Thursday, January 9, 2014

Step 7: Humility

Humbly ask Heavenly Father to remove your shortcomings.

Step 7 Reading

Notice it doesn't say "all" your shortcomings.  I have a tendency to try to do everything all at once, but this is impossible.  These are the baby steps to the atonement.  They have to be taken like baby steps, again and again, and we are never finished.  Last night someone at recovery meeting related herself to an onion (kind of like Shrek) and the steps are helping her to peal back the layers of that onion so it takes time.  I also added to myself that sometimes we try to put the layers back on our onions because we feel vulnerable and expose removing all the layers, but then the Lord asks us to again remove those layers to get to our core again.  And there are lots of layers!  Going once through the steps won't remove them all, and that's ok.  So don't try to do the steps perfectly.  Just do them.

Last night we talked a lot about perfectionism too, because we were reading about step 4, and it talks about trying to be too perfect when writing our inventories.  Lately, I've really been compelled to be more patient with myself.  I'm just waiting, trusting, hoping, anticipating...because I know God is helping me.

Now that I'm getting in a better state by stopping my bad behavior, I also need to humble myself even more to change my very NATURE.  This is what step 7 is about: changing my nature through turning to the Lord.  I find it interesting in the reading, there's a verse quoted from Mosiah, "They did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."  I hadn't ever previously considered submission to the Lord being a "cheerful" thing.  But as I rely on the Lord to become complete in Him, I have to give Him all of myself.

Last night as I drove to the Addiction Recovery Meeting, I realized that there are still pieces of me that withhold myself from questioning whether my addiction is really a problem.  I asked myself if I really needed to attend meetings.  By the time got to the meeting, I decided it is really what I need to do so I can get the support I need.  Because even if my addiction to self-gratification/masturbation is under control, I have behavioral patterns that stem from this addiction.  These behavioral patterns are still impacting my life at all sides.

That's where step 7 comes in.  I don't need help in only stopping my destructive behaviors, but in changing my NATURE.  I need to change my desires, my instinctual reactions, my coping mechanisms, my very core reality.

But I don't like this word "changing".

When we turn to the Savior to "change" I don't think we are "changing" who we really are, but returning to who we really are, and maybe even improving what we used to be.  Turning to the Savior is recalling ourselves from before birth, and then growing from there to get that much closer to our potential.

"We finally abandoned the idea that we could become perfect by ourselves, and we accepted the truth that God desires us to conquer our weaknesses in this life by coming to Christ and being perfected in Him."

Step 7 has a lot of prayer involved in it, and I can't necessarily blog all about it.  But as we continue to work toward this recollection of ourselves, we need to remember that perfection is only in Christ, and we will not be made perfect until after this life.  So we must be patient with ourselves.

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