Back to my Overeater's Anonymous journey. After making the searching and fearless moral inventory in step 4, it was time to share it and allow God to heal my character defects.
Step 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6 - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7 - Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
I approached step five with some trepidation. I had been thorough and truthful in my inventory and I was not sure I could share it with another person. You see, I have always believed that if people really knew me they would reject me. Some in my life already had. Still, I had already seen and felt the healing that comes from this journey and I knew I needed more. Because my sponsor was not local, we did the inventory electronically. I was able to tell her things one at a time and discuss them before moving on to the next item. I started little and built up trust. I learned that my sponsor had the gift of wisdom. She often saw things I did not and was able to unearth further character defects. I'll never forget the day she told me I was selfish. I was so angry. I thought 'you don't know me. I'm a kind person.' Then I looked at her evidence and had to admit she was right. I was trying to run the world and angry when people didn't do things my way (since I always knew best). I was selfish. Her vision and wisdom where a gift. More than that, though, her love was a gift. You see, when you give your step five to someone who understands the program they give you the gift of loving acceptance. Nothing I could say drove her away. Instead she put her cyber-arm around me and told me we all had these issues and we were all on the path to getting them healed. We are in this together. That is the strength of the program.
Step six involves deciding if I was ready to get rid of all this spiritual sludge in my life. Sometimes this is difficult. We know that the way we are facing life is causing us pain. It isn't working, but it is comfortable and familiar. It may have even served us in the past as coping strategies for traumatic circumstances. Facing the unknown and doing something new can be scary. I had the gift of desperation. I knew the path I was on was self-destructive. I had to try a different way.
Step 7 involves praying for God to do something we can never do ourselves - to remove our character defects. Here is the prayer OA offers:
My creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good or 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 the strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen
I did not immediately become perfect when I prayed this prayer. I spent time praying over each defect/sin I had uncovered. I spent time talking to my sponsor about different ways to cope with situations in my life. Growth and change are a process. I still stumble, I still hurt people, I still hold grudges, but I admit and change a lot faster. I apologize sooner, and as a result....
I walk in so much joy and peace, it is hard to imagine I ever carried all that junk around.
Wishing you joy in the journey - Jaki