This is where the miracle of transformation begins. In this step we begin on the path of humility. Humility is when we see ourselves as we really are: strong, angry, harmed, the harmer, weak, joyful, committed and every other part of us. We begin to act with our authentic self intact.
For the first time in our lives we face the truth of who we are and in that truth we recognize how powerless we have always been over the parts of us that have prevented us from living a whole life. This is where we turn to our Higher Power and ask for help to let go of our unhelpful survival traits and behaviors.
The reality is, that we must turn to a power greater than ourselves to help us put our house in order. Haven’t we been trying to do this for ourselves for a lifetime? Yet it hasn’t worked. Now we are sincerely ready to turn to another source to help us change.
We may balk at the idiocy of asking an invisible power to do what we’ve never been able to do for ourselves, but let’s remember where we’ve come from: a lifetime of pain and sorrow, perhaps broken relationships or dealing with addiction. The reality is the only option open to us is to turn our faith, hope, force of will and powerlessness to a Higher Power to help us become whole human beings capable of interacting in the world with love and strength and happiness. The answers come when we put our own house in order.
We aren’t looking for perfection; we are looking for progress. We progress towards letting go. We may be reluctant to let some of our traits or behaviors go because they have protected us for so long and may have, indeed, saved our lives. But experience has taught us that we only get what we can handle. Nothing will be taken from us that we can’t live without, and it will always be replaced with something better.
We know that our traits and behaviors have defined who we are. Being in control felt like a good job, being a people pleaser felt like helping others or judging others helped us be a better person. We have relied on them forever. Now we can trust that there’s something better.
Have you ever wondered why we end up in the same types of relationships over and over again? Of course, and we will keep being shown these lessons until we are ready to make the changes. It’s time to trust what happens next. We trust this process, our Higher Power and ourselves that when we become ready, we will receive the help, the skills and the power we need to change.
This isn’t a self-help program, this is a spiritual program based on action coming from the love and support of our Higher Power. Our Higher Power will continue to show us how to change with life lessons put in our way.
Make a list of your top character traits and unhelpful behaviors that seem most urgent to address. How many? Write down enough that get you traction, or a sticking force. We all have several key hurdles that trip us up on a regular basis. Start with those.
Sit in a quiet place and study your list. Breathe into the moment and for every trait/behavior, say a prayer:
Higher Power, I humbly ask you to help me let go of (trait / behavior). I understand that (trait / behavior) blocks me from your love and guidance. Please remove it from my life so I may live a life according to your will. Please restore me to clarity and grace. Amen
Repeat for every trait / behavior, every morning and evening for a minimum of one week.
What happens now?
Make this into your daily practice. Note the most painful survival traits and the most defeating, unhelpful behaviors at the beginning of the day. Meditate and pray for your Higher Power to soften and heal you. As you go through your day, become aware of when the traits and behaviors arise. Ask your Higher Power to remove them as you move through the day. This is a gradual process and will last long after you have finished the Program Of Miracles. It’s a spiritual process that will heal you if you are willing to surrender to it, rather than resist it. It will not revolutionize you overnight, but it will bring long-term miracles into your life. You will notice you are grieving less, not so controlled by fear, and that you have a sense of growing gentleness.
We discover a humility we didn’t know was possible. By humility we don’t mean humiliation, but humility can be borne through humiliation. Humiliation is a painful emotion that we feel when we’ve been shamed and we perpetuate that shame in ourselves long after our parents first humiliated us.
Humility, however, is what happens when we are aligned with our Higher Power. It’s when we acknowledge our shortcomings yet we become willing to ask our Higher Power to remove them. It’s knowing we are handing our future over to the care of our Higher Power, and we are living each day as it comes.
Humility teaches us when we’ve had enough and we don’t wish to be greedy; that we can’t expect others to meet our needs; that we have found our spiritual center and that we can wait with patience and self love for Higher Power’s plan to become clear to us.
In time we will see that our character traits or unhelpful behaviors were gifts, as each one has a positive flip side. For example, perfectionism helped us be diligent; people pleasing taught us the value of nurturing others; feeling isolated helped us become independent thinkers. Humility is easier to embrace when we recognize that change seems to happen much more quickly when we’re humble, than if we stay in the fog of self-pity. The path to clearer skies opens up ahead and gives us a glimpse into what our Higher Power’s will is for us.