Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Koan: When the time comes to do so, put on your clothes. If you want to walk, walk. If you want to sit, sit.
At a meeting the other day, Nick said that his sponsor asked him, early on, to put the word t-h-e-n after each Step -- to work Step One, then go onto Step Two, then Step Four, etc. This makes the way one views the 12 Steps be a body of one. In Step 6, it’s about being entirely ready. Ready for what? Ready to do Step 7. In Step 7, we proceed to do what we’ve decided to do. It can be as easy as deciding to get dressed.
Any reluctance or procrastination here, for some, may have more to do with having doubts that it will work in my situation; but believing right off the bat, I think, is not as critical as the doing part. Step 7 has more to do with the doing, the asking. As we do it, again and again and again, we come to believe.
I think kind words grow kindness, and angry words grow anger. I can’t take words back after they have left my lips. So it is with Step 7. Humble words grow humility. As I ask my higher power to remove my shortcomings, when I am sincerely humble in the asking, this is what creates the power of Step 7.
This evening we talked a lot about getting dressed, with DH saying there are two ways to get dressed here. We can put on our “old” soiled clothes, these being our old ideas and old beliefs; and by noticing this, paying attention, engaging in the moment, we can take inventory of the situation. Being aware of my old pattern(s), I don’t like the way I am feeling right now. I don’t like the way I look in these old clothes.
Arrgh, it’s time for me to change out of these old clothes. “God, please help me to get out of these old clothes and put on fresh new ones.”
I decide to get dressed again, get dressed, now I’m ready for the day. I decide to do Step 7, do it to the best of my ability, then onto Step 8.
One person brought it all to what is challenging for him today. He’s in his 70s and has health matters that are not going away. No longer can he do things today that he could six months ago. He called his sponsor yesterday to say that now “I realize I must change the way I do things today.” In his case he is experiencing physical shortcomings. Not asking God to remove them, he said he’s asking for help in living with the way his body works today. “If I’m out of breath, then sit down, rather than physically pushing myself too far.”
As much as I’d rather not admit, I sometimes “forget” how readily Step 7 is available to me…until the time comes when I do it. When the time comes is the natural sequence of things.
Like right now, finishing up here, it will be time to take a walk.