At a recent AA meeting we were discussing steps 6 and 7. (6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.) The longer I’ve been clean and sober the more important these two steps have been for my continuing spiritual and emotional progress. Though some may feel my progress has been rather slow, or even negligible, it has certainly continued.
As step 6 was being read I had a small realization – a spiritual awakening to sorts – that when I came into recovery I had no character! What I had was the facade of a personality – a personality constructed by prevailing cultural restrictions of acceptability. I was formed by reaction or by compliance not by any sort of actual deep thought process of my own. Right or wrong were dictated by popular vote not because I felt something was right or wrong. I accepted many things without questioning them.
“Being queer was sick – I was queer therefore I am sick.” I accepted that feeling that it wasn’t something I could change but had to live with in secret. Not questioning that theory was the ‘defect of character’ I had to address in recovery not the fact that I was queer. This is how the steps have worked me – layer by layer – like an archaeological dig – dusting the surface is a good start but eventually one has to dig deeper. That’s were the ‘humbly’ comes in.
Often there is a reservation about the religious language in these – God, Him – why would one expect a doctrine that has labelled us as ‘abominations’ do anything to help us. This is a great, almost logical, way of avoiding the change these steps offer. I’m not Christian but I’m willing to let a Christian surgeon save my life. Of course if I chose to die I can use religion as a smoke screen for that decision. I choose to live.
there’s always something
my eyes don’t catch everything
words lose their meaning
thanks to auto spell
I often don’t know what I’ve just said
or if what you’ve written
is what you’ve written
so I don’t feel so responsible
for those little typos
that change love to leave
that change emotionally comithtemnt
I mean commitment
to being committed for emotionally disfunction
there’s always something
that’s why I count on your eyes
to pick up what mine miss
trust me no matter how right it appears
it needs you to make more better right
I couldn’t do it without
those sharp insightful comments of yours
you find what slips between the lines
while I’m so busy
making sure those lines are straight
to your perfect heart