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The following paragraphs are excerpts from Kyczy Hawk’s book, Life in Bite-Sized Morsels.
Practice not perfection – realign yourself with your values and purpose
I was reading about the seventh step in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (the 12 x 12) a few weeks ago. It reminded me about the importance of letting my higher power be in charge of removing my defects of character. I constantly think that I must be in charge of exactly when and how my shortcomings should be addressed. In that regard, and in many others, I have suggestions about how my HP should work in my life. I think I am the one who knows when my unhealthy attitudes, actions and behaviors need to be altered and improved. Mostly it is right now, in this situation, for this reason.
Further reading and contemplation has changed my understanding. While I am in charge of being ready…my HP is in charge of the rest. This might not be news to others, but it has taken me several “trips around the sun” to really read what is being written in the literature and not just pick words out at random, thereby creating my own internal text and understanding.
In the 12 x 12, we are urged to become ready “without delay”
The Seventh Step prayer goes further, stating that we are asking for removal of those defects that “stand in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.” I might not be aware of what specific defects are currently in my way.
I might think that impatience is vexing me and frustrating my need to intersect in an activity in a certain way. But actually tenacity may be the skill needed to allow a situation to unfold. My idea might be to plow through, but the idea of “God’s Time, Not Mine” may be in play. I still have to do footwork, but the timing of the result or outcome is not up to me.
By putting one’s higher power in charge of the choosing…
…we are not looking at the defects and making the selection. To me, this means I am also relieved of perseveration—of concentration and focus on my defects. I do not need to focus on planning, scheming and offering them up for removal. I don’t need to keep thinking about my list of defects, looking at it, evaluating it for change, measuring them from one day to the next.
Instead, I am keeping my eye on being useful, on living a good life, and on focusing my daily intentions on the good and the positive. This creates a healthy habit of the mind. This also develops a positive form of thinking and behavior. Looking at the negative, the thoughts and actions that are not so useful are…not so useful. Reflecting on the unlovely can become a habit that decreases my healthy self-esteem. Looking toward the goodness, the improvement, and the growth is helpful. This can decrease the negative samskara (habits of the mind), as we call it in yogic traditions, and can create new, healthful mental grooves and thought patterns.
Just for today, I will encourage my mind to the health and wellness of my thoughts—and leave the degree and substance of the removal of my shortcomings to my HP.