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Audio Version

When I first approached Step Seven, I thought it would be the easiest of the Steps in some ways. It certainly was not difficult to be humble. When I came to AA, I felt lower than a snake's belly and thought I was one of the worst people on earth; definitely one of the lumpenproletariat. It was easy to be humble and I felt guilty because I felt I had let down God, my true Higher Power who had given me lots of warnings, all of which I had ignored.

When I looked more closely at Step Seven, I knew it was NOT easy. I had no right to make this request because it was MY job to remove my shortcomings. I knew what was wrong with me and it should require no more than willpower to put myself right. But "here we go again". I had tried willpower to stop drinking and it had not worked.  So it was back to Step Two to convince me that only God could help me.

My greatest shortcoming was wanting to drink and, though this was becoming less of a problem because of my AA meetings, I still needed the hand of my Higher Power to guide me.

I had lied so much during my drinking days that I could not stop afterwards. Whenever I was asked any question, I instinctively wanted to tell a lie. Avoiding the truth had become part of my persona. I asked God to remove this shortcoming and, in the main, He did, though the temptation to fabricate stories is still in me.

Another serious shortcoming I have is to journey into the past on a time-travel train The problem is that the train stops only at stations where things went wrong and I re-create the heartache, heart-break, desperation and loneliness of those times. On some of those occasions, originally, I used alcohol to deaden the painful memories and returning to them again can always risk wanting to drink again. The risk is too great and I ask my Higher Power to stop my mental trips to the past.

I have other shortcomings, of course, and I may well develop others as time goes by. I sincerely and humbly ask my Higher Power to relieve me of all of them, not as a reward for not drinking, but to make me a better person so that I will not harm others. Nobody is perfect and I'm sure I will always have some rough edges, but I want them to be few, harmless and sober.

Helping other people with their shortcomings is very difficult. Like me, when I was drinking, they do not want other people interfering. As the Serenity Prayer says, I must, sometimes, "accept  the things I cannot change" and let GOD do the work and, when it seems I can help, I must be tactful, careful, gentle and kind. The tact, care, gentleness and kindness of the AA Fellowship, together with my Higher Power, got me sober and is keeping me so today.