Friday, July 11, 2008

repeated humiliations

Step seven was the subject of discussion last night. "Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings"

There was some very good talk on humility and how the persons serenity was dependent on the amount of humility one has. At one point, I was asked to share. I spoke of my struggles and frustrations with this step. As I continued, I said that "no matter how hard I tried, I could not prevent myself from becoming angry." I paused, realizing what I just said, seeing again that it's not about me trying harder and harder. I looked around at all the smiling faces, thanked the chair person for letting me share and stopped talking. I had spoken for about a minute and had a rich lesson. It was wonderful.

My partner and I have had a bit of friction between us, lots of differences of opinion. This is where all the anger is arising from. Things have become a bit fragile and the harder I have tried to control my anger, to behave in ways that would protect the relationship, the more difficult the relationship becomes. I want to be right, not happy. I end up resentful, angry, fearful. Likewise for my partner, perhaps even more so. In all honesty, I don't know what the dance has become. We've lost equilibrium. I know that I play a large part in this particular point of our journey. We are going to speak to a third party next week, hoping to find a way out of the quagmire.

I want to end with a couple of paragraphs from Step seven out of the twelve and twelve. They start on page 72. I do this for me. When I type them out, they seem to become a bit more real:

For us, the process of gaining a new perspective was unbelievably painful. It was only by repeated humiliations that we are forced to learn something about humility. It was only at the end of a long road, marked by successive defeats and humiliations, and the final crushing of our self sufficiency, that we began to feel humility as something more than a condition of grovelling despair. Every newcomer in Alcoholics Anonymous is told, and soon realizes for himself, that his humble admission of powerlessness over alcohol is his first step toward liberation from its paralyzing grip.

So it is that we first see humility as a necessity. But this is the barest beginning. To get completely away from our aversion to the idea of being humble, to gain a vision of humility as the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit, to be willing to work for humility as something to be desired for itself, takes most of us a long, long time. A whole life time geared to self-centeredness cannot be set in reverse all at once. Rebellion dogs our every step at first.


Sophie in the Moonlight said...

I've said this b4, but after reading this post it bears repeating: it is a beautiful honor to watch your enlightenment during your recovery. You unfold yourself in your words, both spoken (as in speaking in group), and written (as in Here). You don't unfold in a hurry, like ripping apart folds in wrapping paper, but instead unfold like you would un-peel an onion about which you were particularly curious. You take off a layer and thoroughly examine it before moving on to the next layer, no matter how unpleasant smelling, no matter how much your eyes sting- you need to know how that onion is made and you do not judge the onion for being an onion. It just is what it is.

I love this about you. Keep up the good work.

Mark said...

My best friend has many favorite sayings one of which is "if you're trying to control something, it's already out of control."

And therein, to me, FWIW, lies the crux of you and your partner's "problem." You are fighting for control and when you don't perceive you have it you get angry.

Could be partially a 7th Step deal but its more likely to be a 3rd or 11th Step deal.

What does your sponsor say?

BTW - your visits and comments are appreciated...