Accepting Myself

My SA bus journey has been a long ride but well worth it so far. I still don’t know our destination even after 13 years. I have gone through the Steps with my sponsors several times in the course of my journey, and I have learned that the principles of Steps Four and Five still apply to me!

This statement from Step Four still applies to me: “Getting our secrets out into the open is one of the first concrete demonstrations that we want to change and starts an ongoing process that will continue to bear good fruit” (SA 110). In order to “stay on this bus,” I need to keep my life in the light by being open and sharing it with the driver (my Higher Power) and my fellow passengers. Every week I schedule regular check-ins with other members. I tell on my addict. I surrender the temptations. I call for advice, share the secrets, and raise my prayers. The principle of living my life in the light is ongoing. Living this way has helped me to like myself more than before.

Step Four helped me understand myself better, my character defects and my strengths. As I shared this Step with my sponsor, I could see through his eyes that I was balanced. I had strengths and accomplishments along with my failures and defects. Admittedly, those defects and failures brought me much misery and gave me a great desire to want to change.

The next stops on my bus trip are Steps Six and Seven. I can’t remove my character defects by myself no matter how hard I try. Indeed, I did try for years before I boarded the SA bus. Very often, the flip side of my character defect is a character strength gone awry. For instance, the flip side of my perfectionism is a desire to be conscientious in what I do, and that is not a bad thing. If I crushed and eliminated the defect, I would mangle and change the strength. It is better to let my Higher Power deal with it.

The magic of this bus ride is that once Steps are completed, the journey is not over. I must continue to live the principles of the Steps in my daily life. Over time, just as I turn over temptations more powerful than me, I have identified my strengths and defects more accurately. I turn them over to my Higher Power. The upshot of all of this awareness and surrender is that I accept myself. This is who I am. I do have progressive victory over lust, I am getting better, and I like myself.


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