have helped me pick off the parasites of my mind and heart and to get to know who I truly am; what to value and what to shun. This is never a solitary work for me. It is part of the adventure of building a relationship with my Higher Power and the network of the higher Self in recovery.

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