I have not often been entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, as Step 6 suggests we become. However, I’ve found that willingness to have this happen got me pretty far along in that Step, even during those times when I was not entirely ready. Thank HP that this is a program of progress and not perfection!
Recently, I came across this quote from the spiritual teacher Nouk Sanchez:
“Trusting in God’s Will to resolve everything elicits a deep sense of gratitude that’s felt in advance. There is no shred of doubt about the outcome, even if we cannot see what the outcome might be…. It’s a certainty of faith that God is All-Loving.”
As my understanding and experience of HP shifts throughout my recovery, I believe more and more firmly that God is Absolute Love — a love so absolute that there is no opposite to it. It’s just Love. As this belief/experience of God has deepened, it has allowed me to actually become, at times, entirely ready.
I can be willing and ready because it is Love who will remove the defects of character when they no longer are of service to me and others. And Centering Prayer meditation has supported this transformation into trust.
I look forward to us sharing our stories on February 11. See you there!
For me, Step 7 has been a sometimes painful, always wonderful replay of good old Step 1, the Step where I received the great gift of a white flag. I was so relieved when my first sponsor told me to stop fighting alcohol, relax, and settle into the buoyancy of the fellowship of AA and the love of a Higher Power.
In Step 7 I discover a pattern just as inflexible and impervious to my unaided will as drinking was: my complex of bone-deep negative character traits, the ones that power up my resentments, my fears, and my compulsive acts of self-seeking. And just as with alcohol, I don’t hate or deride or attack these defects of character; I give them some love and hand them over to God with prayer. Again and again. And I get a little more patient, a little less reactive, a little less selfish, over time — along with plenty of backsliding, forgetfulness of prayer, and self justification.
Centering Prayer helps me feel closer to God on a daily basis so those times of forgetfulness of His love are shorter than they used to be.
I’m looking forward to seeing you on February 11, when I’ll talk about this and hear from you.