Seeking addiction treatment isn’t always easy, and people often forget that sobriety is a lifelong journey. It’s a constant commitment, which you’ll come to realize during your stay at a treatment center.
As well as coming face-to-face with your past, you’ll have to let go of your substance abuse entirely. That means dealing with alcohol cravings head-on and adopting healthy coping mechanisms in times of stress. This is where the 12-step program comes into play.
Instead of handling everything yourself, you put your trust and faith into a higher power. As a society, we’re used to developing self-reliance, but this can often make it harder to make the shift into long-term sobriety.
Instead of being completely alone in your journey, the 12-step program pushes you to realize that you need to rely on a power greater than yourself. It takes a lot of humility to put aside your ego and hand the reins over to God, but for some, it’s the only way to live a sober life free from alcohol.
Let’s take a closer look at the seventh step and what it means to practice humility.
What Is AA?
Short for Alcoholics Anonymous, AA is an organization dedicated to helping people overcome alcohol use disorders and addictive behaviors. Sessions are free and founded on the 12-step program, a set of spiritual principles designed to help guide you through recovery.
AA meetings always take place in a group setting; they serve as group therapy that enables members to share their thoughts, fears, and personal objectives with one other. Many people combine traditional addiction treatment (detox and therapy) with AA meetings to build a stronger foundation for long-term sobriety.
What Is the 12-Step Program?
Created by Alcoholics Anonymous and developed on spiritual principles, the 12-step program focuses on building a firm foundation for life after substance abuse treatment, guiding people through recovery, and giving them strength and hope for their journey. Strength and hope are developed by believing in a higher power and realizing that you can’t overcome alcohol abuse alone.
Each of the twelve steps helps you come to terms with your past, pushing you to make amends and let go of your guilt. God or a higher power is involved in this process, and the seventh step hones in on this, pushing you to ask God to remove any defects of character. Though the twelve steps are aimed at those suffering from alcohol addiction, treatment providers use them in developing programs for all sorts of addictions.
Before embarking on your journey, check in with your treatment provider and see what programs they have developed in line with AA.
Breaking Down Step Seven
After working on the previous steps, you’ll have learned to put your faith in a higher power and admit your wrongs. This was all to prepare you for step seven, in which you’ll ask God to remove your flaws. If you are religious, you’ll be asked to participate in what’s known as the seventh step prayer.
“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”
Moving forward and letting go is a crucial part of recovery, and this step helps you release your wrongdoings by placing your faith in a higher power. The 12-step program is centered around the idea of progress, not perfection, so owning up to your faults (step six) and handing the reins over to God (step seven) will push you to move forward in your life without regret.
As well as encouraging you to practice humility, step seven also prepares you for step eight, which involves making a note of all the people you’ve hurt with your behaviors.
The 12-step program isn’t always easy, and you’ll often find yourself in uncomfortable situations. However, putting your faith and trust in a higher power will make it easier for you to move forward and overcome your alcohol addiction.
It’s normal to feel ashamed and guilty during the process, and asking a higher power to remove your character flaws can be a little deflating. It involves putting your pride and ego aside, which can be difficult to do if you’re used to being self-reliant.
Use step seven as an ongoing opportunity to practice humility, and with time you’ll find it easier to put your trust in a greater power.
What Does It Mean To Practice Humility?
During step seven, you humbly ask a higher power to remove your character defects, but what does humility mean? Handing the reins over to God or a higher power isn’t easy. You first have to realize that you’re not powerful enough to do it all on your own, something which can be challenging to own up to.
As humans, we’re used to being self-sufficient. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can veer into the territory of self-centeredness. Believing you can handle everything and don’t need anyone can do more harm than good.
Maintaining sobriety is a constant commitment. There will be times when you’ll be up against temptations and cravings. Giving in to the fact that you need help from something greater than yourself isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of humility.
Confucius himself defined humility as having a reasonable perspective of yourself (not inflating your image or thinking of yourself as more powerful than you actually are). See yourself as part of a bigger scheme, and you’ll find it easier to practice humility during recovery.
Overcoming alcohol addiction might be a personal journey, but that doesn’t mean you need to go at it alone.
Putting Step Seven Into Action
Before you begin step seven, it’s probably a good idea to practice as much humility as possible. It might not be easy at first, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to change your attitude and take on this step with the right mindset. This means developing modesty and accepting the mistakes you’ve made in the past rather than placing the blame on others. It also means letting go of those mistakes.
Once you’ve made amends and released your wrongdoings, you’ve got to let go. You can’t keep holding onto guilt for the rest of your life.
What To Do if You’re Struggling With Step Seven
Struggling to let go of your ego? Don’t beat yourself up about it. Changing habits and transforming your attitude isn’t easy, so try taking baby steps. You don’t have to approach the seventh step with the idea of perfection – the most important thing is that you make progress.
Handing over your life and wrongdoings isn’t going to happen overnight, especially if you’re not in tune with your spiritual side. Allow the process to take as long as it needs to. After all, sobriety is a lifelong journey, and Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t expect anyone to have a set recovery date. Go at your own pace – achieving greater humility takes time.
You might find it helpful to practice meditation and mindfulness during this stage. Journal and ask yourself questions about your journey. This will help you develop greater self-awareness and keep you in tune with your spirituality. For example, ask yourself:
- How have the steps prepared me for this stage in my life?
- How do I view my higher power, and has my understanding of that term grown?
- How have I been using step seven to overcome substance abuse?
If you’re finding it particularly difficult, explore additional treatment options that can complement your journey within the 12-step program. Research different healthcare providers and see what options are available. You might find that one-to-one therapy helps you become more introspective, making it easier to open up and practice humility.
What Is a Higher Power?
Though Alcoholics Anonymous is based on religious principles, the twelve steps have evolved over time. You no longer need to be religious to participate, and no one from Alcoholics Anonymous will ever judge you for not having a set belief. The only requirement is that you’re committed to recovery and strive to give up alcohol for life.
Higher power can refer to God or any kind of belief in something greater than yourself (nature, consciousness, and even science). Overall, AA can help complement substance abuse treatment by providing a more spiritual and reflective kind of therapy.
Addiction Treatment at Discovery Place
Located on an intimate seven-acre property in Tennessee, Discovery Place is a treatment center explicitly catered for men struggling with alcohol use disorder and other addictions.
Combining traditional addiction treatment methods with high-quality behavioral healthcare, the 12-step program is at the heart of what we do. Our guests have access to professional treatment advice and are guided to recovery with dedicated 12-step guides.
Recognized for our exceptional quality care standards, treatment practices, and wealth of facilities (swimming pool, gyms, and more), Discovery Place is the perfect space to recover, reflect, and take the steps needed to start building your new life.