24 Jul Alcohol Anonymous – Step 7
This blog post was written by guest blogger, April Wright, MA, MFTI is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern supervised by Kathryn Tull, M.A., MFC44809. She holds an active and current registration with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences pre-license 69624. She is a member of CAMFT – a professional network designed to educate, advocate and enrich its members. If you have any questions or you would like to discuss how to enhance your spiritual connection and need support in your sober process, please contact April for a free 15-minute consultation.
Please note that the opinions presented in the article are that of the author and not necessarily the opinions of RHN. RHN chooses to publish articles and share individual sites to evoke discussion and show all options, ideas and beliefs.
The Seventh Step Prayer
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.
In step one (1), you admitted powerlessness over alcohol. In step two (2) you came to believe that a power greater than you could restore your reasoning. You possibly named that source to be God, Allah, Nature, a passed-on relative or loved one or even your breathe. In step three (3), you turned your will and life over to the care of your higher power. In step four (4), you wrote a list of your moral inventory which included your resentments, faults, fears, sexual injury, and harms. Once your list was complete, in step five (5) you stated your role in past wrong doings. In step six (6), you declared to your higher power that you are ready for him/ her to remove your shortcomings. And now in step seven (7), you humbly ask your higher power to remove your shortcomings.
“If you are truly humble, nothing can touch you, neither disgrace nor praise, because you know who you are.” – Mother Theresa
In step 6 you prepared yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to have the limitations you listed in step 4 removed. The limitations could be past negative self talk, manipulative behavior, or explosive reactions to others. Whatever the behavior, thoughts or feelings, you are now ready for change. After much preparation, step 7 provides the direction to humbly ask your higher power to remove obstacles that are preventing you from the healthy interactions with self and others. You have adjusted your attitude, let go of arrogance, pride, and now unpretentiously and respectfully ask your higher power for strength and to remove whatever obstacles that have prevented you from succeeding in the past. During times of temptation to retreat to old destructive patterns, you look for your higher power’s guidance.
What does it look like to complete step seven? Let’s use the example of quitting smoking. In step six, you prepared yourself and declared that you are ready for change. You said, “I am ready to quit smoking” and you turned it over to your higher power. You believe in the possibility to quit smoking. You let go and have faith in your higher power. You rely on dialogue and prayer, modestly asking for strength during times of temptation.
Steps 6 and 7 are considered the hardest of the actions due to their constant attention to a spiritual connection. At times, it is difficult to determine your own personal will versus your higher power’s will. It is the belief in your partnership with your higher power and their desire for your success that can help alleviate any question. Your confidence in your partnership, personal intention, motivation, and daily actions affirming your desires are of utmost importance to the outcome of your efforts.
You can view it from the standpoint that your long-term goal is to quit smoking. You declared it in your mind, to another, and to your higher power. Your responsibility is to ensure you have continual, conscious contact with your higher power to guarantee that each minute, hour, and day you do the best you can to achieve your goal.
With the grace and guidance of your higher power you are breaking down your larger goal into smaller manageable actions. The process begins in the morning when you awaken. You embark on the day asking your higher power his/ her will for you. It could be the simplest of things such as you are not going to buy a pack of cigarettes today. As the day passes, the enticement may be great. This is where the importance of step 7 comes to play. You ask your higher power for help and pray for the power to carry out your goal. As your spiritual bond strengthens, your chances to follow through are increased.
If you fail it is important to forgive yourself and keep trying. Unlike your higher power, you are human and mistakes are bound to occur. It is imperative to have compassion and understanding for yourself. If helpful, visualize that your higher power is holding your hand and supporting you along your journey to remain from smoking; knowing your will and intent are in good fortune.
At the end of the day as you fall asleep, give yourself praise and accept your higher power’s approval for your role in making your goal a reality. If you broke down and bought a pack of cigarettes, it is crucial to be kind and gentle to yourself in small setbacks. There is another day and your higher power is there to support you when you humbly ask.
Working step 7 along with the other steps is a continual process. As long as you are continuing to put one foot in front of the other, you are moving forward; positively and purposely as your higher power encourages. With the guidance of another and your ongoing spiritual connection and consciousness, you are able to achieve anything you determine it to be. As long as you are kind, gentle, and compassionate to yourself, your spiritual being will support and help you along the journey.