When I took the sixth and seventh steps in 2015, I experienced a profound shift in my thinking. The deep action of examining my defects and their corresponding assets revealed to me the truth of myself as Higher Power would have me be. I am now able to recognize my positive behaviors and give myself credit. Likewise, I am able to name my negative behaviors, ask HP to remove them, let them go and focus on my positive behaviors and program principles, especially service.Under the direction of my sponsor, I studied Drop the Rock and reexamined steps 6 & 7 in 2016. Working them again has led to another profound discovery. I understand more completely the importance of willingness and humility. Willingness is the bedrock of program for without willingness, we would not even be in the rooms or working our programs. I believe willingness is a component to all the steps. We need willingness to accept powerlessness, willingness to extend hope, willingness to open ourselves to faith, willingness to invite courage and integrity into our lives, etc.
Another lesson from reworking steps 6 & 7 is how Higher Power is working in my life through my defects and assets. Humility now allows me to see my worth as EQUAL to others. As I heard in the rooms, “I am not the center of the universe. I am not the worst piece of shit.” The belief in my equality frees me to contemplate Higher Power’s works in my life. Without humility, I was too busy either condemning or congratulating myself to see how Higher Power uses me as a tool to help others and myself.
Therefore, I am examining Higher Power’s work on me through my behavior patterns. I see a marked difference in many of my behaviors: selfishness and perfectionism have both receded somewhat taking with them all the sub-behaviors such as lying, control and self-hatred. Through abstinence and working my program, Higher Power works in my life with miraculous results.
I have seen the biggest impact in my life through the reduction of fear, control and grandiosity/inferiority. Fear and control seem to work in concert in my life, causing me much grief and anxiety. Especially fears regarding the future and the safety of my son, the future and me relapsing, the future and me working step nine, the future and Elie’s success or failure in college, the future and our current political environment. Fear slowly dissipating by Higher Power allows me to more fully and easily accept the world as it is instead of being fearful, angry and hopeless that I can’t control the world.
Grandiosity and inferiority consumed me in relationship to my talents. Often, I either regarded my writing as the best of the best or my vain and ridiculous attempt to express myself. Higher Power freed me to see my writing as a talent expressed for the benefit of others and HP. My talent is a gift from HP; practicing and sharing my writing is my gift to HP.
My relationships with others and myself have vastly improved due to HP lifting perfectionism and selfishness. When I see my relationships as dynamic and not centered around myself and my ability to please everyone in my life, I witness others more clearly, and I am better equipped to identify my negative reactions and then take steps to remedy my behavior. I am also better able to accept my powerlessness over others and simply focus on my behavior and how I am influencing the situation. Higher Power opened my mind to the fact that my negativity begets negativity while my positivity begets positivity. Therefore, while I cannot control others, my reactions and behaviors may influence the environment in which others operate.