We must continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. This is stated in Step 10. In the process of the removal of some of our major, glaring defects of character, we may find some defects still plaguing us. This is to be expected. Getting rid of defects of character is mostly a process of having them diminish over time. That I one reason we need to stay connected to the fellowship and meetings. We need to be accountable to our sponsor and apply this program to each defect as it crops up.
Step 7 states that the higher power will remove the defects that stand in HIS way, not ours. Sure, drinking, gambling, infidelities and others must fall by the wayside. This happens for most of us. But there can be that tiny bit of dishonesty that we want to hold onto. We may think it’s OK to cheat on your taxes. After all it’s the IRS and we all know that they are a bunch of crooks. We may steal time from our employers by padding our time sheet or expense account. We may also withhold affection from our loved ones in a selfish manner. Then we become fearful that the IRS is going to hunt us down and take all our money and possessions. We ay also fear that our loved ones may not really love us and are just pretending to be happy with our newfound sobriety.
These are all thoughts and feelings that are brought on by our dishonesty, selfishness resentment and fear. In other words, we are responsible. So, we need to double up on our reading, meeting attendance, talking to our sponsor until the feeling passes. Feelings aren’t facts. They are simply that, feelings. I may feel that you don’t like me when if the truth be told it is I who doesn’t like you. Whenever we start projecting our feelings onto others, we need to first look back to ourselves. We may ask ourselves why did this feeling trigger this reaction in me? What is in me that is objectionable? Invariably we will find something in ourselves that we find in this other person.
This is the importance of having a firm foundation in the program and of applying it to our lives. It gets easier over time. Impulsiveness begins to quiet down in our mind. We begin to let go of even more of our defects of character. There is a saying that states that “spot it you got it.” How true this is for us. We live almost in a double standard of what is acceptable for ourselves and what is not acceptable for others. So, remember to “watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.” It doesn’t say they may crop up or might, it says they WILL crop up.