Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Self Acceptance

My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen (Page 76, Alcoholics Anonymous)

Another fellow I know has graciously accepted to be my sponsor. So I have a new sponsor. We have been discussing some of the ongoing issues I have been having with my character defects and he pointed out to me the step seven prayer. That we become willing to give God all of us, the good and the bad. He shared that in his life, he had come to the realization that if God is willing to accept the bad in us, in other words our character defects, that why wasn't he willing to accept his own character defects. If he wasn't willing to practise this kind of self acceptance, then was he was placing himself higher than God? He thought he was because his Higher Power was more than willing to do so.

It struck me that I was once again trying to play God in my own life. This propensity toward fearfulness and self-pity is something I would wish away. If God is willing to accept it, than why can't I?

Another thing that jumped out at me this morning as I read the step 7 prayer is that we only ask to have the character defects removed that "would stand in the way" of our usefulness to God. It is not what I think would stand in the way but what my Higher Power knows would stand in the way. Not the defects that makes me feel uncomfortable but the defects that prevents me from being useful.

An example I see in my own life was in being of service in AA. It was relatively easy to set up the chairs and make the coffee, to greet people at the door and then clean up after the meeting. There was lots of fear more fear when I was asked to chair the meeting. An amazing amount of fear when I was asked to sponsor someone. Yet, regardless of the fear I felt, I was able to do what my Higher Power had directed me to do.

So I recognize that God is doing for me what I am unable to do for myself. I take God's will to be that I am to love the person in front of me, regardless of who that person is or represents. Sometimes I can do it, sometimes I can't. As time goes on, the feelings don't seem to lessen but my ability to be of service increases. I guess that's progress, not perfection.

Thanks for letting me share.

Photo Credit - Leonard John Matthew


Syd said...

Glad to have found your blog. Thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to reading more.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

we are all full of ego and pride. we dont back down. we want to be RIGHT.
the battle never ends

'we have stopped fighting' goes very deep.

have you the courage to stop 'fighting' your 'character defects'?

see? not as easy as it looks!

its always acceptance in the end. not a license to condone destructive thinking and actions, but acceptance of our terrible weaknesses and an ongoing desire to go to any lengths a day at a time to be our best self.

thanks for sharing. interesting post as always :)