Monday, March 14, 2011


There's this thing called the seventh step (seventh of twelve) that some of us practice. In this step, we put our trust in a higher power (I call mine Mary). We focus on the spiritual principles of surrender, trust, faith, patience and humility. The idea here is simple - we hope to become better human beings. Humility is the big one here. A lot of people have trouble with the word humility, mistaking it or equating it too closely with humiliation. I try to keep things simple. Humility for me, just means that I am teachable, that I have a lot to learn. And boy, do I.

One of my lovely sponsees (as in, I sponsor/mentor her) was recently very moved by a line from a piece of recovery literature. We talked about it a bit, and I also became inspired. It kind of speaks volumes even without much introduction, but I thought the sentence that came before it added necessary context. So here they are, two sentences that say a lot:

"We may even be startled by the level of maturity or spirituality we've demonstrated in handling a situation that in years past would have had us acting very unspiritually. One day, we'll realize that some of the ways we used to act have become as alien as spiritual principles were when we first started practicing them."
(Step Working Guide, 67)

As I struggle in my life today with some fairly serious life issues, I need to remember to practice the spiritual principles that best counteract my character defects. It kind of goes something like this, for me:

I have to remember to practice:
  • Faith, not fear.
  • Humility, not arrogance.
  • Self-love, not self-doubt.
  • Compassion, not resentment or judgment.
  • Commitment, to counter lack of discipline.
  • Open-mindedness, rather than lack of self-acceptance.
  • Honesty, not denial.
  • Love, not impatience. 
How do I do at remembering to practice these spiritual principles? Most days I nail at least a few of them.

Other days, not so much.

Luckily, I've done a lot of work to let go of my perfectionism.


  1. This is a very honest post and I very much appreciate the practices/principles that you've outlined above. These principles seem like the basis of everything, and yet, can be so difficult sometimes in practice. I have to remind myself that it's a journey...

  2. beautiful entry, definitely needed to hear this today