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Grapevine : July 2011
28 July 2011 I started to combine the practice of asking my Higher Power to remove my shortcoming with medi- tation. I repeated a part in the Seventh Step, "humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings," over and over, like a mantra. is enabled me to access the humility I was seeking with my body, as well as with my mind and spirit. Another tool I use for cultivating humility is to remember where I come from. is keeps me hum- ble and grateful, especially when I am tempted to take credit for all the accom- plishments in my recovery life. I need to remember how humiliated, confused, insecure and frightened I felt at my first meeting, and compare that to how I feel today. It is also important to acknowledge the progress I have made in recovery. It isn't helpful or humble to minimize the positive changes that have oc- curred in my life, nor am I being humble when I put myself down, which I find myself doing at times. For me, these are dysfunc- tional concepts of humility. ey come from my sick ideas about a Higher Pow- er, who, I thought, wanted to humiliate, condemn, reject and abandon me, none of which are true. Rejoicing in my progress is a form of praising and celebrating the presence of God in my life. One of the major defects, however, that prevents me from rejoicing in recovery is self-centered fear. I've struggled with this character defect for as long as I can remember. As an active alcoholic and drug addict, and even into early recovery, self- centered fear ruled my life. Some of the things I feared were people, life, my past, my Higher Power and recovery. I wanted my Higher Power to remove my shortcomings, but wasn't sure there would be anything le of me, if they were indeed removed. Would my Higher Power descend upon me and, in one miraculous swoop, remove all my defects and shortcomings? What would happen to me then? Would I turn into a shell, a nonentity? en again, I didn't have much to lose a er alcoholism and drug addiction had taken everything physically, mentally, and spiritually from me. I already felt like a shell, a nonentity. To have my shortcomings removed sounded a little more like self-annihilation to me. What would happen to me? Would I still have a self? Would I have a per- sonality or would I become a robot? Would I lose my individuality? Sounds silly now, but it wasn't then. e first time I worked this Seventh Step, I did it exactly as suggested in the Big Book. I prayed: "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 out from here to do your bidding. Amen." Despite my fear and anxiety, I meant it. I was ready to have my Higher Power remove my shortcomings. I reflected for a while, contemplating what was going to happen to me. Was I going to have