On recovery: Step 7 – Humbly asked God to remove these defects of character


Many of us were not raised to ask for help, especially for help related to a "defect." But as our behavior and character developed under the influence of raga, addiction and for some of us, dvesa, aversion, we fed the ego that keeps us feeling separate from others and from the God of our heart. Asking for help from God to remove these defects is an exercise in calming ego and beginning to feel oneness with all living things.

Many people misunderstand Step 7 and think it is saying we are inherently flawed. This is the problem – the ego tells us we are broken or bad, but as eternal spirits, we are whole and made of love, bhakti. Step 7, along with Yoga and Ayurveda, can clear away the wrong thinking that keeps us from seeing our true self. We are already what we seek.

There are three tools that can be helpful in working Step 7. The first is a small book called Drop the Rock, written by three people in recovery. It's about Steps 6 and 7 and how our primary action is to let go and let God. The book assists us in seeing the obstacles that might not otherwise be so obvious.

The second tool is doing less and being more present in life. Daily prayer and meditation can be short, simple and powerful ways to enhance our commitment and clear intention to be present and connected in life. Be willing to take pause, go inside and build a relationship with yourself beyond the chatter of your mind or your ego. This will increase sattva and bring you toward your natural state of being.

Finally, be sure that you have a replacement for what you've let go. For example, if you humbly ask God to remove impatience, you can replace that with consciously practicing kindness, consideration and respect.

Step 7 is when things really start to change. In 12 Step recovery, as well as Yoga and Ayurveda, our personalities transform as we come into balance and move toward the God of our heart. Step 7 is a powerful tool in this transformation that we can use again and again.

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