I’ve been attempting to understand this step because I not sure I’ve ever really worked it.  I went through the experience of the Seventh Step a couple of times, but they seem far removed from any daily program.  Like Confirmation.

Step Seven:  humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

It’s short and it’s skimmable.  Next!  Onto the apologies!  In less than a paragraph in the book, I’ve dealt with my all my problems, and they’re all so simply solved:  Just remember you’re an asshole, and that you’re okay with that, and that you’re working on not being such a big an asshole.

My Step Seven thought process is as follows:  So, it goes without saying that I want my shortcomings removed, right?  And there was that time, years and years ago, as part of my out-patient program, when I asked for my shortcomings to be removed physically, written of strips of paper, and burned them up in a coffee can and prayed as the ashes rose into the night sky where the Coughing God of Addiction gathered them up into her giant ashtray.  So what follows is old-hat; a checked-off list stuck to the fridge, hidden under expiring coupons, forgotten.

But “letting something go without saying” doesn’t work:  I can substitute acknowledgment for acceptance all day long.  Nothing regarding my sobriety can go without saying, because nothing regarding my alcoholism is quietly understood.  I need to be told again and again and repeatedly and in different ways over and over that it is imperative that I humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings.

I also must understand that I’m not humbly asking for the strength to remove my shortcomings.  That’s clinging, pure and simple.  That’s me still believing that I need to do all the fixing, and I’ll turn to a higher power if I need help.  Just hang out, God, and go have a smoke – I’ll let you know if things gets hairy.

I can’t remove my shortcomings myself because it’s impossible for me to pick them up without causing further damage.

Bonus fact:  traveling becomes lighter when things are left behind.

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