Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Seventh Step Prayer:
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
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: Page 76
Principle of Step Seven:
In Step Seven we began to understand the meaning of humility. We practice this principle today by continuing to let go of status seeking and of thoughts and actions by which we belittled ourselves and others, and to humbly trust God for the removal of our shortcomings.
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous: Page 105.
My Step Seven:
Hi, I am Cindi, a compulsive overeater. How do I work Step Seven? First, I need to understand the meaning of the word humility, which has nothing to do with being humiliated. I think the best meaning that I have ever heard is that humility means being open to being taught. Before I joined the Twelve Step program, I was a know-it-all. I had an answer for everything except how to stop overeating. I hated, absolutely hated, to be told how to do something. I thought I should already know and I would not ask questions if I could get away with it. My mind was closed tightly and nothing and no one could open it up. I thought asking questions meant I was too stupid to understand what I needed to know and I certainly did not want you to think I was stupid.
Then I come to the Twelve Step program and I must ask someone to sponsor me and have them guide me through the steps and how to work a daily program. Do you have any idea how difficult it was for me to ask someone for help? I absolutely was mortified to be asking someone else for help. But, thankfully at that time, I was so emotionally desperate I was willing to look stupid and ask. Then when someone said yes, I was absolutely livid! How dare they help me! But I swallowed my PRIDE and followed the sponsor’s suggestions on how to work the steps and a daily program. This was the beginning of my true recovery.
Pride was the key word for it was always pride that got in my way. I wanted to appear to be a person who had it altogether, was intelligent, witty, was a leader and so on and so on. I had to have that much pride to cover up the fact that I weighed in excess of 300 pounds. My giant-sized EGO was the exact opposite of humility.
When I am open to being taught, I am admitting to myself and to others that I do not know. *Aghast!* I do not know? Me? Not know? Yep, I do not know. I do not have all the answers in all the world. Humility for me means I swallow my pride and push down on my ego and ask for help. And then I take it! Ha! I actually listen to what the other person has to say and follow their suggestion if I believe it has merit. And you know what? It was a RELIEF! It was a huge relief to admit to not knowing! I do not know and can you help me? That is being humble aka open to being taught.
So, I humbly ask my Higher Power to remove my shortcomings exactly like I asked Him to remove my obsession with food. I cannot. God can. Let God. I take my defect, examine it during Step Six, decide whether I want to keep it or not, then if I do not, I sit quietly and go over Step Six for that particular defect, talking out loud with my Higher Power, then pray the Step Seven prayer. I take action depending upon which defect it is. I do want to admit that it is rare for me to have a defect disappear overnight. It takes a lot of practice and perseverance but that is what program is all about – working a daily program over and over and over so that I might stay in recovery.
Study Guide to Step Seven:
To help comprehend the questions, please read the Step Seven chapter in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Also read in the Alcoholics Anonymous book, page 76. (Fourth Edition)
Questions for Step Seven:
1. What was your concept of humility before program? What is your definition of humility now?
2. What are your lists of defects? Why do you want your HP to remove your shortcomings?
3. How do you cultivate the willingness to have your defects removed?
4. How does practice of Step Seven affect your relationship with your Higher Power?
5. How will you formally take Step Seven?
Love in recovery,
WTS: 1st Quarter 2018
The Twelve Steps