It is now June, the month we revisit Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. We soon follow that with Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. Big steps! The first time I took these steps I really did not know what I was saying or what I was to do, except to begin to act different. I had to stop getting angry, being impatient, judging and criticizing others, stop being fearful and resentful, just to name a few. So, I tried. My intentions were good, but it seemed like the harder I tried not to get impatient, angry, resentful, short-tempered with co-workers and bosses (I worked at a law firm so essentially all the attorneys were my bosses) — I couldn’t do it! It took me a number of AWOLs to realize that I wasn’t meant to do it all myself. There was a higher power involved here; I was to humbly ask Him to remove my shortcomings. Did that mean that my HP, God, would just remove them with no effort on my part? As it turns out, no, that wasn’t what happened. I was guided by a caring sponsor to pick the most troublesome shortcoming, impatience, and ask God to help me be more patient. I began doing that, using that same process with whatever shortcoming was causing a problem for me that day.

I look back at the process and am amazed at the gradual increase of patience I experienced. Life presented me with many opportunities to practice patience and I kept practicing. Same went for the other shortcomings: gossiping, criticizing, judging, high expectations, people pleasing, etc., and fears of not being good enough, financial insecurity, others’ opinions, and more. The more I prayed for the opposite of these, the better I got at practicing the better behaviors. Truly progress not perfection.

Another thing I must mention is forgiveness. That had to play a big part of my recovery. As I became willing to forgive others in my past, my heart softened. As I continue to practice forgiveness in the day, I found more peace and contentment than I could ever have imagined. As the Big Book says, “we have ceased fighting anything or anyone.” If I practice this to the best of my ability and willingness, my contentment grows. I know I must continue to work the steps daily, practice the principles in all my affairs, reach out, go to meetings, read literature, write about feelings and happenings, follow my food plan, make reach out calls, do service, pray, and take quiet time…all of which I do. My life isn’t perfect, but it is far better than I ever could have dreamed of. May God bless all who are reading this with all the good things I wish for myself.

Barbara Ann, Compulsive Overeater