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The spiritual principle linked to Step 7 is humility. Humility is defined as a freedom from pride or arrogance: the quality or state of being humble. By definition, humility is the very thing many alcoholics and addicts have been missing throughout the entirety of their addiction.
Pride and arrogance are the exact things keeping many of us sick for far too long!
We practice humility throughout the steps. First, by admitting our powerlessness over the drink or drug, handing our will over to a Power greater than ourselves, looking deeply into our past and understanding our part in the resentments we held so close and sharing these indiscretions with another. All of these are important pre-cursors to our biggest test in humility – asking our Higher Power to remove these defects of character revealed to us through diligent work.
For many of us, this can be difficult. These traits are the very essence of who we are up to this point in our lives. However, if we are willing to move forward with trusting our Higher Power, we are promised that we will lose interest in selfish things and gain an interest in more healthy outlets. This promise furthers the idea we will become free from the bondage of self, allowing us to focus our efforts on others and creating a better life for everyone involved.
We must understand as we take this step, all of our character defects will not miraculously disappear overnight; however, we are making the conscious decision to humble ourselves to our Higher Power and ask for guidance in becoming the person we would like to be. As we travel through sobriety, Step 7 is one we might need to revisit as new defects of character appear, or old ones resurface. Whatever the case may be, we must continue to practice humility by asking our Higher Power for help and guidance.
If we find we have done Step 7 thoroughly and are willing to allow our Higher Power to aid us in removing our character defects, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous gives us a prayer we can use:
“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.”
If we can ask this with all sincerity and willingness, we find ourselves ready to begin Step 8.