Practice Makes Progress

Step 7 : Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings

After reading the literature and coming up with my own interpretation of Step 7 I felt ready to move forward.  I met with my sponsor, we debriefed with big Bill W., I closed the book and said conclusively, “Onto Step 8!”

“Nope.”  She said, shaking her head sorta assuredly. “Now you practice.”

Practice isn’t a word I respond to well, because it implies effort.  To be honest, I gave up practicing when I quit lacrosse sophomore year of high school to become a pot head.  My attitude is under construction, but residual quitter-traces remain.  Old habits die hard.

So, I knew what my sponsor meant, but didn’t know how to implement Step 7 consciously…probably because I have an aversion to the “P” word. (Practice).

Fortunately, my mind is under steady reconstruction, and I’m constantly making headway on the person I want to be, even subconsciously.  New synapses are being formed with each decision I make and emotion I feel; by feeling the feelings I have awareness and the capability to make the right decision.  What I realized today, is that when I make the right choice (as opposed to acting on old behavior), I’m practicing Step 7.

Yesterday I blogged about the trials and tribulations of change, in lieu of an internal battle of good vs greedy.  The debate was simple; don’t help the people I care or DO help the people I care about.  My greed started making justifications for me, convincing myself that my un-involvement would not affect anyone…When in fact I knew that by staying home to satisfy my laziness was wrong.

So I had a choice; act the old way, or act the new way.   Unbeknownst to me, Step 7 helped me make the right decision.  It’s been helping me all along!

Last night before I went to bed, I came across this reading on Steps 6 and 7, by Joe McQ in The Steps We Took:

“You know, here’s what a shortcoming is:  when you’re long on resentments, then you’re necessarily short on love, patience, and tolerance….Just what is love?  Love is basically concern for another person’s welfare or for your own welfare.”

Joe McQ’s quote struck me because of the likeness to my post yesterday: 

“Today my catch phrase was “spiritual vacuum.”   The vacuum refers to how we remove our defects.  As I understand it, we can’t simply remove what we don’t like, and *poof* be gone.  We have to replace the hole with love.  Sounds soo corny.  I don’t care.” 

So that’s what my sponsor meant by practice….It’s not that I have to stop, drop, and document where my flaws are taking command. In this case, a simple awareness of how my actions affect others did just fine.  I’m practicing without beating myself up and my coach is pretty forgiving.

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One thought on “Practice Makes Progress

  1. I love that book by Joe. Guy knew how to keep it simple, yeah? And that’s the thing here with us. We get so bent out of shape about 6 and 7 (or just gloss over it) when really it’s about being aware and being humble enough to ask for help in removing what block us from the Sunlight of the Spirit. And the thing is that I don’t get the choice of what gets removed…lol. What I think may be a char defect might be something the Creator needs me to use to be of service…like my introverted nature. I tried to be an extrovert, to be like my sponsor…gregarious. Fail. Crash. Burn. Now, I am more open to talking to strangers, but I connect more out here, in words, and one-on-one with others…something that not all of us might be good at. I don’t know. Whatever blocks me, He removes. And I act as if it’s been removed.

    I love 6 & 7. Surrender / action. Perpetual motion 🙂

    Thank you for this post 🙂

    Paul

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