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    Day 1

    Dropping the armor.

    “Self-respect: The secure feeling that noone, as yet, is suspicious. H.L. Mencken

    Now we’re really ready to clean house. We’ve identified the nature of our wrongs. We’ve shared that inventory with God, ourselves and another human being. And the decks are cleared for us to take the action that proves even to ourselves our willingness to proceed. Now that we’ve uncovered and discovered, we’re ready to discard.

    But, this is where we run into a whole new issue—the startling realization that we treasure some of our defects of character! They’ve been a part of us for so long, and they’ve served our purposes in so many ways that dropping the familiar armor that has protected us from the onslaught of other people’s criticism feels much like standing naked in school. In the past, some of us have operated on the theory that a strong offense is the best defense. It’s hard to let go of that posture when we’re feeling inadequate and defenseless.

    Remember that the word “God” can be translated into whatever guiding energy you’ve chosen to embrace as your Higher Power. But be aware also, that Step Six presupposes that you accept this power as a senior partner in your recovery process.

    Today’s Step: I let go of defensiveness about my defects of character.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 2

    Packing our bags

    “He who would travel happily must travel light.” Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    When we get ready for a trip we have to decide what we’re going to pack in our suitcase to meet our needs away from home. Some of us are very methodical about this procedure. Others of us just stuff things willy-nilly into our bags, hoping we’ve chosen appropriately.

    Using the suitcase analogy to work this step, it’s clear that the first thing we have to do is dump the entire contents. As we begin to repack, we only want to take those items that work for us—those that are valuable and useable right now. Many familiar and well-worn articles will have to go.

    We need to take note of those familiar things that have worked to our disadvantage, and ask for the courage we need to let them go. We have to check our closets and bureaus for appropriate items that have been stored away and to remind ourselves of how valuable they are, and start putting them to good use.

    Today’s Step:On the path of recovery, I travel light—-and lightheartedly.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 3

    The history of the pickle

    “As long as we feel victimized, we have lost the power to change.”

    The pickle was once a nice, fat cucumber. When it was left in the brine for a prescribed length of time, it emerged as a pickle. But once it had become a pickle, there was absolutely no way in the world it could ever become a cucumber again.

    “What’s that got to do with the subject at hand!” you may ask.

    Everything. Once we’ve been caught up in, or addicted to our drug of choice, or compulsive behavior or an aberrant lifestyle, we can never go back to teh way we were before it began. No matter how recovered we are, we will never be able to do in moderation what began by serving us, but in time became our maste.

    The bad news is that it’s extremely hard to watch others doing with impunity the things that are forbidden to us.

    But the good news is that we’ve become something new—a pickly instead of a cucumber. And this new form allows us to be better, more productive and happier than we’ve been in our entire lifetime. Extravagant as this promise seems, it has been proven true, time after time, by those who have goen before us.

    As we celebrate the new form, it becomes easier to let go of the old. And in that celebration, we become willing to let God remove these defects of charaacter.

    Today’s Step: I rejoice in the new form my life is taking.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

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