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Step 7/Twelve Steps


Each year I like to run through the 12 steps as written in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps were an adaptation of many works before them, and are a universal truth for all people who want to enjoy good mental Hygiene and an abundant life. They have been adopted by some 150 self-help groups, and in the words of my favourite forensic psychologist, are the best basis for mental health around IF worked and lived.


I am not a step guru, and like to keep things as simple as possible. Step 7 says:


HUMBLY asked him to remove our shortcomings.


This, for me, is a step that I must take daily. Today, I have done this step for 5,235 days, give or take a day.


Humility to me is simply seeking to do the will of my higher power, living with character and placing the material things at best, second. It is living a life that is not "ME" centered.


For years, I had known defeat and humiliation because I placed my will first. Humility came, in part, as a result of humiliation. "My will" got me to my bottom. Today I know that by being conscious of my higher power and listening to it, knowing that will give me what I really want in life. Gradually, I have become less self-centered. Humility allows me serenity and joy. Humiliation and self-centeredness gave excitement, depression, fear and anxiety, not what anyone really wants. Periodically I may still humiliate myself, every day I need reminding of what humility is and to live with it.


"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 that stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go from here, to do your bidding."


It was not my good qualities that took me emotionally down so deeply. It was acting on the defects of character that took me down. It was these defects that caused pain, and I found my own medications to temporarily take pain away. Humility grows within as on a daily basis, I realize I'm not the center of the universe, and I am much better when I ask for and take help.


My defects of character are part of who I am. They are just below the surface. Without help, they will once again take over my life; I must remain spiritually fit every day. On many days, my defects are very much in the background. Some days, when I try to run the show, the defects surface very abruptly; "out of the blue". I need external strength daily! Through prayer, I ask.


How did I know I had achieved some measure of humility?


For years, when given a compliment, I couldn't accept it with grace. Today, when the compliment is genuine, I can simply say thank-you and feel gratitude.


Step 7 requires humility to sincerely ask for help.


-- keithb

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