02 May 2011
Anew life begins... with Step Seven
The seventh step begins the grieving process for those in recovery. The dysfunctional mind tries to bargain with you, trying to stay alive. But if we're honest in our recovery we know part of us has to die, so we can live. Step seven buries our humiliation and brings about the spiritual gift of humility.
We begin to realize that we are not taking this journey alone. We have found a life within us that has always been there, begging to come out. Some call it the soul, others say it's our inner child. The 12 steps call it God (CODA) or a Higher Power (AA).
And for the first time you begin to see the power of spirituality and the previous religious lessons you learned as a child.
A close correlation exists between the Beatitudes and The Twelve Steps. The twelve steps work because they are based upon the spiritual nature of life - to live for today. While the Beatitudes teach us that by living a simple life today, we will live in serenity for all eternity. We all have a spiritual aspect to our life. It's a force that not only guides us spiritually, but also physically and emotionally. This spiritual aspect is the center of life. With addiction this aspect of our life was non-existent. We had no inner life. We couldn't generate any inner serenity without the help of outer forces. For the addicted that meant that inner security was only obtained by alcohol or drugs or sex or whatever the addiction. Understanding this spiritual center helps hold life together. It provides insight into our recovery from addictions.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Step seven allows humiliation to leave and humility to enter.
"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted." We let go of our shortcomings and find comfort that things will get better.
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth." We find no pride in what is going on, just gratitude.
"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied." Gratitude for a second chance.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." After the fifth step we begin the journey towards mercy, from our Higher Power and others.
"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God." Honesty, humility, a second chance, yes pure gratitude for our Higher Power.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." We begin the process of self-evaluation and see the wrongs we have committed.
"Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Our persecution ends with humility. Humility for the acceptance of our past and the forgiveness of our Higher Power.
Lessons learned as a child have played an important part in my recovery, not only from alcohol but also my understanding of my Higher Power. One of the most rewarding aspects of my recovery in AA and CODA was finding a Higher Power that I could trust and call a friend.