A Conversation Between Me and The 12 Steps on Step 7

Step 7 “Humbly ask God as we understand it to remove our shortcomings”

The Scene: A living room with both parties sitting on either ends of a couch.  12 Steps appears open and relaxed, Pam has knees pulled up to chest with blanket wrapped around her shoulders while not making eye contact.  Coffee table set with tea set with two cups and saucers.

12 Steps: What are your shortcomings as identified by your inventory in Step 4?

Pam: Selfishness, self centredness, self-pity, victimhood, dishonesty, immaturity, pride, arrogance, shame, cowardice.

12 Steps: Are you willing to ask God as you understand it to remove your shortcomings?


12 Steps: How about this, are these shortcomings the reasons for your resentments and listed mistakes as identified in Step 4?

Pam: Yes.

12 Steps: Have areas of your life become unmanageable due to these shortcomings?

Pam: Yes.

12 Steps: Is there any reason to believe that  the same worldview that got you into this mess is the same worldview that will get you out of this mess?  That even though your current thoughts and beliefs landed you where you are, somewhere you’ve stated is undesirable, your current thoughts and beliefs can get you somewhere else, somewhere that is desirable?

Pam: No.

12 Steps: So you admit your life has become unmanageable because of these character defects, that there’s no reason to believe you can course correct your trajectory while maintaining these character defects, and yet you have a resistance to having them removed.  Is that correct?


12 Steps: 

Pam: I’m afraid I won’t be special anymore.  I’m afraid these ‘defects’ are what give me my strength, my stamina, my personality.  I’m afraid I’ll lose my backbone, that my spine will deteriorate, that I’ll crumble and be unable to get up.  I’m afraid I’ll become a shell of myself, and maybe even disappear.  I’m afraid that by giving over control, asking for intervention, I’ll stop being me.

12 Steps: You already gave up control in Step 1, did you not?

Pam: Yes.

12 Steps: What did that feel like?

Pam: Resistance at first.  And then freedom.  Relief.  An exhale.

12 Steps: And yet you believe that with your current understanding you can either get you out of the mess that you and your current understanding got you into or that you can manage a situation you’ve identified as unmanageable for a while longer, is that correct?

Pam: Maybe.

12 Steps: Ok.

Pam:  Ya.

12 Steps: Let’s stay here for awhile then.

Pam: Ok. 

Camera stays on them sitting quietly in unchanging positions for a few minutes, 12 Steps appears to be comfortable and relaxed, sipping tea with a peaceful expression on his/her face.  

Fade out

Published by Pam Stewart

I am a writer living in Victoria, BC, Canada. I got my start in spoken word and am now a frequent contributor to Elephant Journal. My writing is the result of a deep dive into the world of self-help. I don't profess to know how others should do it, but am interested in having the conversation. I think there is real value in revealing our blindspots, our vulnerabilities and our fears; which is what I am trying to do through my essays on mindfulness, self-exploration, and living honestly. I have found God through writing, which is to say, I have found myself through writing. My book, I Really Thought It Would Be Easier Than This, is available now.

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