September 9th, 2010

4th Stepping

The 12 steps build on each other, there is a logic to the order in which they are numbered.  Although one never finishes step 1, and a person can begin step 12 as soon as he or she hears of it, they ARE steps and two depends on one, and three depends on two and so forth.

If i begin the 4th step before i have a good sense of steps 1, 2, and  3.  it could easily become an exercise in self-abuse.  Digging below the surface of my appearance and identity there is a lot of bad stuff, selfishness, irresponsibility, contempt, and despair.  Some guilt,  resentments, anger, and fears have been festering for decades and dredging these up can be like being the victim and perpetrator in a horror story.

If i forget that i am "made by God" and that "God doesn't make junk," i can stop short of a full inventory on the theory that whatever else i find is going to be worse than what i have already uncovered.  Even if i were to buy into the typical Christian theory of redemption, though, i should still admit that whatever "sin" we perpetrated, did not undo the creation, despite God's apparent wishy washyness about it.  We were have not yet been rendered extinct as a species, suggesting that God might "not be through with us yet."  When we have dug into the muck, far enough we may uncover the evidence of our creation in "God's image," and that God is a "loving god."  who will not be contemptuous of our efforts to know and love God.

It is probably no coincidence that my fourth step guide, Blueprint for Progress, has the twelve steps prominently displayed.  I am always working all twelve steps, most especially 1, 2, and 3.

The Judeo-Christian contribution to our collective spiritual insight is that we are allowed to perceive the higher power as a "loving god" who "will not forsake us."  The spiritual search can continue from the proposition or something similar to it.

I need help doing a 4th step that is ruthless and gentle, fearless and courageous, searching and researching in trust that the "bottom" is not the "end."