The previous step suggests we were now ready to have our character defects removed. Step 7 in the Alcoholics Anonymous book says we now “humbly ask God to remove all these defects”. Pretty straightforward if that were possible. But this doesn’t come from an “exorcision” where these are cast out of us, and I don’t think Bill W thought that either.
We arrive at Step 7 after an honest look at our ourselves, including our positive attributes and those needing some work. We don’t judge ourselves and our attributes as positive or negative, good or bad. Those attributes just are what they are.
Often our confidants, friends, and counselors help us if we are in doubt about character pluses and minuses. They might also have helpful advice about changes. If we ask them to make constructive suggestions about improvements, they might offer ways we could adjust positively.
So, short of an exorcision or supernatural intervention, what are some other ways to personalize Step7? Again, here are a few examples from “The Little Book”, from Roger C.
– With the assistance of others and our own firm resolve, we transformed unskillful aspects of ourselves and cultivated positive ones. (Buddhist Non-theist 12 Steps)
– With humility we acknowledged our shortcomings, and with openness we sought to eliminate them. (We Agnostics)
– We asked for practical help in effecting these changes. (Gabe’s therapist’s steps)
– I am proud of my strength and ability to grow. (The Twelve Steps of Self-Confirmation)