Step Seven

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.


My name is Dodee and I'm a compulsive eater.

I'm having a hard time writing about the 7th Step. As I look at the readings and try to put it into words, I am experiencing humility. Does the seem too simple? We get ready to ask our HP to remove our shortcomings and then in the 7th Step, we just do it?

One of my favorite 2nd Step sayings is "there is a God. I'm not it." This reminds me to take my rightful place in the world.

And so we get to that little word "humbly".

In the AA 12x12, it says that the reason we have defects is that we try to get more than our share. Perhaps we think we deserve more than other people. So we need to be brought down to earth.

From the AA 12x12, page 74.

But when we have taken a square look at some of these defects . . and have become willing to have them removed, our thinking about humility commences to have a wider meaning. By this time in all probability we have gained some measure of relief from our most devastating handicaps. We enoy moments in which there is something like real peace of mind.


Until now our lives have been largely devoted to running from pain and problems. We fled from them as from a plague. We never wanted to deal with the fact of suffering. Escape via food was always our solution.

It says that as we listen to other OAers who have learned to be humble, we see that it is something to be desired.

And so we go back once more to our list of defects. We look for the ways that humility is the opposite of our defects.

In my fantasy life, I was always better than others. I was the prettiest, the smartest and the most important. When I apply humility to the quotient and ask humbly to have this shortcoming removed, I see that it is ok to not be the best nor the worst. I am given serenity when I strive to just be.

The OA 12 x 12 also talks about humility. It reminds us that many of our defects were self-seeking. Many of us felt "less-than" so we acted like we were "more-than."

Here's my favorite quote about humility from the OA 12 x 12., on page 60.

"Humility places us neither above nor below other people on some imagined ladder of worth. It places us exactly where we belong, on an equal footing with our fellow beings and in harmony with God."

Am I afraid to have my defects removed? Maybe some of them. For the most part, my HP has filled my life so that I no longer have time to spend in fantasy. I no longer have to use the first three steps to keep my mind from going there.

The OA 12 x 12 also warns us about getting new defects as we are getting rid of the old ones. Self-righteousness and smugness are mentioned.

It also says that we shouldn't be surprised when we find new defects; that we can only see a certain amount at a time.

So we look at the list of defects and say a prayer with complete willingness to have all our known defects removed. We know that we will never be perfect, but we accept ourselves humbly. We also accept the fact that we will be shown more defects as we continue to work the program.

The Big Book gives us a prayer:

When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." We have then completed Step Seven.


1. Were any of your defects about trying to get more than your share?

2. Were any of them about trying to be better than others? (self-seeking)

3. Were any of your defects ways to avoid pain and suffering?

4. Can you see how your defects stand in the way of your usefulness to HP and others?

5. Can you picture your life without these defects? How would it change?

6. Have you experienced serenity (peace of mind)?

7. In what ways have you done a 7th Step?

8. What is the most important thing you've learned about this step?

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