3 min read
18 Jul

      I learned in a celebrate recovery meeting a very important lesson recently. It put into words something that I was struggling with and brought clarity to muffled chaos. The speaker said regarding our 6th and 7th steps that everything before that was recognizing where we fell short in our own lives, and our flaws that drove us to make certain decisions in life. Recognition or awareness is the first step in the healing process; realizing that we have some things we need to work on. The 6th step calls for us to become entirely ready to have God remove all defects of character. God gives us this moment to pause, and examine within ourselves what we wish to remove and what we have been holding on to.      

      During this pause we are able to gather our strength to take the next step, and God waits for us. We have to become ready; we might not know all the ways in which we are defective, but we do our best to take a hard look at ourselves and be honest. I am so grateful for this moment of pause and reflection because you recognize what you can heal, what you can give up to God, and most importantly what we are ready to give up. Some of us might not be ready for certain things, some of us might not have the emotional capacity or knowledge of how to move on, forgive ourselves or others and that is perfectly fine. Our goal is spiritual progress remember, and acknowledging that there are some things we just can't accept right now is part of that progress. To me when I am aware of those qualities or moments, I like to imagine my higher power sitting next to me and patting my head telling me good job, and I'm proud of you. In that moment I am not ready, but he sees that I'm aware that it is something I need to work on.  He tells me, that’s okay I'll still be here when you are ready to let go of that, and with grace and mercy he acknowledges that it's still too painful for me to handle. We all need that pause to understand our limitations, and how to move forward in a healthy way. My higher power doesn’t judge me, he sits with me in my pain with compassion as only a friend can do. Those words echoing in my heart and in my soul- I'll be here for you when you are ready to let go, and I'll help you reach that point in whatever way I can.       

     Finally, we reach our 7th step, a moment of liberation and freedom. We humbly ask him to remove our shortcomings. Having recognized, taken a moment to reflect and be entirely ready, we humbled ourselves before our higher power and asked him to help us. To take from us these things that cause us pain and cause others pain. I look at it from a different perspective. He doesn’t just take these shortcomings away, but he transforms them in a way only God can. The defects that were once used to support our selfish desires can be used to support others selflessly. Isn't that beautiful? He gives us the chance to transform ourselves once again to be of use to others. To be grateful for our defects because they allow us to relate to others as imperfect beings. Acceptance is spiritual transformation, and freedom that is given to us by God, my higher power. We no longer have to be ashamed of our shortcomings, and we can use them to help others who are struggling.  To someone struggling with forgiveness right now can be used to help someone else forgive a situation they thought they never could. To someone struggling with their hurts, habits and hang-ups God can use those to heal another. Your story has meaning, your life has meaning, and you yourself have an inherent worth given to you that can never be taken away.  So, I pray for this, that despite our limitations as individuals we are able to use our strengths to lift others up. To use our story to help them recognize, pause and accept their own when they are ready. I pray that in helping others, we find the way forward, a new perspective, the ability to let go and move on. For it is in others stories that we often find ourselves, because we gain gratitude for what we have been able to heal from and what we are trying to move on from. 

With Much Love, 

Mack  

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