July 5

PATIENCE MONTH: DAY 5: “Rest a while as the new growth takes place. Observe changes in your outer and inner world. This is your foundation for the next step.” ― Kelly Martin

This is an important, for me, part of the recovery process. Too often, we race from one moment into the next without experiencing fully the benefits of new uncovering and concepts.

Perhaps it is the process of aging, along with long-term recovery, that I need to sit still with growth more than I once did. Perhaps it is the knowing that any new growth must be incorporated more fully into my psyche for me to build upon that.

There is need for consistent and continuous growth and change in our attitudes, beliefs and practice of these principles. But we also need to allow this stuff to infiltrate fully our being.

We sometimes become very impatient for healing and read or learn some new information that we want to practice right away. This does not mean we have full grasp of those concepts we are learning about; and too often we are not really ready to walk with this way of being yet. It is kind of like a new pair of shoes…we might need to break them in slowly over time before we can go hiking in them.

I don’t know if this quote really speaks about “steps” the way we do, but it is a fitting and good one. If I am thorough with any step, it will take some time for it to settle into my being before I can add to it with the next one. If I do not fully grasp and incorporate new information and learning about myself, I am not prepared to walk with it out into the world quite yet.

I love to hear new members talk about Steps 6 and 7…they most often say they are “working on their character defects.” This is not what we are here to do. We are here to grasp and understand the nature of our wrongs. In my estimation, that means I grasp and understand why I do what I do and why it does not work.

Step 7 in the 12×12 talks about Fear being the common thread in all my character defects…Self-centered fear to be exact. That is an important piece of information. Fear is the tool of the ego, therefore, of course it can only be self-centered. And defensive; so character defects are ego defenses. These never work, but we continue to use them. We label and talk about them as if they were something other than what they are. This gives us the illusion that we are making progress.

At no point does anything in the literature talk about WE stop our character defects. We don’t know how. But we can learn, when we realize that this is about spiritual growth and developing a relationship with that Power that will remove those things from us. We may stop living in fear and control, or we may not. But it certainly is never going to be something we can “work on.”

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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