The first two words of this deceptively simple-sounding step created such a reactive charge in me that I had a lot of work to do before I could even get to the “shortcomings” part of the process.
I get it that I am a spiritual being having a human experience. Sometime though the human part of me bloats up and forgets that I know better. Those times that I kiss up to someone I disrespect to avoid confrontation. Those times I wimp out and don’t state my truth because someone might not like it. Those times that I get an anticipatory thrill out of pushing someone’s button when I know in advance I am about to do so. Those times I make excuses to put off until tomorrow that which I already put off yesterday.
The words “12-Steps” have become so familiar in modern day lexicon that even those who don’t practice a recovery program (or don’t believe they need one) still grasp the connotation. Steps evoke an image of upward travel, or a linear pathway from where I am to where I want to go. “Working the steps” is both.
It is not the easiest thing to even find a quote in New Thought Science of Mind that acknowledges character defects, dark sides, and flaws. I love that the philosophy of the teaching is focused on generating and recognizing positive energy at all times and in every situation. I know this is my key to living a marvelous life.
I can’t help but notice those two giant little words at the end of this step… “of ourselves.” For quite some time I took inventories of others, feeling indignant that they didn’t see what I did. It was decades before I had the slightest inkling of a notion that the problem was me. (Similar to being introduced to the concept that alcohol was but a symptom, not the problem here. Another head scratcher.)
The word “surrender” had a subtle tinge of weakness for me at first – but when I examine it through the concept of duality I realize there has to be a quality of strength somewhere in there too. The passive concept of surrender feels like weakness, submission. The strength, however, comes through my conscious intention and decisive action to hand off my problems, fears and limitations to the care of God as I understood It, that great something within (and throughout) …
From early childhood, I always had faith that there was something greater than me out there. I just never realized I was connected to it. The key phrase was “out there.” I was very much “in here”, in my head, intellectualizing, affirming and demonstrating separation. Growing up in a home with slightly more than zero teaching or affiliation with religion, God, or spirituality, I developed a sarcastic and suspicious view of it all, despite the fact that I truly sensed it was real. However, without personal access, I resented it and I resented others who seemed to easily be part of it.
The truth is that for decades, I was a liar. Mainly white lies to be non-offensive, but the urge to lie by omission or flat out misrepresentation grew until it seemed to be my default retort mode. Half truths and untruths came out in response in benign ways like “How much did that tablecloth cost?” to treacherous things like saying “I love you” back when I didn’t.