Friday, November 9, 2007

4th Step

Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Doing this step brings out hidden feelings from me. How difficult it is for me to accept other people just as they are. From relatives of long ago to some person sharing too long and too boring at a meeting. The many opinions within AA on how to work the 12 steps drives me crazy. The difficulties I am having with my character defects does not lead to self acceptance. Can't accept you, can't accept me for not accepting you. Makes my head spin.

So why this deep need to trust myself only? I know that when I surrendered to God, my obsession for drink went away. When my trust in God deepens, my faith increasing, my fears become less. Many many years of trusting only me, being hurt by many others, makes it hard. Being sober for about 20 months is not a long enough period of time to unlearn all the methods I had used to cope. My sponsor never tires of telling me that "time takes time". If I was to have 20 years experience in sobriety, I better plan on sticking around for 20 years, not expect my sponsor to get his jar of pixie dust and sprinkle some on my head so I can get the program the easier softer way.

Acceptance of everything around me, not wanting it to be different, is an important part of my sobriety. My fear wants me to have control of all that is around me. I can't. I am powerless over even the simplest of things. The serenity to accept things is granted by God. Getting this knowledge from my head into my heart is where time takes time. Pain is an important part of this change. Seems like without pain, I can't move myself to change. It is what it is.

I am grateful to AA for the changes within my life. Without AA I could never have found God. Without God, I would not have been able to stop drinking. God gives me the courage to do step 4 and 5. To look at myself and see what needs to be changed. Others speak of the changes they see in me, and I can only give credit to my Higher Power and the rooms of AA. Thank you.

p.s. -- How does anyone practice self-acceptance. To make amends to ones self. This baffles me. I've been told to stand in front of the mirror and tell my reflection that I love him. There must be a better way. Then again, this p.s. might just be me looking an easier softer way, so I don't have to go through what I need to. :)


Anonymous said...

I remember well the days I had to stand in front of the mirror saying "you're beautiful and I love you" as part of treatment. It took a long time to get comfortable with it and I no longer do it everyday, but I do find myself doing it every now and again. But now I do it because I feel it.

As for acceptance, "read page 417 of the Big Book" is the slogan I use and I find I can accept almost anything these days. Only of course when I am in a good mood, not hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Nor when my connection with my Higher Power is hanging by a thread. That is why I begin every day with prayer and reflection, attend lots of meetings and keep focused on my recovery.

I try not to "fix" things or people anymore and am better able to "mind my own business". I still see the good in all people but I don't put them on a pedistal and try to please them anymore, I have so many friends now that its not necessary that everyone I meet likes me.

And just for today - I am happy, joyous and free! I don't know what tomorrow will bring but that's ok, I'll deal with it tomorrow.

Love and serenity,

Mary Christine said...

I never liked standing in front of the mirror doing that, it felt very phony to me.

But I have found that I love and accept myself once I start helping others and behaving the way I know I should. It works like nothing else!

YamadogGirl said...

Acceptance, What a hard thing to practice. I too struggled with this, but I can do it today, not always gracefully though. Your sponsor's experience and comment is great, "time takes time". I've been able to look back, and see the changes in me, but it's taken time, and my hope is to keep growing.

Have you ever read the pamphlet "Acceptance - The way to serenity and peace of mind"? (little 2-tone blue book with a white dove on the cover). I finally found a copy at one of my meetings, but your intergroup office may have one. I found that it really put things into perspective for me.

Bless & Love,

indistinct said...

Thank you for all your comments. I've lots to travel on this journey but knowing that we are not alone makes it possible.

One day at time, we change.