I was afraid that if I asked God to remove my shortcomings, I would have nothing left. I was particularly fearful about shortcomings I had gotten a lot of mileage out of —- sarcasm, arguing with my spouse, being resentful over his acting-out with men, etc. What would I do with all the time I spent thinking about the other person, the time I spent obsessing about the “problem,” the time I spent telling people how unfair it was? Indeed, that time could be better spent in countless other ways, but letting go of shortcomings can be difficult. S-Anon helped me find the clarity to ask myself, “Is this defect really so useful — particularly when it also brings up the hurt, humiliation and guilt of my past?” Even though my answer is usually “No,” I sometimes still hesitate to ask God to remove my shortcomings.

I remember one incident very clearly. I was in a restaurant observing (actually judging) people around me. I was consumed with thoughts of how people should order, should look, should dress, should, should and more should. I was so preoccupied with“correcting”all these people that I lost sight of the reason I was at the restaurant — to enjoy myself and my dinner companions! Feeling my serenity disrupted, I momentarily stopped myself and thought about what was happening. I became aware that being judgmental of others was a real problem in my daily life and that this lack of humility prevented me from enjoying my own life and appreciating others as God created them. I tried to think of good things about the people in the restaurant but quickly again fell into self-righteous “correcting” instead of concentrating on what was in front of me. Finally, I remembered Step Seven and silently said, “God, please take these thoughts.” Amazingly, relief was just a prayer away! God removed the obsessive, judgmental thoughts, and I finally focused on enjoying my dinner companions.

Sometimes it feels as if I am on an island surrounded by my defects of character and I will never be rid of them all. Then I remember that Step Seven tells me I am not able personally to eliminate my shortcomings. All I need is willingness to have them removed and a humble heart to ask the God of my understanding to release me from the self-defeating shortcomings from which I want to be free.

Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Steps, page 77.

 June 18, 2018

Blog Notifications

Sign up to receive an email when items are posted to our Excerpts From Recovery blog (2-4 per month). Your address will not be used for anything else, or shared with anyone else.

Latest Posts

Older Posts

You are now leaving the official website for S-Anon International Family Groups, Inc. This link is made available to provide information about local S-Anon & S-Ateen groups. By providing this link we do not imply review, endorsement or approval of the linked site. Thank you for visiting www.sanon.org. We hope that you have found the information you were seeking.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping