Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fear and humility

Then, in A.A. we lookd and listened. Everywhere we saw failure and misery transformed by humility into priceless assets. We heard story after story of how humility had brought strength out of weakness. In every case, pain had been the price of admission into a new life. But this admission price had purchased more than we expected. It brought a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a healer of pain. We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever -- twelve and twelve, page 75

There was a lot of pain in my bottom. I had spent years swimming in the warm sea of self-pity. fortified by the embrace of alcohol. The awakening was cold and brutal. It saved my life.

Today, I no longer struggle with the obsession to drink or to porn. But my character defects remain. The need to isolate, to go to that place of self pity. The need to be full of fear, to be in control. Each time I read step 7 out of the twelve and twelve, I am struck by the word humility. It's meaning seems to be fluid and elusive. Every time I think I understand and try to grasp it, it slips away.

A sentance from page 72 of the same book reads, "As long as we placed self-reliance first, a genuine reliance upon a Higher Power was out of the question." Self-reliance I understand. Way I was brought up, the way I always wanted to be. Humility is what self-reliance isn't. I seem to only abandon self-reliance as a last resort. It takes a lot of pain to pry self-reliance out of my hands. To surrender.

I seem to be starting another run with self-pity this past couple of weeks. In spite of everything that has been happening I want to be the victim, poor me. I can blame others. I am no longer responsible that way.

Bill Wilson, in his essay on Step 7, shows humility as the way out. If my period in self-pity becomes painful enough, I will get the humility I need to get through this period. Bill also points to another way in the same essay:

We saw we needn't always be bludgeoned and beaten into humility. It could come quite as much from our voluntary reaching for it as it could from unremitting suffering. A great turning point in our lives came when we sought for humility as something we really wanted, rather than as something we must have. It marked the time when we could commence to see the full implicatin of Step Seven: " Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

Hmmmm. I wonder how much pain it takes to get there. I'm sure I'm going to find out. Thanks for letting me share.


dAAve said...

I totally identify with most of that.
Just thought I'd let you know.

indistinct said...

I'm not unique? rats!