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- December 20, 2013 at 10:11 am #4192141
Crossing the Threshold
“The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.” Irving Berlin
When some speech therapists treat stammers or stutters, they have their clients go to a supermarket, choose a long line, and when they come abreast of the checker, ask where they can find an item that is particularly difficult to pronounce. This is done, not to humiliate them, but to build up enough self-esteem to realize that they are deserving and worthwhile people, and that their speech difficulty in no way diminishes them as dignified human beings.
When we set about the business of clearing up these negative characteristics and behavior patterns that have plagued us in our recent past, it’s helpful to know that although we have a problem, we are not the problem. We are afflicted with a treatable condition that responds admirably to the program we’ve begun to follow. And, like the stutterers, our difficulties in no way diminish our worth as human beings. We are worthy of recovery, and of having our defects removed. Knowing that makes it easier to gain the willingness to have God remove them.
Today’s Step: I recognize that I am worthwhile, in spite of my flaws.
Step by Step. Muriel ZinkDecember 20, 2013 at 10:18 am #4192140
Laying the Groundwork
“O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.” St Augustine
We have to close one door in order to open another. But it’s amazing how reluctant we are to let that first door close. We persist in trying to keep it slightly ajar in case we find it necessary to return to our old familiar path. Painful, admittedly, but familiar. It almost feels better to stay in our pain than to risk embracing the unknown.
We experience nostalgia for the good old days when we didn’t know that our characteristics were defects. We try to bargain, telling ourselves, “I’ll give up all those if I can just keep this one.” We reevaluate our judgment on our inventory work and say to ourselves: “Maybe I’ve been too hard on myself. Maybe that one isnt really a defect. I probably went overboard in trying to be so scrupulous!”
Although this step may appear to be a passive one, that’s far from the truth. We don’t simply sit still and say, “Well, here we are. All my defects. O.K. Higher Power—take ’em away.” We review our inventory list. We spread it all out before us and use it to choose our first project.
Today’s Step: My inventory is the foundation for my further recovery.
Step by Step. Muriel ZinkDecember 21, 2013 at 9:54 am #4192151
Fear has many faces
“The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.”
While the stereotypical image of meekness is a fearful, cringing figure, we view meekness in an entirely different light.
When we suggested developing the quality of meekness to facilitate working this step, we think of patience and humility, both of which are potent factors in our formula for success.
Granted, we do experience a certain amount of fear and uncertainty in letting go of some of those characteristics which have kept others at a distance, but because we’ve identified them as defects of character, getting rid of them is a “must.”
Fear, itself, has many faces. More often than not, it masquerades as other emotions such as anger, resentment, and self-deception.
This is one of the reasons that we’ve had such difficulty defining the true source of our discomfort, and why it becomes necessary for us to work through these symptoms before we can eliminate fear itself.
Despite the fact that resentment is often the most difficult defect to eliminate, experience has proven it to be an excellent candidate with which to begin Step Six.
Today’s Step: I am finding the courage to let go of my character defects.
Step by Step. Muriel Zink
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