They say Step 7 is all about humility, but why? The thing is, if I am dying of an incurable illness, and I find someone who can save me, I’m not going to demand that they save me. I am going to ask them. And I’m not going to ask them in a pointed way, or in any way that suggests I could find someone else to do it. This is the only person, or being, who can save me. ‘Please save me’, or, in quite the same vein, ‘please take away these defects of character, which were killing me, and will do so unless you, my higher power, save me from myself.
And I was saved. The thing is, if I desire to stay saved then I must be willing ‘to do your (Higher Power’s) bidding. That’s what the prayer says. There are two ways of going about doing His bidding:
1) I make it up as I go along (he’s making it up as he goes along, folks!). That means I eventually end up twisting what I think is His bidding into the things that I think are right for me, because I am self-centred, because I can be self-will run riot. This is the old pattern of behaviour that wound up so disastrously before. Quite simply, I am not capable of staying on the Road on my own power.
2) Follow the guidance of a sponsor, and do it all. Stay honest. I say again, stay honest. If I don’t know whether it’s honest (this thing that I think is right for me), ask the sponsor, and act on the information received, especially if he says something I don’t want to hear. Sometimes the Sponsor, and other old-timers, will say something that is indefatigably ‘wrong’ – usually because it contradicts values that I had, or cling to today. How dare he? This is when humility bites, when humility isn’t just a word that I kind of understand, when the spiritual life is not a theory but is something I have to live. This is when I go along with it, and I don’t argue.
A mind like mine will slowly, and by degrees, take me off the path. On a daily basis, I stay as humble as I can by trying my best to follow the Daily Plan and the principles of the 12 steps, and by staying sponsorable. If not, I will land myself in big trouble. But, I have seen humility get people out of that trouble – what a thing that is. Constant thought of others is the answer, especially when I want to do that other thing that I think is right for me.
How can I be of service? Please save me!
Jon F, Road to recovery Group, Plymouth, May 2020