While going through some old photos, I found this beauty of four sunflowers. I received this arrangement from a friend in celebration for by sobriety birthday. It reminded me of something I heard in a meeting the other day...
Addiction cuts us off from the Sunlight of the Spirit.
These four sunflowers represent the four phases of the steps that bring us back into the Sunlight of the Spirit:
Give up—Steps 1-3
Fess up—Steps 4-7
Make up—Steps 8-9
Show up—Steps 10-12
I thought that summed it up pretty well.
Give up—Fighting ourselves—We first admit we were powerless in Step One. Then in Step Two we looked outward to something other than ourselves (came to believe). Then, in Step Three we decided to turn our will and lives over to God.
Fess up—Now, we look inward in Step Four, and search our hearts for weaknesses and errors. We made an inventory of our resentments, wrongs and fears. Then in Step Five, we admitted them all out loud to ourselves, another and to God. We looked at our character defects in Step Six and were finally ready to have God help us remove these if we are humble in Step Seven.
Make up—Now we need to do clean up. Own our stuff. Clean up our side of street. Step Eight is making a list of those we have harmed. We become willing, once again, to make it up to those people, or apologize. Step Nine is pretty difficult, as we face off the people in person to whom we need to make amends. One at a time. As they come up. Sometimes these situations and people present themselves—God doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. People will appear right in front of us in the perfect timing. We need to seize the opportunity that is placed before us to release them and ourselves from the angst that previously entangled us.
Whew! The Promises (as people in the program know) start playing out in our lives after our work up to this point. Now, we just need to continue to...
Show up—for the life God intended for us to live in the Sunlight of the Spirit. We become daily accountable for our thoughts and actions in Step Ten. When we have made a misstep, we clean it up right away. What a relief to be able to do this daily, freeing ourselves of the build-up of stuff we don’t need to carry forward. In Step Eleven, we get to continually seek God and keep our connection open. That is the source of our power in all we think and do. His Will will be carried out if we seek him and stay available. In this awakening that we have after all of this work, Step Twelve helps us carry the message of all that we have learned in this process to others who still suffer. Be of service.
This step process has been, and continues to be a glorious gift in my life for 5415 days in a row.
I am humbled and grateful.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.”
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