Member: Leif  B.                                    
Location: New England
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 8:17:19 PM

Comments

The fact that I am able to "humbly ask" for anything still kind of amazes me . I remember the words of this Old Salt who attended (and still does )meetings near where I live , who almost always said :"You WILL get the Help you need , IF you want it , and IF you ask ..But YOU HAVE TO ASK! " His simple , serene sharing was like 'nails on a blackboard to me for the longest time . But I only had my Loneliness,Emptiness,and Pain to lose , so I hit the ol floorboards on my knees and asked to be kept away from a drink , drug or substitute for one day . I was just SO sick and tired of being sick and tired .Some years on now, I suppose Step Seven ("Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings " )makes it's way into my morning Help prayer when I ask to be freed of self-will,self-seeking,self-pity ,and so on for the day . An ounce of prevention's worth a pound of cure : if I try to let my Higher Power nip my shortcomings and character deformities in the bud , before they gain strength and power , overtaking my Spirit , and diverting my Energy into negativity ,today , Then I have a CHOICE,(and therefore, a CHANCE , which is all I was promised) to become a Spiritual Being born with the Freedom to Dream ,today, instead of only EXISTING , like a fearful animal , jumping at shadows , reacting to everything around me .


Member: John H
Location: Indiana, USA
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 6:37:27 AM

Comments

For me, practicing humility (humbleness) is a daily requirement, not different from practicing the 1st Step and the others.

I continue to be amazed how ego has been so much of my personality over the years. If I just examine myself and determine that my actions should be for the overall good, thus removing my ego--then I find a peace and serenity not experienced in the past.

Working the program as it is suggested and seriously focusing on better understanding of a HP is a sure way of finding humility and reducing shortcomings. It gets better with time--just keep patient and positive!


Member: Melissa
Location: Canada
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 12:48:29 PM

Comments

Hi, Melissa, an alcoholic. I feel the same way, John. I continue to be amazed at how ego works in my life and the most important thing in my day is asking first for another day of sobriety and second, that I be free from self-seeking, self-pity, and selfishness. As with alcohol, I tried to change under my own will, and as with alcohol, I was utterly unsuccessful. I feel like a co-creator in my own life now. I bring the willingness and "God" as I understand God, supplies the power. I was sick and tired of being a person who was helplessly, hopelessly dependant on alcohol and after awhile in sobriety, I was sick and tired of being the same woman. I got help from a higher power to not drink anymore, and I'm getting help from a higher power to not act in the same old ways anymore. Change is slow, but it IS happening. Thank you all for my sobriety, Melissa


Member: Marilyn
Location:
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 4:18:14 PM

Comments

I am having difficulty reaching out to my Higher Power at all these days.At 14 years sobriety I find myself not trusting God at all.


Member: Adam H.
Location: Nagano, JAPAN
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 6:56:05 PM

Comments

Adam, alcoholic.

Again, I find myself referring to the 12&12 where it says "In no case does God render us white as snow and keep us that way WITHOUT OUR COOPERATION." I think it's really important to ask and let God do the removing, but I think cooperating is really important...I have to do my part. I mean, hey....when I was drinking I expected everyone else to think I was a wonderful guy and love me, but I did nothing in the way of acting loveable. I wanted to having undying respoect, but I was a drunken mooch and a liar...how could I possibly BE respected when I didn't even act respectfully to others? In my case, simply asking God to remove character defects like rage and dishonesty without doing things like telling the truth and standing by it no matter what or restarining tongue and pen is no different from the way I was behaving when I was drinking. That is why, for me, "humbly asking" is more than simply asking; I have to be humble enough to make good on that request. If I really want God to remove the defects, then I have to do the work that comes with "living in the solution."

Grateful to be sober today. Marylin, you are in my prayers.


Member: Connie S.
Location: Riverside, N.J.
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 9:18:37 PM

Comments

I am an alcoholic, my name is Connie Marilyn you are in my prayers also, as is everyone whose words have touched me here.My humility is very handy these days. I find lately, I can't seem to do anything right. Anytime I use the word "I"... well you know the rest.There are times I easily ask God to remove anything that stands in my way of His Will. But those shortcomings can still be oh so sweet. Exactly as Adam stated, I need to do and act the proper way always. I need to remember it is no longer appropriate for me to cheat, steal lie, cuss. Plain and simple.Those also happen to be my symptoms of this disease, right before the drink. I want to be sober today. Thanks Con


Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 2:23:23 AM

Comments

Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic. Step six and step 7 to me are the meat and potatoes of the program. In step six we become entirely ready and in step seven we ask God to help set us free. God does for me, what I am not capable of doing for myself. Thanks for allowing me to share and God Bless.


Member: ChuckM
Location: Alberta
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 4:03:30 AM

Comments

I'm Chuck, an alcoholic

I follow the program in the Big Book. I was surprised to find that step 7 is a prayer. I ask God to remove my shortcomings. His direction is to do steps 8&9. My reaction; I know but I just asked you to remove my shortcomings. Then I remember, steps 2&3 I am starting to get right with God, steps 4-8 I am getting right with me and step 9 I am getting right with my fellow man. It is after step 9 that sanity returns. I think sanity is necessary before shortcomings can be removed.

This is one step where I had a spiritual experience. In August of 1988 I was hooking up my lawnmower and thought about step 7. Then the thought came, what was His answer to my request. The thought then came that He would say 'Have Me with you during your day and you won't have shortcomings'.

Wow! this is step 11. When I think about God during the day and want to be right with him I cannot hurt the rest of His children. Simple.

Peace and Serenity


Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 10:45:32 AM

Comments

Humility was and often still is a difficult concept for me. When I was still active in my disease and early in recovery I had no idea what it meant to be humble. I was angry at God and everyone else in the world. I had been handed a raw deal in life and it sucked, so God owed me big time. If anyone deserved to get and stay loaded it was me. I was frequently humiliated. There I am weeping openly at the bar in a family restaurant, sneaking off the plane with pee soaked pants, locking myself hung over and naked out of my hotel room and so it goes on and on. Humiliation never taught me any humility. It was surrender to my disease and gratitude for daily insight, which opened my heart to the all-embracing power of a loving God. When I am agitated, I know I am wrong sized about the situation. The steps provide me guidelines to get right again. Newcomers welcome, we are all here to help each other.


Member: Mark C.
Location: Michigan
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 2:33:32 PM

Comments

Practicing Humility starts as prayer for me. Letting go of anger and seeking acceptance. Recognizing that I am not in control, that the Creator is in charge. Life.... choices I have made with mine,has taught me that I am a pitiful addict,when I practice my big shotism. Humility is put into action with being opened with willingness and asking the creator for help in battling my ego and all its tricks(defects)to get attention. I need and want the creator in my life today. Today I want earnestly to live joyously,therefore today I ask humbly that he would remove my shortcomings. And when I start to feel like a big shot again, I think of my garden- I can plant and till the earth , and may work hard and pull the weeds, however only the creator can send the rain and only the creator provides the sun light. I can choose to do my part but I do need his help if I want to successfully grow corn. Sober and grateful to be blessed for today.


Member: Joseph
Location: Egypt
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 5:19:43 PM

Comments

Hi: Im AA Joe, a grateful Alcoholic, who has seen much deterioration in the AA program over the course of a goodly number of 24 hour days, by those who just do not want to learn or advance with anything of a moral nature, seemingly acting no better, or worse than when they were drinking and drugging, and God knows what! Today they seem to be in the majority, and nothing or no one can shut them up! They are all tuned in to the high-flyers with demons who hate God, goodness, going forward! They use language at meetings, and on chats that only excites disgust, drives other AAs away from its beneficial therapy, which is not always easy to find! We read, we must be rid of this selfishness or it kills us. God makes that possible! But no matter what you try to counter these mice with, whether it be AA words, Bible words, or any other words that can be emphatically quoted, someone always has a stench infested wad of limburger cheese in his/her mouth to puke out on the discussion! What is to be done with this? Will the AAs who truly hate this stuff (I know you are out there), ever stand up for what is right?


Member: sonia
Location: uk
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 5:26:22 PM

Comments

Hello world

I loved steps six and seven. I like the idea that i will be perfect you see. Of course HP hasnt seen fit to remove any of my defects or shortcomings yet, mean while i choose to give him a hand, where i can, where i can see clearly what is happening. Some days it really doesnt amount to much, it may be something simple like doing the ironing or hoovering up when i really didnt feel like it. Picking up the phone when i would of rather stayed in my pain, helping someone out when i would rather be helping me, or helping me when i would rather be helping someone else. When i go to bed at night and i look over my day and see just how i have worked against some of my more basic defects and shortcomings, i feel a little better about me. I could choose to see the shortcomings and berate myself for having them, but that is gods job to remove, no i feel good about working against them, in a quiet sort of way. I know that by working against my defects and shortcomings i am being good to myself, i am valueing myself. From step four i know how much trouble these defects and shortcomings cause me. Anything that works against me being bad to myself has to good. Unfortunatly my sight as for as recognising them when in the moment can sometimes (a lot) be off. I try.


Member: Mary K
Location: NE Ohio
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 1:35:08 PM

Comments

Getting sober in it self was a humbling experince for me. That's probably why I stayed high, because then I didn't have to look a my real self. By asking my HP for help I am now able to look at myself in relation to others around me. I am NOT the center of everything, and I like it this way.


Member: leslie
Location: NE
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 1:57:03 AM

Comments

Joseph, Thank you for a great share I will share on this later Would love to write to you privately.

Many thanksn

Need your Prayers LOL


Member: Michael B.
Location: AZ
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 10:04:20 PM

Comments

Hi! My name is Michael, and I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, sober today only by the Grace of God and the Fellowship. hanks for the sincere shares. Welcome newcomers!

Ditto, Mark C. And thanks Chuck! This is a simply a prayer, which I need to say every day.


Member: karl
Location: Virginia
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 10:53:12 PM

Comments

Hi Karl alcoholic.

Like Marylin I had a God crisis in my 15th year of sobriety. I was angry at the God of my misunderstanding. I thought he gave me alcoholism to bring me to him, I accepted and was greatful for that. But I couldn't understand why he also gave me obsessive compulsive disorder, which manifested its self in the form of depression and paranoia so severe I had to be hositalized to prevent me from killing myself. Why did he give me this disordwer too? I blamed God and stopped beliving in a loving God. I figured he was either indifferent or nonexistant. Over the last two years I've come to believe that the only physical power God has on this earth is through people who desire to serve him. Reaching out to newcomers and concentrating on what I can contribute of myself to the meeting, rather than concentrating on making myself feel better is a great way to serve God.

I dont't know why I have both diseases, but I don't blame God anymore, maybe its genetics or the result of me avoiding responsibility for conditions of my life. I don't know. It doesn't matter now. The damage is done.

Life is still challenging and a little scarry but every now and then I feel a rush of joy and gratitude to God. Not for the conditions of my life but for what little courage, and honesty I have to face them (given by him).

Take care Marilyn and God loves you even if you detest him.


Member: karl
Location: Virginia
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 10:58:32 PM

Comments

Sorry I forgot to write about the seventh step.


Member: Jenn P.
Location: Poconos, PA
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 11:03:36 PM

Comments

For me, the first time through the Seventh Step was a prayer I just said, wanting to be made "white as snow" but didn't follow it up with any changed behavior. Couldn't figure out why nothing changed. Today, the seventh step is a change in attitude, another layer of giving up of the self to my Higher Power. A deeper appreciation of the fact that "of myself I am nothing, the Father doeth the works." As long as I was the one changing me, nothing happened. When I pray for my Higher Power to change me, the strength to act differently comes. It is a one day at a time willingness to ask for His help, to ask Him to take me and make me what he would have me be. He is doing a much better job than I ever did. Thanks for letting me share and helping me to stay sober today.


Member: Jim M
Location: ON Can
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 12:55:28 AM

Comments

Hi I'm Jim and I'm an Alky, this is my first time on an AA web site. I was just talking to another member over telephone about my seemingly paranoid-like lack of confidence at a new job (flavored with a good deal of introversion socially)and he mentioned step 7 and constant daily prayer.

After reading here I am getting the message to pray more and act against my defects I guess I'll have to be myself and stop barbing my inter-personal interactions at work with a needy need for acceptance and encouragement.

I too am having trouble "feeling" my HP after 9 years of sobriety. It was so much easier when I needed him for every little thing. maybe I still do. The trouble is... I'm becoming a little more sure of my ability to act half decently and therefore feel like God is kind of putting me out there by myself a little etc etc.

Any takers? Thanks


Member: John H
Location: Indiana, USA
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 10:05:02 AM

Comments

Jim M,

I'm finally learning that I not only need the HP's everpresence,on a daily basis, but that it's most important to take the time and effort daily to draw upon that source of strength, hope and experience.

I need God's help thru success and failure to put me into any sense of balance and peace of mind. Godspeed!


Member: Alice L.
Location: Lake Delton , WI
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 10:40:05 AM

Comments

Hi! I'm Alice, an alcoholic. I'm no different as I too went through the loss of HP after several years in the program. After beating my head against the wall, I started back on the spiritual things in the program. Oh, yes, my defects are still with me, as I feel they were part of the package when God sent me here, I just have to stay out of His way to keep them under control. Thanks for lettin me share!


Member: Jim M
Location: Ont. Can
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 10:44:15 PM

Comments

Thanx John and Alice. It is good to read your words.


Member: Les
Location: San Diego
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 11:11:22 PM

Comments

Humble was not a word I frequently used. In fact, like many of the words I encountered when reading the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous," I had to consult a dictionary. One of the definitions of humble was, "The state of being aware of ones own defects of character." So, being aware of my own shortcomings, which I new from the Forth Step, I asked God to remove them with the use of the Seventh Step Prayer found on page 76 of the "Big Book." 14 years later I still say that prayer every morning, well every morning that I remember to say it, which is most mornings.

Now, I kept an eye out for the disappearance of the more prominent of my defects and noticed no major changes. I asked my sponsor about it and he told me this: The minute you ask that your shortcomings be removed they are, act accordingly.


Member: Gage
Location: South
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 5:01:02 AM

Comments

I'm Gage and I am an alcoholic. I say that so often these days that I sometimes forget its significance to me as my first step toward actual humility.

We talked about this step in my group one night and one of our members made an analogy that helped me understand the step a little better. He said to imagine a child on a kiddie car ride. The car has lots of bells and buzzers and levers, and as the child rides along he pulls and pushes them believing that he is driving the car. Of course the car is on a track and is only going to go where the track leads no matter how many buttons or levers the child pushes. He then said that he had thought a lot like that child about this step until it occurred to him what the step actually says. It says we ask God to remove our shortcomings, not that we ask him to help US remove them.


Member: peter s.
Location: england
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 2:55:55 PM

Comments

Thanx everyone for sharing.Step 7 works for me when im desperate enough to let go.over 11 years of daily practice of aa program i can witness a major change in my outlook upon life and this is due to regular service to god and my fellow man via AA.For a long tome i was plauged with a defect of a sexual nature.I asked god to remove it from me on a daily basis and do you know what happened?Well there it was strong and true {on a daily basis},no amount of prayer seemed to work.After a lot of searching and prayer i came to see that this probblem was ME! the way i was made up sexualy as a result of my earlyier life and libido.Once i found acceptance of me as i really am,the defect remained but the problem went away.I asked my sponser,what should i do if sex is a problem?His reply was "take up gardening" stay sober.


Member: Jeff B
Location: Northern CA
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 11:12:26 PM

Comments

Hi My name is Jeff and I am an alcholic. I really like what has been said. Humility is rare. It's one of those things like so many that really is a by-product/gift and that when it happens I don't even know it. Bill wrote that it was a recognition of who and what we are followed by a sincere attempt to be what we could. I just get glimpses, but that is enough. To me the seventh step is a prayer:

My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do what you would like. p76

The prayer is part of my mornings and I say it every day- along with some others. (almost - I forget or just don't once in a while and those days usually aren't to hot) Some days I feel it and mean it other days it reminds me of what I am doing here. I don't know why but I have not had to drink since I have been trying this stuff. I fall so short of what I think a perfect AA would be for myself. But...I have learned so much and I love this stuff and I need it. I was heading for the worst and now I have a chance. It is the power greater than myself and AA.. and me just doing what I can that makes it work today.