When my study of the Steps reached Step Seven ("Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings"), I stumbled on the very first word. "Humble!" I thought, "The last thing I need is to be more humble." Hadn't I been humble all my life, putting everyone's needs ahead of my own? What had it ever brought me except abuse?
But Al-Anon suggested that perhaps I had confused humility with humiliation. Humility does not mean begging for mercy. Real humility, I discovered, is the ability to see my true relationship to God and to my fellow human beings.
The second word wasn't much easier. I had learned not to ask anyone for anything. Al-Anon showed that my knowledge and experience are limited. I don't know all the answers -- and I don't have to know them! I can ask for help.
My concept of the last word has also changed. I used to think of shortcomings as crimes, faults, sins, or mistakes. Now I think of them as blocks within me that prevent me from reaching my full potential and distance me from my Higher Power.
There are many things that I can do to improve my life and to further my recovery, but I cannot heal myself. Today I can ask for help in becoming free of all that blocks me from my true self.
"If my problems have brought me to prayer, then they have served a purpose."
As We Understood . . .
Linda Gorham Yankton South Dakota