LEADER'S SHARE ~ STEP SEVEN|
"Humility leads to strength and not weakness. It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them." ~ John (Jay) McCloy
Even before I entered through the doors of OA I was very much aware of my relationship with pride. It came as no surprise to discover that it appeared on my step four inventory; top as it happened!
Pride gave me a false sense of belonging, it boosted my self-confidence, it bolstered my determination to "sort myself out" and it nourished my appetite for approval. The more I suffered on a quest for self-esteem the more I felt worthy of the prize. Blood, sweat and tears seemed a small price for a place on the role of honour. Ironically looking back at my behaviour, honourable it wasn't!
On entering through the doors of OA and upon reading step 7 for the first time, I channeled my energies into getting humble. I tackled this like I had all other challenges and rolled up my sleeves in readiness for the battle. I wanted to be humble so much that it hurt.
Now, thinking back, I chuckle at my attempts to "get humble." I was approaching the concept of meekness with a sledgehammer; I once again fell into the trap of thinking that the more I toiled the closer I got to my goal of humility. Again I was missing the point, I foolishly believed that "I" had anything to do with humility. I studied the subject long and hard, I climbed all over the problem, I applied logic and reasoning, I approached it from a variety of angles, until one day weary with my efforts and tapped out of ideas... I closed my eyes and prayed.
It was then that I experienced my first spiritual awakening, only at the time I didn't know this was what it was; all I felt was light-headed and kind of dizzy. The words, God's words, came so clearly "the more I try, the further away I get." It was then that I came to the understanding that when I become aware of humility, I've lost it!
I adopted the approach that I would "act as if," in the hope that somewhere along the road, I would achieve what it was I was seeking, only I accepted that I may never know I have reached my goal. But that this was OK!
Instead of becoming angry when other people became thoughtless, I prayed for them.
Instead of becoming bitter when I didn't get what I wanted, I prayed for those who did.
Instead of becoming prideful of my accomplishments I prayed a prayer of thanks.
Instead of becoming resentful I prayed a prayer of gratitude.
Pride is still mine enemy and my prayers have not really changed, except that today they are quicker off the tongue.