The gift of a white flag
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.
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