04 April 2011

Step Seven

"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

A favorite word of mine early in recovery till this day is humility. At times people can confuse humility with being humble. To me, being humble is a goal we all strive for, but never truly achieve. Being humble is not worrying about our status or title in this life. Being humble makes us no better, nor worse, than anyone else. In my opinion, and that’s all it is, my opinion, being humble is being God-like. We can strive for it but we will never achieve it.

Humility on the other hand is achievable and should be desirable. Humility is not being humble, but rather wanting to learn. To be teachable. To realize that we don’t know everything and anybody can teach us something. To have a sense of humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but rather thinking of ourselves less. Humility makes us part of the Universe – not the center of it.

Having humility is what got me through the seventh step. I was ready to learn – teach me. I was able to recognize my character defects and how they made me the center of your world. Having humility did give me a sense of being humbled. But it wasn’t a “healthy” sense of being humble. It was more of shame.

A sense of shame about the way I treated others and myself. This sense of shame came about because of humility. For the first time I was able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. By doing that I was able to understand their anger with me. I was thinking less of myself and I was learning – humility was entering my life.

I was becoming a human being. But… how can I describe it without sounding arrogant or pompous? I was becoming a spiritual being. Through humility I began to put myself in others shoes. And I was shown and continue to be shown that no matter how hard I’ve had it there is always someone who has had it worse.

Think about some of the worst things that can happen to you in this life – what is the “ultimate” worst? Everything you lost due to addictions – family, jobs, friends – can be bad – but is it the worst? To me, the worst would have to be losing a child. No parent should have to live through that, but sadly it happens way too much.

I have met three sets of parents in my life who have lost their children to untimely deaths. A son who was 25, a daughter who was 18, and another son who was 14. Nothing that has happened to me can be compare to their pain. And every time I think I can’t handle no more, I look at these people and see how they have made best of an unimaginable situation. It is through their pain that their spiritual presence has rubbed off on others.

It is through their pain that they have inspired every one around them. Not for nothing special they have done, but rather for the strength they have shown. It is through their strength that I realize my life really isn’t that bad. Humility…

1 comment:

  1. Originally I posted this as "The Seventh Step" and then changed the name to "Step Seven."

    Reviewed by Flying Fox Ted L Glines 6/24/2007 Hi, Dave! I really like your article and the depth of very positive content, but I am going to suggest that you change the title. "Seventh Step" was the name of a convict self-help organization where their leaders self-destructed the organization by trying to develop it into a criminal "syndicate." This was in California. I was there. I was a member. I watched it happen. It will be best if you change this title so that your great article is not connected with a bad organization. How about "Humility"? That is what this article is really about. Anyway, this is a great and moving article, Dave. Well done!