Jul 01 2013

Using Step Seven

Published by at 1:00 am under Using the Steps

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

Welcome to Using Al-Anon’s Twelve Steps in Our Personal Lives from Al-Anon Family Groups. This is a series of podcasts to discuss how Al-Anon members use the basic principles of Al-Anon.

Today we’re going to ask Al-Anon members how they used Step Seven to help them overcome the impacts of a loved one’s drinking.

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9 comments on “Using Step Seven”

  1. Jill says:

    Becoming willing to be rid of my character defects was difficult, but i saw that I wasn’t fully living my life. Now that i am fully willing and ready i know i can humbly ask God to remove these shortcomings. I don’t know exactly how or when He will but i have faith that He will do so in a way that supports my greatest good. I also know that I will not achieve this perfectly right from the start. It may be a messy process, but my HP is with me to guide me along. I want to live my life. Clearly I can’t do this one my own. I must ask for His help

  2. Mike L says:

    Step Seven was the most difficult Step for me. I don’t believe in a conscious higher power that listens to me and decides whether to grant or deny my prayers. It’s the humility I gained listening to others at meetings I attended that has given me better awareness of my defects and then gently helped (some of) them to be lifted from me.

  3. Esther says:

    Step 7 is so necessary in my life on a daily basis. I have had many shortcomings concerning my loved ones who are addicts. I humbly ask the Lord, who is Almighty, to change me to be Christ-like, to be more loving and patient.

    I also need God’s help so that I do not continue to try to help the addict in doing what they need to do for themselves. I need to work on myself. I am not better than others. I have been impatient. I have been part of the problem. I need the Lord to guide me and give me the needed strength on this journey of humility and change.

  4. Julie says:

    When I first took Step 7, I thought I had a good understanding of the Step. I had read lots of Conference Approved Literature on the topic. I had spoken with Al-Anon friends and my sponsor about Step 7, and it had been the topic at meetings. I used the Step 7 prayer every morning and I believed that I truly understood and had fully worked this Step.

    I started studying all the Steps again for a second time, as soon as I’d worked Step 12. So, I’d actually studied Step 7 a couple of times in detail, when my Higher Power sent me a new understanding regarding the Step.

    A sponsee rang me in some pain because working her Step 4 had brought back painful memories from her childhood, growing up in an alcoholic home. After listening to her, I heard myself share some of my own similar memories. I too had behaved in a way I was not proud of and regretted deeply. After a few days, I realised that I felt great shame about the things I had done as a disturbed child, growing up surrounded by alcoholism.

    I rang my sponsor and told her about my long forgotten memories and of the deep sense of shame and remorse I was experiencing. Among several things she suggested was that I study 7 in the “How Al-Anon Works” book. I did just that and was rewarded with a new understanding of Step 7.

    I read on page 56, “When we speak of humility, we speak about self-acceptance.” Reading that one sentence opened my mind and heart to a new understanding. My Higher Power had blessed me with the ability to accept myself for who I am.

  5. Sue H says:

    I always felt powerless to change the alcoholics in my life. However, I thought that if I just made myself do everything “right”, I would feel better and have a good life. I never could fix the long list of things that I thought were wrong with me. It was such a great relief when I learned in Al-Anon that it was my Higher Power’s work to remove my shortcomings. All I had to do was be willing to cooperate.

  6. Donna says:

    When I reach Step 7, I am reminded to seek humility. Humility is a principle of thought and behavior. My search for humility began with my comprehension of the first word of Step 1: We. I could not work this program alone. I had to have a God of my understanding, a Sponsor and a group. Step 2 taught me more about a Higher Power. Step 3 confirmed that I could use the Loving God of my own understanding. When I worked Steps 4 & 5, my Sponsor helped me to see how my patterns of behavior had caused harm. In Step 6, I came to understand that I no longer wanted to do harm and I had a change of heart. I wanted to be different, but lacked the ability to change myself.

    I became entirely ready to be changed. What power I did have was to change my mind. I made a conscious choice to ask God for guidance and the power to carry it out. Step 7 taught me that I require a one-on-one relationship with and the power of God to become a better person. I became aware of the wisdom of asking God to remove all my shortcomings in His own way and time. After all, I don’t even know what is best for me. Yet experience has taught me that anything I surrendered to my Loving God turned out best for all concerned and usually better than anything I had thought. Why not turn myself unreservedly over to God? Humility has taught me that I am a weak human being – one of a family of many – and I will never be perfect. What I pray is that I may be an imperfect person who is perfectly fitted to be of service to God and my fellows and to do His Will. I trust God to attend to the what, when and how.

  7. Lena says:

    “Dear God! Please don’t allow me to hurt other people, because of my physical pain or because I am tired. Even when I am tired, please give me patience. Even when I am ill from pain, help me be good to myself and others.”

    This prayer I used last week, when days were too long for me. I know myself. When I am tired or full of physical pain, I am aggressive, I say bad words to other innocent people. I don’t want to do it, but God knows when He will remove this from my practice. This everyday prayer helps me live hour after hour, be patient, kind, and even with a smile for others. Have a good day for you.

  8. Diane says:

    I, too, am someone who feels I have to take control or take power if I want something to happen. But Step 7 is a reminder that I can’t remake myself by myself. Regardless of how much I want to be rid of a particular character defect, I can’t just decide to do it. How many times have I tried in the past–and failed? I have to humbly ask for the help of my Higher Power. This kind of thinking doesn’t come easy to me, after being the responsible one in my marriage for so long. I’m probably going to have to spend some time on this Step. Otherwise, I’ll tell myself I’m humbly asking, when I’m really just jumping ahead.

  9. Norine says:

    Great support for using Step Seven.

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