Welcome Home and welcome back champions! We are the winners! The only losers in OA, are the ones who fail to keep coming back! Our daily goal is "abstinence."
Defined as:" freedom from compulsive over eating and behaviors while working toward a healthy body weight." Notice it is not defined as trying to get skinny. Or congratulations your skinny jeans fit! No, it is not defined as working toward getting skinny because skinny is not healthy, healthy is healthy!
As an anorexic and even now, (yes says the 500 pound woman), I sometimes slip & say, " I just want to be skinny!" Stinking thinking telling me being skinny is the answer to all of my problems today. Sure seems like the answer to all of my prayers at times! I now realize that acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today, because even at my anorexic weight with IV's in my neck is a very good indicator to me that life is not just grand or a happy place because I am skinny, I am more than a number on the scale. (No matter my weight be severely under weight ,malnourished from self starvation or super morbidly obese from compulsive over eating. I have been both).
Then I got sent to rehab at 565 pounds for falling and crushing both of my kneecaps trying to get back up from the floor. At Rehab I saw burn victims, victims from car wrecks, tornadoes with only one leg left, no legs, or one arm. There were amputee victims from diabetes, gangrene, and there were extremely emaciated skinny people there crying. bawling loudly from excruciating pain being moved during physical therapy. Crying out and moaning because it hurt them so much, & their bones would break if not moved just right! These frail, skinny people looked to be right on the brink of death! I saw every kind of disabled person while I was in Rehab.
I was SO afraid to walk in front of anyone, anyone, I don't even to this day like to walk in front of my own Son, or mother! Judgment comes, when judgment comes and from whomever, sadly in this ole world. But I started walking, able to walk with a walker to walk about 20 steps while huffing and puffing for my next breath and then the next and especially when I sat down. I did it afraid,I did it in pain, I just did it. Then I made it up to about 50 steps & when I was done, they clapped for me, they applauded my efforts! I cried, I was SO so humbled to be able to DO things these people were not able to do. Skinny is not healthy just as super morbid obesity is not healthy, (says the anorexic 500 pound woman). My prayer is now to be healthy! I am SO blessed you are on the road to health and a happy destiny with me! Thank you so much for coming back. I am so blessed, and learning so much from your Experience, Strength and Hopes! I am not alone!
STEP SEVEN: "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE: Humility
(Humility: A modest opinion of ones own importance. Not thinking you are better than other people. A quality of being courteously respectful of others.). Humility is an awareness of who we are today and a willingness to become who we can be!
(Shortcomings: character defect, flaws, sin, grosser handicaps; the real root of our dis ease; holding onto unhealthy resentments, fear, dishonesty & selfishness The trigger, the cause of acting out in addiction).
Abstinence is based on our daily fit spiritual condition, not our food plan. Abstinence is HOW we eat. Food plan is WHAT we eat. We do not BINGE (or believe, I, Am, Not, Good, Enough). Spirituality: is about changing our attitude about pain & discomfort. It is looking through the pain to see the beauty of what is coming!
Low self esteem & thinking I am the fattest, ugliest, worth nothing, worst kind of human being on the planet is not humility. That is humiliation! Shame, guilt, embarrassment, worthlessness is all humiliation. All shame & guilt are from the enemy, never ever from God. Feeling superior, better than every one else. or others, and a sense of entitlement; also NOT humility, however will eventually lead you to humiliation. That is false PRIDE. Pride leads always to a fall. You may set high on your throne for a time, even if it is a long time, however God is a good, fair, honest judge, and one day we all receive judgment, as God is a just God. Humility tells me I am a child of God & to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, & to love my neighbor as myself. Service for me keeps me very, very humble. You see I may hold a very low opinion of myself at 500 pounds if I have "comparitis." (Comparing my weight to your weight or a model from Victoria Secrets with a rocking body. if you will). However through allowing God to fill the God shaped hole in my soul that all that darkness, that incestuous evil sexual attacks on my body & soul, all the violence and abandonment from my childhood taught me everything about body shame, hate, guilt & worthlessness. However, when I found God, through Jesus and heard how He loved me so much that He died for me, how He came a little baby in the Manger, so I could see His pure LOVE & innocence; something I always wanted, to how He rose again from the dead, so I would know there are miracles, I found HOPE. That is the hope I have this very day, the love I have this very day, the miracle I hold on to, to know "ALL things are possible with God!" I suppose releasing 245 pounds to His care is another miracle to keep me going and coming back tomorrow for another miracle day of not trying to starve the pain away or stuff it away! God is able, I just have to DO my part, the spiritual action to get my daily fit spiritual condition of abstinence! Thank You God for this one abstinent day, this abstinent week! I pray you had one as well, and for the willingness you need to eat and exercise in a God honoring way. Through God I continue to learn what humility is. Jesus set the perfect example. Although THE highest King, He came to serve. I pray to pray like a beggar, serve like a slave, and to rejoice like a Saint. Oh to follow and serve Jesus. It is sweeter than all the food in the Land. (This is my HP. please just use your own, I am not trying to offend, simply sharing what works for me). Being a Servant of God is the highest attainment in OA.
Humility tells me to keep my recovery I need to give it away! So as I work the 12 Steps and use the 9 tools, I am daily reminded to practice these Spiritual Principles in ALL of my affairs. If you don't yet have true humility, we can also ask God to bless us with this gift, He truly will. What He does for one, He will do for all. He is the same.
The first word in this Step is Humbly, we are to with a modest opinion of ourselves and with the highest opinion of God. ask Him to remove our shortcomings. The Seventh Step Prayer is so appropriate for this. Here we take our inventory list of our grosser handicaps asking God to remove by root (the cause) and by branch (every area in our lives the shortcoming or character defect has had its affects or effects upon, and for God to instead bless us with the corresponding asset. If we had fear on our Character Defect List we would ask God for faith (the exact opposite). If we had resentment, we would ask for forgiveness. If we listed argumentative, we would ask God for peace, for tolerance, patience. If we had listed pride as the defect, we would humbly ask God for humility. We go over this list again with our trusted Sponsor or Spiritual Advisor. So I pray something to the affect of Father God remove from me the defect of character of pride by root and branch, and bless me humbly with the asset of humility. Take from me the shortcoming of anger by root and branch and bless me with tolerance & patience. Father God humbly take from me the defect of fear, by root & branch, & bless me with more and more faith in Jesus Mighty Name Amen. Jesus is My HP). I do this for each and every defect until the list is complete. Also if by chance there are any assets I am lacking I simply humbly ask God to add to me the assets of; patience, tolerance, mercy, grace, faith, acceptance, willingness. Until the asset list is complete as well. True humility is an awareness of who we are today and a willingness to become who we can be!
I must say the 245 pounds has been a tremendous blessing! I may not be where I want to be, however thank God, I am not where I use to be! However as much as the weight release is so wonderful for me. The freedom from all of the character defects I came in with, the peace of God that passes all understanding, the awareness of acceptance, the gift of willingness, the gift of surrender, the emotional sobriety and peace, I would trade for nothing in this world!! That committee turning OFF in my head, the absolute serenity and love of and in God, is the greatest gift I possess. Being spiritually fit, daily, one day at a time, while I seek God and not food, literally saved my life, and continues to save my life. It only took me 12 Steps to get out of hell, and nine tools to continue to walk in freedom and not bondage. The obsession of my mind was a literal hell, The allergy of the body, and the obsession of this dis ease are KILLER!! A mind is a terrible thing to waste. A waist is a terrible thing to mind! It is all Mental. Mental chaos, chatter, confusion it is ALL of the enemy, the devil himself, for God is NOT the author of confusion. A confused mind does NOTHING. Let's get free from all of the character defects blocking your freedom from compulsive over eating. It REQUIRES spiritual action to get your spiritual miracle, and ALL we have is a daily reprieve. This is a must DO every day for freedom from this dis ease. If we had cancer and we were told we had to take this pill to survive, you know you would be taking that pill. This is that pill; Spiritual Action.. Take as needed EVERY SINGLE DAY to LIVE and not Die!! If I am thinking about the food, and I have only worked one tool, say going to a Meeting, and I am still thinking of the food, I have 8 more tools to get me free, I will write, call my Sponsor, reach out, give a service call. Be a Sponsor, Journal, Pick up the Phone, Read my Bible, Listen to a Preacher, Christian Music, Pray, Meditate, Work on my Action Plan, or help another with their Action Plan. I have to build my maintain my house, so the walls don't fall in on my and crush me. These shortcomings and character defects will crush you.Let's humbly ask God to remove your shortcomings. The pain from my past, the wreckage and debris shot through every fiber and very fabric of my being as FEAR is my first, second, every childhood memory is all out of FEAR; or (False. Evidence, Appearing, Real), so I put on a show, I truly became a chameleon in this life to survive. I thought if I pleased people they would not harm me, and even that is not true. So this crushing of my pride, the leveling of character defects truly continues to help me be the person God created me to be, and not who I created to survive and get by or be safe, and I never was safe because it was all false! So becoming who God intended for me continues to be a miraculous healing journey of my soul. for our soul is our mind, our will and our emotions. So as the layers of fat are being chiseled off by God as I release them to His loving care, so are the defects of character as I become willing that He should have all of me; the good, bad, & ugly! I pray He does chisel away every single defect of character which stands in your way of being useful to Him, and your fellows! You too will be forever changed and so happy you are! Let's get to work. Please share your character defect list with your trusted Sponsor and then follow up by asking God to remove every defect by root and branch and ask Him to add every character asset. Oh I look forward to hearing all about your Recovery miracles! God reality changes your life. When God is real you are changed. I pray you continue daily; moment by moment surrender your will, food, life, sugar; all that you are & all that you have over to His loving care, and all of your defects of character. Get free!
For faith does for us what we could never do for ourselves. God can & will if you ask Him He will remove whatever self-will is blocking you off from your recovery!You must be completely ready, if you are not yet, pray God make me be willing to be willing for you to remove all of my defects of character. As Step 3 teaches us first the willingness comes, then the ability! Our willingness to act is priority, it shows our sincerity!
(I call this Step Seven, and Step Five; Spiritual Surgery, and it is a fail safe surgery as God is The Great Physician). Recovery Guaranteed! :)
Here is the Big Book Prayer to pray humbly, after you have given your list of character defects to your trusted Sponsor:
(If you don't have the gift of humility, start by actually asking for the genuine gift of humility). We are to pray this prayer on a daily basis from here on to be free.
The Seventh Step Prayer
from page 76 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
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
"Faith without works is dead."
Big Book: (p. 76, paragraph 2)
OA 12 Steps & 12 Traditions: (59-66)
STEP SEVEN: AA BIG BOOK:
I would like to remind you as the Big Book says, "We learn that those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program. If you are not yet willing, pray God make me willing to be willing to give myself over or surrender completely to this simple program For faith will do for us what we can not do for ourselves. God can and will remove these defects, these triggers if you ask Him
So we pray "My Creator, I am now willing that You should have all of me, good & 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 are to pray this prayer on a daily basis from here on to be free.
"Faith without works is dead."
OA 12 STEPS AND 12 TRADITIONS:
Having become completely ready we pray, however "humility" is a requirement, not option. A poor self image keeps us in bondage to self. Did you know that God sees you exactly how you really are, as He created you as He looks through the righteous lens of Jesus Christ and sees you healthy (not skinny, rather healthy body weight, soul and mind). He sees you free of every defect and loves you without exception. Compulsive overeating has kept us obsessed with our selves and our status, while humiliated with our inability to control our food. (true insanity). We fought for self esteem as our dis ease progresses and our compulsive over eating worsens. In OA we learn that humility is an awareness of who we are today and a willingness to become who we can be! We have admitted our need for help to live our lives and to let go of our self will to become our new selves and humbly willing for God to free us of our self defeating habits, attitudes and traits. Getting free of our shortcomings is not to be better than other people, it is to draw closer to who God created us to be, so we can become more of service to God and our fellows.
If and or when a defect returns, it is because we lack humility, because humility involves REAL acceptance. REAL acceptance says, "I am this way, ONLY with Your help God can I change!" As we are free, we are not smug, rather truly humble. We are genuinely relieved, and see the release of the defect a true miracle! Humility is a gift.Humility is such a gift, like our abstinence. If you don't have the gift of humility, start by actually asking for the genuine gift of humility. Having said this prayer to God we can continue on with the 12 Steps, we do not wait for perfect humility or absolute freedom from all of our character defects, as they are removed in God's time, not ours. We take our defect inventory list in a humble position to our trusted Sponsor and name our shortcomings individually asking humbly for God to remove them whenever and however He may want to. We express sour desire to be of more service to God and our fellows. We can not expect to immediately become perfect beings. We are to continue the 12 Steps and notice many defects will appear as we continue to do our housecleaning. Humility means we will no longer be shocked and horrified when we realize we have yet another character defect. In God's time, when God is ready, we will be given new insights to our character defects we will that is -if we are honestly working our Program. We accept our character defects, acknowledge our powerlessness to remove them from us and we go on with life & a new frame of mind, knowing that God will indeed remove the shortcoming. We must persist in visualizing and practicing better ways of life. We affirm that we are becoming honest nurturing, caring, wise and effective people. Our willingness to act is priority, it shows our sincerity! Effort on our part will help us appreciate the miracle! We take action and God removes our shortcomings. We are to practice Step Six and Seven everyday, humbly asking God to remove our defects in the light of His love. willing to take any action God may ask of us. If patient & persistent we will learn much about ourselves'why we feel & act the way we do. God will teach us how to even use a negative trait as a positive asset in our lives with our humble willingness to His will. Repeated practice of how daily work Step Six & Seven, helps us have a working relationship with God, which will help us be free from our defects of character that has blocked us from our usefulness to God and our fellows. Through new humility and freedom, God's power flows more easily through us, bringing healing to ourselves and others, bringing us all the things we truly wanted;self esteem, a feeling of usefulness, joy, peace, strength through difficulties, fellowship and love!
Simple prayers, humbly spoken are answered in miraculous way. As we open our lives to God's transforming power, God does for us what we could never do for ourselves! Those who leave everything in God's hands, will eventually see God's hand in everything! I pray you do leave it all in His hands!
NOW YOUR PART:
QUESTIONS FOR STEP SEVEN:
1. What is the difference between humility and humiliation"
2. What stops you from letting go, or gets in your way for allowing God to shape your life better than you could create for yourself?
3. After thorough self-examination in Steps Four through Six, what are you experiencing, such as self hatred, shame, guilt, or are you letting it all go and experiencing great freedom, what is your experience from your thorough self-examination?
4. How has addiction humbled you enough to open the door to God's forgiveness, and for you to be willing His removal of your character defects/shortcomings?
5. How have you compared your shortcomings, faults, & problems, to those who have greater, obvious blatant sins such as robbery, murder, & adultery to justify a deeper work in your heart & on your own shortcomings? What does this do for you?
6. What experiences in your family of origin have brought about self-sufficiency in your life? Are you now willing to let go of self-efficiency and pride to allow God to remove your shortcomings?
7. What is something positive, and your take away from Step Seven?
You are not quite done yet.......
1a. Are you yet willing to share your character defect list with your trusted Sponsor and humbly pray for God to remove your shortcomings and to add character assets needed?
1b. Do you have an appointment with your Sponsor, or trusted Spiritual Advisor to give away your shortcoming list, and to humbly pray for God to remove them, while adding the needed corresponding assets? When is your appointment, if not are you now praying for the willingness needed?
7th STEP "I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch." (p. 13 BB)
A Pre - Eighth Step Prayer: "God, Please remove my Fears and show me your truth. Show me all the harms I have caused with my behavior and help me be willing to make amends to one and all. Help me to be willing to go to any lengths for victory over compulsive over eating & behaviors."(76:3)
God can even hold ME in His hands!!
God bless n prayers,
The Twelve Steps