38: Step Seven – Humbly Asked Him to Remove Our Shortcomings (Sort Of)

7/5/20 We talk about Step 7, Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings, how we apply it in our lives, how we work the 7th step, how it might apply to someone not in a 12 step program. We use some of the literature to point out what has worked for us and what hasn’t. We focus on the spiritual principle of humility, self-compassion, being who you are on purpose, and receiving criticism.

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Transcript:

9 37. i was actually thinking maybe next week we could record our meditation

yeah not that anybody wants to [ __ ] watch us sit here and do nothing but i’m almost like that would kind of force me to i wonder if i would sit stiller if i know i’m being observed

interesting

composed

so there’s not too much to go over ahead of time a couple little things i’m sure we’ll make it last half an hour and then i got a long list of

quotes

i’m not going to read this [ __ ]

because it’s in your iron ham running yeah we definitely need to do an episode about sponsorship too i i’m the more i think about that the more my kids that’s a necessity i i feel like i put out the call weeks ago when we did the recovery dharma episode that like hey we need people from other fellowships and what are you into and like i was trying to i didn’t just want to say oh cool you’re in that fellowship come on i wanted to like have some some interaction and be like hey you know is our conversation flowing do you sound intelligent uh and then i just feel like all those people fell off the face of the earth and like what the [ _ ] yeah well they were messed up on twitter right yeah but i went back and looked and there was only actually way less than i thought it was kind of it felt like more i felt like there was like 20 comments there was like five and even then like the one guy i reached out to about the marijuana anonymous or whatever and he never got back to me and i’m like well i need to find somebody to schedule over the next two sundays smoking weeding good time for that [ _ ] right

i was motivated to do these meetings

but then i got high

oh lord all right i got that that that why can’t i find this facebook thing i guess that’s as good as it gets i don’t i was surprised nobody commented on the relationship thing like i posed it as a question like does people have opinions about whether it’s better to date in recovery out of it i’m like nobody really had much to say about it i have a general and it’s my general feeling with that [ __ ] too it’s like i’m done engaging with facebook why is that just curious i just don’t feel like it’s healthy or productive you know it just really doesn’t feel like it a lot of it probably not all right probably not

we’re going to look so fancy in here when we get our other microphones

all right i don’t know you’re ready to start yeah i don’t have a whole lot else to figure out i’m just going to talk about step seven

i’ve been waiting forever to hear about

this oh i got a coffee i wonder if me sipping my coffee is gonna oh well we’ll try it

hey what’s going on welcome back to recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy in long-term recovery uh my name is billy i’m also a person in long-term recovery and today we finally get to hear the incredible magical insight into step seven from you know not god removing uh these defects of character which i’m dying to hear right because i i really am uh i was thinking about this the other day and i thought it’s almost more magical to me to think of this in a different way like people would say like god sounds like magic and crazy you know flying spaghetti monster sounds ludicrous and i was like i actually think it sounds more flying spaghetti monster-ish to not have god remove these and i don’t know i was really i’m just it’s so interesting so we will get to that uh that is the main purpose of today step seven definitely excited about that just to cover some things before that uh we had a little bit of feedback about dating it was interesting i i posed a question i feel like i’m leaning too close into the mic here i’m trying to chill i get a little excited i posed a question all over the place um is it easier or better or are there more benefits to having a relationship with someone also in your program or outside of recovery altogether uh and i guess that leaves room for a third option of in recovery but in a different program which is maybe that’s the best of both worlds i don’t know we don’t know that one um but there was very little response and so the only hypothesis i have about that is that everybody has a partner in recovery and they didn’t want them to see their response but they thought it was better to have them outside of recovery so i i don’t know do you have any idea why that could be well i mean immediately when i mentioned to my wife we were doing this podcast about relationships she’s like oh my gosh i can’t listen to it you know what i mean it’s gonna start a fight and then you had said you know it brought up some stuff with your wife you know some issues and i think i mean just me personally i think that could be part of it you know what i mean it’s like people just don’t want to put their [ _ ] out there because it you know even to be honest and say like yeah it’s really difficult in whatever situation you’re in is just opening up the potential for it is and for the benefit of the doubt just to let you all know since she doesn’t always have a voice on here my wife did completely disagree with my assessment and said that even as a person outside of recovery she has attempted to help me stay focused on recovery and and be my eyes and ears and call me out on [ _ ] which i was telling billy it was a benefit to having you know someone in recovery and she said she tried that and i told her i didn’t want to hear that [ _ ] so there would you still tell them that when they’re in recovery too i’m like yeah but i don’t shut up i know what i need to do i don’t need to hear from you exactly so you know it’s all a matter of uh where we’re looking at it from but yeah that’s what i figured people people don’t want to put their stuff out there with their partner having the ability to see that we did get a couple of responses our buddy kirsten she said dating an earth person can be exhausting if they don’t if you struggle to feel or question whether they completely understand what you go through and i do think that is one thing that’s a little different right if i had to say what’s the greatest downfall or risk of dating someone in recovery it would be well they can [ _ ] relapse and ruin my life right and if i had to say what’s the greatest downfall of dating someone outside of recovery it’s that a lot of them truly can’t grasp what it’s like to not be able to [ _ ] stop and to want to do something hourly that destroys your life like i just well i think there’s a lot of similarities between us and non-addicts right in a lot of ways and i’m going to get to one of them in a second too right but that’s one of them that’s just it’s really it’s a hard concept to grasp if you haven’t had that calling inside of you to just wreck your [ _ ] life yeah and i mean i would go through this conversation with my parents when i was a you know in my early 20s and getting in trouble with drugs and stuff and and they would say like why don’t you just stop and there were two significant things to that one i didn’t know why i couldn’t you know i didn’t have a good answer for like oh i don’t know i just want to get high like it just i just love it and then i would try to say this to my mom all the time like she smoked cigarettes and i would say it’s just like cigarettes like why don’t you stop you know it’s not healthy you know it’s not good for you you know it’s killing you but yet you do it anyway and she would just be like well that’s different you know and and it was so easy to dismiss that people do not want to hear that [ _ ] when you put it back on them especially if they feel their life’s a little more manageable right like maybe they can get up and go to work every day and you try to call them out and say it’s exactly like your shopping habit as you’re going in debt or it’s exactly like the way you eat as you’re you know becoming obese and they’re like oh [ _ ] you right like i don’t need to hear your [ _ ] i go to work every day you lazy bum and it’s like maybe you don’t want to see it but it is very much like that i think to some level everyone has some sort of compulsion or self-obsessive type behaviors or things that they get into and for some people they just you know they don’t one let it get to the point where it’s such an extreme it’s causing chaos in their life you know for some people it’s healthy eating or the gym or they get really into that and they become kind of obsessive almost regimented you know in that stuff and it’s healthy and it’s good and it works out fine i think for addicts though the difference is we are repeatedly engaging in behavior that is killing us like we we can almost see that it’s killing us and wrecking our lives but we can’t stop you know yeah so uh kirsten went on to say you know it’s probably pros and cons of both which is obviously the the ultimate answer that i think either of us would ever come up with um you know another guy jay had said that he said there’s no perfect but it might make it easier to have somebody inside recovery just so they could understand and so that turned into a little conversation caroline had some input that she’s only had serious relationships with others in recovery and she just can’t imagine because recovery is such a huge portion of her life having someone that wasn’t also into that at the same time and and that’s where i think it gets tricky when we talk about either someone in our program or someone who’s you know living a different method of recovery that you know recovery looks so different for so many of us and i don’t think we acknowledge how similar that is like even someone who just has some i don’t say just has some because that’s terrible minimization right someone who’s gone through some childhood trauma but maybe never got into drugs but sought out therapy for healthier relationships later in life like they are also in a recovery type life right they’re probably focused on self growth and and you know some spirituality and so i think they could be also very in tune with the recovery type lifestyle even if they’re not in our program and so it just gets interesting when we when we look at those kind of things and the differences um but yeah that there was not a whole lot of people who wanted to speak up about their dating or marriage preferences and maybe that maybe you know them not speaking up was wise and kept their marriages intact for another week yeah well and after my wife said that to me i went back and listened to the whole episode to make sure i didn’t say anything that i regretted and there was one or two little things in there i was like i’m like now you can listen it’s fine you know right uh so we also oh i wanted to point out so voices of hope has their online virtual rubber ducky race which this just like i don’t know i think my wife actually brought this to my attention i just think it’s hilarious that they’re gonna have like a rubber ducky race online uh and you buy a duck i guess is that how it works yeah you buy a duck and you float it down a thing and you win a prize that you know whoever crosses first they get numbers you know they have numbers on them that’s [ _ ] cool i’m definitely buying a duck just for the hell of it because i got nothing better to do and the money goes to a good cause uh to help you know the still suffering people out there who are struggling to find a new way to live in some way shape or form and i should know more about what the prizes are and stuff but i don’t at this point i think it’s coming up in uh next next no i think it’s september so yeah yeah it’s like two months ago i knew it was a while away yet so it is it’s just it seems so funny to me and hilarious that i i couldn’t help i posted it on our facebook page so if you need to find it you can find it through our facebook page or through voices i hope if you’re interested it’s not till september you have some time i just i don’t know why i i’m sure it’s been done before it just seemed oh yeah they’ve done it unique and hilarious to me yeah so and i mean it’s like so sometimes it’s kind of fun to like laugh and fun you know have fun with recovery and recovery related things i know in our area at one point a few years back they talked about doing like a dope fiend olympics where they were gonna have you know different like bad idea events that you know were sort of stigmatizing but not would be fun like throw a bunch of white crumbs on the floor and see who could pick up the most crumbs in 30 seconds and things like that you know just and it got voted down i guess some people got upset about it but sometimes it’s fun to just do silly things and and laugh at yourself and not take things quite so serious well and it’s it’s so tricky like they’ve done that dope fiend olympics in some places and and the idea and the concept is hilarious and it’s the same struggle i have with with uh you know all the memes i make up to put on our page and on our instagram and stuff it’s like generally the more offensive they are the funnier they get right and that’s that fine line i try to walk between i don’t want to do harm to people and at the same time i do need to laugh at myself and and you know the situations i find myself in funny enough it comes up in the seven step reading uh and so that will definitely be part of what we talk about today uh one last thing i did want to mention before we get into that um i had a message from a friend of ours uh amanda today who still shocks me one of a few people that listen that is not uh particularly themselves you know an addict and i’m just always i’m like normal people yeah for [ _ ] what we’re crazy right and i don’t know it’s always so nice that because i even asked i’m like why do you listen right and she kind of explained that a lot of our struggles are her struggles too and i guess that’s it’s so nice to feel normalized that like maybe the things we struggle with on a daily basis maybe we’re really not as different as everybody else as we like to think we are right uh terminally unique it talks about in the seven step reading um but it’s just nice to feel like damn maybe maybe everybody struggles with this [ _ ] maybe yeah for us it’s a little different like we could go you know shoot some heroin and die unfortunately but in general like we struggle with the same things everybody else does and uh i don’t know that felt kind of nice but the other part of what she messaged about was she was just listening to the cliches episode and she was kind of highly offended by the the let go and let god being a little belittled by you got a good take for it i’m willing to listen i don’t i haven’t uh so and this is what i found with almost every cliche that people don’t like or that somebody wants to defend it it’s the cliche itself is not actually the problem it’s more so that it’s been used in a way that doesn’t it makes the person who’s heard it or been on the receiving end of it feel like it’s not very useful for them or they’ve felt like they’ve been dismissed and not heard that’s what it seems like with a lot of these cliches like the cliche itself is fine but if you tell somebody to it in the moment of their distress it sounds kind of shitty when you say it to them so her her deal and i was like oh maybe she’s a believer that like is really offended by that and no she’s not she doesn’t she doesn’t believe in god either i was like oh well so apparently her her story was that she had some anxiety and just saying let go and let god reminds her that there are a lot of things that are out of her control and she needs to not try to control them basically and it lowered her anxiety um in saying that and that being her reminder and so i just thought that was incredible like here i am i thought she was going to [ __ ] about like being a believer and and you you know being uh uh i guess a non-believer i still don’t know an atheist agnostic what are you i don’t know i try to find out today i’m not really sure

but it was like ah man she went the whole other way sometimes i gotta laugh at the irony she went the entire other way with it and just said no i just use it because it’s useful and i’m like damn yeah i guess that’s how cliches work they’re just useful for some people whether they truly make sense or not i guess yeah i guess they could go back to the forest gump stupid is as stupid does like i never understood that what it even means it goes over my head i guess maybe i’m not smart enough to figure it out but it’s like you know a saying like that like that’s kind of how i feel about the let go and let god it’s like i don’t get what that means you know if someone else can take comfort in it great you know that’s awesome i just don’t i don’t understand what that means so i don’t know that this is right uh and p you know forest gump lovers please uh correct us if we’re wrong i thought stupid is as stupid does was the point that people call him stupid as in his you know apparently he’s got some kind of brain stuff going on that’s not quite up to par with what we would decide was normal for our society he’s a little slower than the rest of the world so people call him and refer to him as stupid but he’s comforted by his mother saying stupid is as stupid does meaning it doesn’t really matter what people think of how smart you are in your brain how are you living right and he did all these great feats like he did the next right things when he needed to and he was kind to people and so like is that really stupid or is stupid people who do stupid things like you could be as smart as you want but you’re a jerk to your kids or your wife or something that’s how i always took it i don’t know um so are we ready for step seven sure okay step seven humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings which oh my god obviously humbly humility must be a huge part of this step so i’ve already decided i must suck at this step that’s not my uh my highest you know asset um but i’m curious do you have any any takes on it just to start what do you think about step seven um so of course for me you know humility is probably the the key uh ingredient spiritual principle there in this step um it starts with you know we go through this series of these other steps up through our inventory and sharing that with other people so that we can get a chance to try to figure out who and what we really are you know that that most of us you know we’re we always or i can’t say we i would judge myself by what i thought i was supposed to be and then i was constantly falling short of all of those so therefore i was a piece of [ _ ] and i was no good and i was a worthless human being and and you know i didn’t deserve anything and all those negative things we tell ourselves because i didn’t have the ability to look at myself honestly you know i couldn’t see like yes i have assets and i have liabilities and you know i can choose to work on my liabilities and try to get better at them or and i can choose to you know own my assets and try to you know use them more productively in my life things like that um i wasn’t doing that when i was using i had some what i thought i was supposed to be in my head compared to what i the way i was really living and those two things didn’t line up and so where do you where do you think that comes from like i heard you say that uh we tried to measure up to this image we had of what we were supposed to be where do you where does that image come from in in your mind like where does it get twisted that it’s not just hey we’re just supposed to be human where we make mistakes and falter and learn from it and like who gives us this twisted image that we’re trying to live up to that we can’t um i i mean i can’t say for sure i know in my case i can tell you some things about my background that i think shape that but i don’t know if they’ll answer that question exactly so um my parents were loving kind people they were you know good people overall but my mom was pretty critical and pretty harsh uh judgmental wise she also wasn’t very uh outwardly like loving with with like hugs and praise and and affection you know those were things that were very much missing in my house and then my dad when we were young worked a lot you know worked a lot of hours wasn’t home a ton and wasn’t overly affectionate himself and that’s probably why him and my mom got along so well because neither of them were overly affectionate with each other or with us um that on top of i was you know sexually abused as a kid at a young age and then also the fact that we went to like a catholic school and were raised you know in the catholic uh tradition like there were a lot of things about myself that i felt like i was just a bad person you know that i was never good enough that you know unless i was perfect at everything all the time you know there was something wrong with me it’s interesting because i think you know i would say oh yeah well you know my experience must be everybody’s we must all have had this critical parent uh in our household that you know gave us this flawed schema or core belief system and yet i know there’s people who didn’t have any real parent to speak up in their in their household so they couldn’t have been a critical one and i’m just curious if it’s all these factors put together which i’m sure it’s some portion of that you know biology would say oh it’s it’s dna some of that’s just in your core genetics that you’re going to have these type of belief systems about yourself and then there’s you know the parental input there’s a peer input society’s input hollywood’s input and as a whole this all leads us to what you know the mental health field would say your core belief or your schema is that there’s something wrong with me and so all the information you take in comes through that lens it’s kind of like if you’ve ever looked through a filtered lens like if you’ve looked at a page and you have on blue sunglasses that have blue lenses and you can’t see any of the blue right and so it’s almost like we put lenses on like that in our lives where you know we we put on these lenses where we can’t see any of the positives we do and so all we take in because of this core belief system all we take in is things that line up with i’m not good enough and i would tweak that just a sec because we had it interesting when you talk about putting on lenses and colors we had an interesting experience last night and uh i think it ties into what you’re talking about here so we have some camping chairs and they’re these blue like you know royal blue camping chairs and we were at a friend’s house and they have one of those yellow bug lights you know outside and then as it got dark you know and they just the yellow light was coming down all of a sudden these chairs looked green like completely green so it’s and you could take your you know your white light from your phone and shine it on there and see that it was blue but it was just a really neat sort of hey look at this kind of sciency thing when you take this color out you see it this way and it’s almost i think like that like we see ourselves through these lenses to where it’s not that we don’t necessarily see assets but we start to look at them differently you know like and i say that because for me like growing up through addiction maybe as a survival mechanism or whatever like i started to think like caring about other people or or putting other people’s needs you know not just doing what you wanted like these were like weaknesses they weren’t assets they were weaknesses and i saw them and i recognized these principles that other people lived by and thought oh those you know people that are just living their life serving others and and not putting their needs first like they’re suckers you know they’re they’re not doing what they need to do for themselves and they’re letting other people walk on them like this thing that would be an asset all of a sudden became a liability to me it’s interesting uh the the chair i like that idea the yellow light and the blue chair and it really brings us to just how i went through life thinking there was this set of rules facts truths that existed and nothing could change that and to learn that a lot of things in the world are really just perception and perception can be changed depending on you know like we talk about the lens you’re using to look at it is mind-blowing uh to think about you know uh what color’s the sky billy i would say blue right and yet if you said orange at sunset you’re right right like uh but i if you told me this guy was orange i’d be like you’re [ _ ] crazy what’s wrong with this guy right and so those type of things uh you know when you had the realization that the sun doesn’t actually come and go like the sun’s always there it’s the clouds that come and go right it just doesn’t seem to line up with what we really think about um and so maybe we’ll do a whole episode on perception at some time i don’t want to get us too lost in the woods right now about step seven but yeah i think that’s incredible um i would say step seven for me was like the culmination of i’m trying to figure out how to do this for somebody not in a 12-step program right somebody who’s not working the steps like so for we we write down basically our life history right we kind of like do a written version of our life history so we can look at it from a third person point of view uh it’s kind of like the principle of you know if my friend comes to me with a relationship problem it’s really easy for me to see what the [ _ ] he’s got to do in his relationship because i don’t have feelings about his relationship i can just tell him what makes sense and he’s really confused and it doesn’t make sense to him and yet for me when i’m in a relationship it’s the exact same way i can’t see clearly what it is i need to do so when i write four and i put my life story on paper it’s a little clearer to me to look at it from a different perspective five i get to share that with an even further removed from feeling perspective uh and you know with god and with myself out loud and get some more insight into it six i i start to look at the places in my life that really don’t i act in ways to try to get what i want that aren’t necessarily ways that benefit me long term right i sit on the couch and watch whatever instead of going and doing the dishes because it feels better to sit on the [ _ ] couch and eat some donuts than to go do the dishes in the moment but what i start to learn in six is that at the end of the night i feel like [ _ ] for not getting the dishes done whereas if i go do the dishes i feel better later right so six is to me like kind of recognizing the ways that i chase instant gratification over the long term you know better feeling about myself and then seven would be i don’t know how to describe this for somebody who’s not in recovery and also not a believer in a bigger power like i think through the literature that i was reading it kind of made me think maybe i just involve other people and like hey billy uh you’re a good buddy of mine and i trust you and i wanna change my habits can you help me change my habits by helping me to you know point me out point them out at me when you see them maybe like is that yeah so all right i’ll i’ll use a little bit different analogy so your description there was really good of the going through the step process i would use the analogy of you know let’s take furniture like let’s say i have some furniture in my apartment it’s old kind of crappy furniture and before i found recovery what i like to do is move that furniture around into different positions and think that it looked different and now all of a sudden well this is a better arrangement this furniture looks looks better now but then when i sit on it you know there’s still a spring poking me in the ass and it’s still all out of whack and you [ _ ] fall through the you know the recliner doesn’t work anymore whatever and all i can do on my own is keep moving that furniture around you know what i really need is to go out and get new furniture you know and i need and this is where the higher power or or you know power greater than me comes in it’s like i can’t make new furniture on my own in my apartment i gotta go outside of myself i gotta look to things outside of me to find the tools and resources and things i need to bring back with new furniture you know so six is recognizing that my furniture sucks and that it’s [ _ ] and then as long as i keep moving that furniture around it’s still the same crappy furniture it might look different on that wall still the same crappy couch and seven is going i need to go outside of myself i need to get out of this apartment and go outside of myself to get the tools and resources that i need to fix my room maybe somebody to help me build new furniture maybe a furniture store that has access to more furniture maybe a friend to help me carry furniture in and that’s where the uniqueness of someone’s individual recovery path and their sponsorship you know your crappy furniture is going to be different than my crappy furniture you know my crappy furnitures has different you know things with it maybe mine can be fixed maybe i need new maybe it needs to be thrown out and same with yours and maybe you can build your own furniture maybe you go to a church to get your furniture you know all these different things but that’s where our individual recovery path comes in is how and where we get our new furniture i love that analogy and since we like to change the wording of every step to make it better step seven will now be we humbly asked him to replace our furniture that’s the [ _ ] way we’re going uh so funny enough so we just heard a story yesterday so we were at a cookout with some people in recovery and we had a guy sharing about i think he and i might mess this up a little bit but he said he had celebrated i think seven years twice and what he realized the first time around and uh as he read through the basic text the first time he would say to himself things like oh there should be a comma here and oh they could have said this better if they did that and oh we should have done this you know this could have been different if it was said like this and then he relapsed and when he came back the second time he realized to try to identify you know the concepts and the principles so this is interesting that’s really interesting because i actually have a very similar story yeah i had gotten almost 18 months at one point and i picked out every misspelled word in our [ _ ] literature and there was a version of the the traditions the readable tradition uh laminated sheet that we read before and it was like very widely circulated instead of saying are stronger than those it said stronger that those like somebody had misspelled then and put the t at the end by accident autocorrect who the [ _ ] knows but i used to pick that [ _ ] apart and then sure enough and somebody even pointed out to me but i couldn’t change it it’s like that’s just who i was at that time well see and and that’s where humility comes in like humility comes in where we learn like hey that’s a part of who i am that’s not something i like about myself it’s okay i don’t have to hate myself or you know degrade myself or belittle myself because that doesn’t help anything right but i need to recognize that about myself like that’s a part of who i am and if i’m not careful that [ _ ] will get me into trouble you know and that’s the difference between like uh being overly critical or overly judgmental of ourselves and having what i would call like honest humility um i was joking with jason before this i said uh with you before this that uh like i actually did a little research on this one beforehand i was reading through the basic text and there was something that because humility is such a huge part of my recovery for me because i was such an egomaniac and and still am and it’s still a thing i gotta really keep an eye on that you know i think i’m smart and i think i got you figured out and i can think my way out all kinds of problems that must be awful to deal with so i have to really be on top of that and so in the basic text it talks about you know humility as being the uh you know the core of this step and it says to be home to be truly humble is to whoa that just jumped there we go to be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves none of us is perfectly good or perfectly bad we are people who have assets and liabilities most important we are human you know and and that’s important for me because i can say yeah i tend to be an egomaniac i tend to be someone who thinks really humbly of myself and less of others and i don’t have to hate myself for it i don’t have to think gosh if i didn’t have i mean if i spend all my time thinking about what i could be doing what i should be doing how i should be acting how bad i am because i don’t do this or that thing i’m not really fixing the problem you know right we’re not going to beat ourselves into being better people and one thing that you stuck out clearly like and because i said i i couldn’t change that as who i was at that point in time in my life like i was just the guy who that’s what i saw flaws that was my old furniture that’s what i was given when i was growing up you’re going to see flaws and everything and nothing positive about anything it’s what it is i will say this when you see somebody who’s constantly picking out the flaws and everything in the world and people around them know this for sure that’s how they treat themselves all [ __ ] day long right and so i just didn’t have another perspective i didn’t have the ability to get my furniture out and i hadn’t made it that far in the steps yet i only got to i want to say five um at that point in time and so i wasn’t there yet i didn’t have new furniture i hadn’t i hadn’t gotten a new recliner right to lay back in and say well you know they misspelled a word no big deal um but you’re right yeah recognizing that it is part of us and ultimately what i always forget about uh i want the steps to fix me and get rid of these problems and i always think that these are problems and i forget that it tells us right in there character defects are basic character traits of humans that we have blown out of proportion i don’t really necessarily it’s not healthy if i get rid of it i just need to put it back in proportion and i forget that a lot yeah and i think that’s why it talks about being human like no person is all good and or all bad you know we all have these different traits that work together and we’re all gonna make mistakes and you know the difference is you know making an honest mistake versus an intentional mistake you know or or say that repeated mistake maybe yeah or staying stuck in things that you know aren’t good or you know aren’t healthy are going to harm others and then doing it anyway out of selfishness right which is what i did when i was using you know i knew stealing wasn’t right i knew taking advantage of my family wasn’t right but i did it anyway so let’s uh before we get into more of these quotes since we’ve got a basic running description here of of step seven let’s take a break here and play our voices and we’ll be right back

it’s not bad 32 minutes keeping track of the time i like it so five minutes in we started i think that was useful where are we at 10 15 oh golden golden sun sending me tick tocks that i never understand dude i never thought i would be so old i didn’t understand what the kids are doing i don’t [ _ ] understand what the kids are doing i know i feel the same way he sends me tick tocks and i’m like i’ll watch it like three times and i’m like what the [ _ ] is that supposed to be i don’t get it then i gotta ask him i’m like dude i don’t get it you gotta explain it to me oh yeah well billy makes references to all these youtube videos and stuff that i don’t know anything about or these you know youtubers that i’ve never seen oh that’s like [ __ ] pewdiepie i don’t you know when pewdiepie did that thing i’m like no i think i don’t know that i don’t spend my time watching pewdiepie right yeah i’m with you i’m lost in a lot of that so what is the what is the quote you just read because i know i have that in here and i need to not really um it was in like oh well it was we examine our brother yeah

to be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves none of us is perfectly good or perfectly bad is that like the second paragraph or the third paragraph oh let’s see that would be the second paragraph okay having decided god to relieve us of our useless or destructive aspects of our personality yeah okay that’s good i didn’t write that whole paragraph in here but i did write entire second paragraph yeah yeah the whole thing’s good that’s i felt the same way like well i can’t read the whole thing okay so when we come back i do have one more thing to say about that just a little thing uh and then a bunch of others but if you want you’re welcome to go through and i’ll try to like keep up with not repeating them there was so much good stuff in the readings though i i really did take such a short reading and it’s like the whole thing is pretty relevant i got some long paragraphs out of there that was just really good

oh what are we going to talk about next week we’re going to try to get some so if we get somebody on are we going to have them on google meet and then we’ll have our microphone and we’ll just talk to them is that how we’re going to do it yeah if they’re remotely can’t come in yeah it’s going to be i mean we always have and you know i don’t know either uh aaron i thought aaron male aaron to talk about smart recovery um i can’t say always have i mean i don’t know what his [ _ ] plans are so it might not be available on sunday but that’s someone who like say he’s been doing that for a while he facilitates a smart recovery meeting in this area well i almost and not that it’s a terrible thing because we’ve realized we can ask hey well what made you decide but he hasn’t really left n a i almost want somebody who solely does that or who just only did that from the beginning i’m curious and i’ve thought that too that’s i felt the same way it’s like well you really do n a and you know as much as you want to try you can’t parse out what you get from where or which right i mean you might be able to see like this one has these benefits but i thought as far as if we kept it more focused on like what is smart what is it you know who’s it good for like what you know those more general kind of questions versus maybe his personal experience right you know like for him i think that would be a better conversation than to start you know how smart changed your life and you know because he’s in a person right you know he does those smart because we need somebody to do it right but he might be able to explain it and then or i don’t know if we reached out to him if he would know like i don’t know if there’s other smart facilitators around or if he knows anybody else who’s really into smart and more meaningful way ah yeah i don’t know i would think if they there were those people they would be around here running meetings and i don’t think there are other meetings around here well i thought just maybe just like recovery dharma like it might be bigger you know they might have more down towards baltimore up towards philly and i know like through voices they do a lot with like the harm reduction coalition down through baltimore and stuff like that so he may even just know someone and be like oh this guy you know he’s all [ _ ] all about smart or you know even jen or aaron might know somebody i should say we could try that way and then just contact that person and say hey would you like to come on and talk about smart are we uh are we open to having people are we open to having programs described that aren’t for drug addiction recovery like i was assuming we were but i definitely want to double check like are we willing to explore overeaters anonymous and and what like yeah people who end up in our fellowship might also i think it’s a large thing that we tell people they don’t need to go anywhere else and i really don’t like that yeah now i’m all i thought same thing with that adult children of alcoholics like if you need to talk from there yeah and even alan on you know that yeah i’m open to all that kind of stuff okay all right i just got to find somebody it’s hard i don’t want to just invite the first person i see i want to have dialogue with them and say oh man we sent some messages they have something useful to talk about right make sure they’re like halfway i would say interesting people everybody’s interesting in their own way but if you get people on that aren’t really knowledgeable it comes off bad yeah you definitely want to be knowledgeable have a place in the program i wonder i do know a lady who’s in al-anon who i have liked talking to a little bit here and there she might be a good fit but if i can’t find them for next week and i have to schedule them two weeks out i really need to get on top of the dose because i will just keep doing that and then it’ll be like well if i can’t find them four weeks from now yeah um do we want to talk about sponsorship next week if we don’t have a person yeah that’s fun i can’t believe we haven’t done that just can’t for the life and we believe we haven’t done that oh man all right i’m ready for this i’ve taken enough of a break anybody got pee um i better okay

i didn’t have to until i said that now i’m curious i didn’t either

tick tock tick tock

play

why why not play

here we go

that was the tick tock i was getting rick rolled by my son nice oh [ __ ] i just opened something up and i didn’t know that that’s a thing

all right let me uh i know now matt i don’t have my highlighter it’s so hard to try to read while you’re talking and i’m like trying to read i’m like god damn it i pulled the book out this morning highlighted like four things it was like mad at myself

um

i actually have to share two seven-step meetings this week monday and zoom and then wednesday oh yeah but what time do you get home from work usually like by five five thirty oh okay do you wanna go to a meeting with something delta pennsylvania uh possibly yeah i gotta go share on the settings for sure i gotta check with jim what’s going on but i know that’s her homegroup night so oh yeah well it shouldn’t go anywhere she does it at home so and we have kids that can stay home

but yeah uh do you know paul i don’t want to say his last name from harford county area apparently moved up to pa like two years ago you might know him if you’ve seen him i don’t know he asked me to do it on the seven step oh i didn’t tell you this either uh i the girl i asked you to share on the 13th the 20th instead if that’s okay okay should be fine okay just change out my calendar she had messaged and said it was an anniversary and she had forgotten so that was general 13th let’s change this

want to say it’s some kind of random literature or something 7 30 to 8 30. i don’t know it’ll be a big shock

i guess i could look it up

well i just got to know so that i know a where to get the link right it’s in the time i don’t think you’re signed into our instagram but i can always send you the link it’s not hard oh that’s the one yeah i’m not signed into instagram it’s 7 30. oh it’s an hour and 15 minute meeting too

uh it’ll be a literature-based open discussion so are they going to read something i’m assuming they would read something and then you’d probably talk about whatever hits you well are you doing it first when are you doing it i do it monday this monday one step seven which i’m gonna i’m gonna take all this great information i was like yes that’s perfect

you know what i should probably send you that sign and stuff right now just so i don’t forget

yes that was smart good job jason

there it is incredible technology i can send [ _ ] signals to space yeah and back in seconds maybe they don’t go to space but whatever it’s still [ _ ] cool okay we ready what time is yep 27 ooh we’re getting lengthy on our brakes we’re gonna get unionized soon

okay so here we are back i did want to make mention we’re uh we’re in a new location today which how does that feel for you is it different is it weird uh i don’t know i like it it feels comfortable i was thinking the same thing like it for a new location it definitely feels cozy yeah so i’m good with it yeah i’m down with it too so back to step seven uh you were mentioning in the piece you read uh one of the things that stuck out to me is that and i’ve heard this quote before this isn’t the quote you actually read but it’s another way to say the same thing and it says figure out who you are and try to do it on purpose and i’ve always loved that right because especially when i got here my concept of who i was was terrible and like the last thing i wanted to do was to try to be me i was spent my whole life trying to be some other [ _ ] that was better than me right and so the concept of damn really i’m really supposed to try to be me on purpose like that’s the best thing i can do in my life and it is and it’s just mind-blowing i don’t know i love that concept yeah and see i think people get confused about the concept of humility like they think it implies some sort of humiliation or some sort of less than feeling or or you know there’s all this like negative services that comes with this idea of humility and for me it’s been the opposite like it’s been almost empowering it’s like this idea that you know we’re all just human beings here on this earth we all have assets and liabilities and i have some things that i’m you know really good at and you might have some things you’re really good at and the next person has things they’re really good at and then i have things i struggle with and everybody has things they struggle with and you know it really is uh almost empowering you know it’s a way for me to not feel so bad about who i am that i’m not just you know the ideal me isn’t necessarily just all my best qualities you know that i am also the the character defects of in my nature too it’s humility is very much a perspective changer right and that’s what we talk about perspective and you’re right we do look at it as all these other things besides a change in perspective but it’s interesting i’m reading this book the untethered soul i thought we say reading listening whatever great [ _ ] book by the way if you get a chance and you need an audio book or a book to read incredible book right at this moment um but one of the things it talks about is the practice of they don’t call it humility but they say the practice of like every time you go to get in your car to drive somewhere stop for a second and remind yourself that you’re on a rock flying through space right just to get some perspective on like what’s really important here and then it says and if that’s not enough do it every time you pull out your phone right before you look at your phone remember to think i’m on a rock flying through space and like that’s a that’s a humbling thought like yeah you’re right like what is so important here is it is is me getting this little you know dinner right and not burning my chicken nuggets [ _ ] that critical to my life today or does it matter that much um so what what’s the next quote you had that you really liked uh just the last thing about humility that i had was uh humility is as much a part of staying clean as food and water are to staying alive that was the next one that’s an incredible quote yeah and it it’s sort of i mean it sounds real prophetic and all that stuff but it’s it really like say for an egomaniac like myself is so important to be like man i gotta keep myself grounded you know i can’t let myself get and i’ve done it at times get too good for you know recovery get too good for my job too good for my life you know it’s that’s what will happen to me you know i i get myself into some place where i don’t fit in here i don’t belong here i’m better than all these people you know that’s the [ _ ] that i say quietly to myself in my head and if i don’t remember like yeah you’re a dummy who was you know ended up in jail with your best thinking you know i need to kind of get some humility back in there or i will you know ego my way right into [ _ ] disaster right yes jason before you sought help you slept on a park bench and ended up in prison it is only through seeking help from other people that you’ve gotten where you’ve gotten so how [ _ ] great are you at this moment no it’s a it’s a great reminder but here’s the moment of truth right okay so we realize we’re not that humble we say okay i’m not always that humble i need to remain more humble right my character defect is a overblown ego or or thinking too greatly of myself or a self-righteousness right and now i need to keep myself in check and remain humble step tells me i can’t right we humbly asked him that’s kind of the point of six would i at least for me what i had always heard was six i run into trying to fix character defects myself and butting my head against the wall realizing i don’t have that kind of power to just change myself overnight or so what do we do if we are not believers in a power greater than ourself uh or no that’s not true i’m sorry i misstated that you are a believer or power greater than yourself but not believers in a particular god uh so how do we humbly ask him to remove these shortcomings how do you do that because yeah people need to hear this right and so you know the next paragraph of the actually in the basic text starts out the seventh step is an action step it is time to ask god for help and relief and if we took this god and changed it to good orderly direction with a lowercase g and not some magical power outside of ourselves in that paragraph it goes on to tell you what the actions that are required and it’s being humble enough to listen to people when they give you criticism being willing to acknowledge like harms and wrongs that you do in your life most of the time with and this is where the humility comes in like without that humility i run around thinking well i just do what i want and i don’t care and if it hurts you oh well you know it’s your problem you get over your own [ _ ] feelings call your sponsor right or i don’t care if you don’t like that about me you know but i find some humility and then i begin to realize like oh [ _ ] i’m running around causing harm in other people’s life my significant other is telling me you’re doing this and it’s hurting my feelings my kids are you know crying or upset or whatever because of actions and things that i’ve done and i learned to sort of recognize oh [ _ ] you know what i mean like i am responsible for these things that i’m doing to other people um then where i guess the solution comes in is again other for me it’s recovery but if you have a power outside of myself is where the furniture analogy comes in it’s like okay so i don’t of my own power know how to change those things where do i go and get the resources that i need to change those things for me in this case it’s recovery i go to meetings i listen to other people that are living a spiritual life i might seek it out through books or readings about how to be more compassionate be more caring be more loving but left to my own devices i will not change i will i have to go outside of myself to seek solutions to those problems okay so it’s not so much that we can’t apply the suggestions of somebody who maybe has some growth in that area things they’ve done to to try to be less self-righteous right we can apply those suggestions it’s not like that’s out of our ability it’s just for whatever reason we can’t seem to come to those suggestions all by ourself we need to seek it out through others through self-help books maybe even through uh mental health counseling if it needs it like to deal with some of our childhood traumas which can help us act in different ways because i one of the things i did realize in seven was that uh in humbly asking him that her whatever to remove my shortcomings what i was doing was the old uh kleenex box shuffle right i guess facial tissue i don’t want to advertise for kleenex but whatever it’s pretty standard now so you pull out a character defect like it gets removed and then the next one pops up in its place just like the kleenex does when you pull it out um and so ultimately for me i i honestly stopped praying for that particularly not that i don’t revert back to that when i’m in a particularly nasty defect but i just try to pray for a greater love of myself because i found that was the true reason i acted on all these things was because i just didn’t have enough self-love to be okay and so i used all these defects blown out of proportion to try to protect you know that fragile uh feeling i had that like one of these things was gonna expose me for the piece of [ _ ] i was and so through self-love i’ve had less reason to act on defects um and so i i don’t know that’s it like maybe through uh mental health you know that’s a an aspect we can explore that we can deal with some of that underlying issues and then we don’t have to act as much and that could be a power greater than us that’s not so i can’t go and do therapy on myself right like that’s impossible i need other people to help with that and i guess i i struggle with your question in the opposite direction of like okay so if you are a you know religious person or you have a god perspective do you think that means you just pray a lot and then do nothing about it like is that how that works i mean it says we humbly ask them to remove our shortcomings does that mean i just pray and then sit back and wait for something to change on its own you know this kind of reminds me of uh an episode i did episode 50 on my own podcast by the way exciting i got to 50. i don’t know what the [ _ ] i’m talking about but uh it was kind of about it doesn’t matter necessarily what i’m doing the outcome doesn’t depend on that right like sometimes i’m putting in all the work i’m doing all the prayers i’m hitting meetings i’m talking to sponsors i’m working my step uh i’m talking to my sponsees and helping them i’m doing all the right spiritual practices right and sometimes i’m still just in a bad or a rough place uh and in a shitty mood and then sometimes i’m like living it up like going to strip clubs [ _ ] ignoring any spiritual suggestion and life feels great right so i would say it would it doesn’t even like my it’s not that i don’t do anything in particular like yeah obviously i keep living i keep personally trying to like stop acting on these defects which doesn’t seem to work um but i i do become obviously more greatly aware of them and more greatly aware of the the pain and wreckage they leave in my life in the lives of those i care about right so those things are happening that’s the action that’s going on i’m trying to take care of this character defect i’m not having much success i finally surrender to the fact that i just am not in control of it right kind of like the drugs uh it’s beating me up now i gotta surrender to it and so the surrender is kind of like what the ultimate action of my process comes to but where i include the higher power in this for me is that it’s not up to me when this defect goes i can do all the right actions and you know what i can still have this defect for the next five [ _ ] years like it’s really not my call when it gets removed and that’s where i say that’s the higher powers thing like i’m gonna have it until i’m supposed to be [ _ ] done with it and then when that time comes maybe even through no further effort of my own i could just be doing the same things i’ve done for the last three years and then one day it’s just not there anymore yeah and i hear all that like your initial description in a in a different way so i hear that and i think yeah that’s actually an indicator of why we need powers greater than ourselves in our lives or outside of ourselves in our lives because we aren’t good at an honest [ _ ] assessment of who we are and how we’re living if i’m doing all these good spiritual things in my life and i still feel like [ _ ] then i am out of touch with my spirit if i believe that these are my values this is the person i want to be this is what makes me the best person i could possibly be in my life and i’m doing all those things and i still feel like a piece of [ _ ] there’s a disconnect there and then vice versa if i’m out living like a piece of [ _ ] and i feel like i’m fine and it’s great and life’s wonderful that’s a disconnect as well like that’s the disconnect that i lived in the whole time that i was using it could be i mean it definitely talks about later in in the step i think it’s in ten maybe it’s in two i don’t know it talks about how sometimes we can be feeling different than how we’re doing right and and i think that’s just the thing like i don’t think it matters i don’t always have to be disconnected just for to wake up one day and feel bad about life like it just happens and that is so that’s similar to our defects i would say are our feelings like i’m not like i shouldn’t feel bad that i feel bad like that’s not the point i guess what i was trying to say i mean more directly that the powers greater than me my support group my wife my sponsor you know people outside of myself can help to point out to me like hey look take an honest look at what you’re doing here you shouldn’t you don’t need to feel this way you know you’re really a loving i mean sometimes you know just my wife saying you know you’re a really good husband a father and you’re you should be proud of yourself it’s like [ _ ] man that can really turn around a day you know that can turn around the rest of the day we’re getting you know whatever praise at work or something like that like that positive reinforcement for like yeah you know what you’re doing the right things and it’s tough right now but you know you’re a good person and you deserve good things and you know that sort of positive reinforcement helps uh helps me not give up on myself because i want to give up be like [ _ ] this this sucks i don’t want to do this anymore right and so i could see that i for me i think what i get help with in the feelings aspect is not having the secondary feeling right that’s the one that just crushes my [ _ ] hope like i can feel bad that’s okay i can feel depressed that’s okay it’s that next feeling that comes with it that judgment of it like oh well it’s never gonna [ _ ] be better because you know you’re doing all the right things and here you are feeling shitty anyway [ _ ] it you might as well get thrown in the towel right whereas or the the whole oh you feel bad and then the secondary feeling is well why do you feel bad you should feel fine what the [ _ ] wrong with you why do you feel bad when everything’s fine right and so for me my ability to to you know get assistance from a power greater than me with feelings is just to remember okay you feel bad let’s get up go to work eat breakfast whatever it is you’re doing today and just understand that some days you feel bad and that’s okay and it won’t be permanent like let’s just keep moving and so that’s where i think my help has come in with that i keep hitting my goddamn foot on this thing maybe that humility of like other people feel bad at times too it’s not the end of the you know for me it’s the end of the world and i think that’s what becomes so overwhelming i think for addicts sometimes it’s like when i feel bad about myself like i have like self-loathing like it’s not like oh i did this and i you know because i i think you know anyone that gets criticism is going to feel a little bad i mean i don’t you know even constructive criticism is still kind of like oh it’s like that little you know punch to the gut kind of thing um and that’s normal but as an addict i tend to take it to an extreme and i either feel like a total piece of [ _ ] or i get so defensive that whatever you just said i can dismiss off-hand and be like well that’s just [ _ ] you’re just an [ _ ] you know and it’s one of those two extremes like to be able to hear it and go huh is that relevant like does that really fit like wow i really do that and that’s not so good you know like and that’s and that’s exactly the rest of the paragraph you just started you started with the seventh step is an action step and it is time to ask god for help and relief we have to understand that our way of thinking is not the only way are you [ _ ] kidding me really are you sure uh so that’s other people can give us direction right that’s something i struggled with for a long time and i think i can still struggle with if i don’t pay attention on a daily basis and then it says when someone points out a shortcoming our first reaction may be defensive maybe defensive is the understatement of this book i’m pissed i’m pissed when somebody points out a defect to character i don’t want to hear that [ _ ] i want to [ _ ] tear them apart and tell them how much they suck and then it says we must realize we are not perfect there will always be room for growth no matter how far we’ve come in the right like if i just look at it as hey there’s always room for growth i can accept what they say if we truly want to be free we will take a good look at input from fellow addicts so hard to remember that when people say some [ _ ] especially when it’s people we already judge and don’t like right there’s probably some grain of truth in this right maybe not maybe once in a while there’s the offhanded you know attack on you that is really coming from a place of just they’ve lost their mind or whatever in general there’s usually some truth to what people say about me at least uh and i don’t always want to see that and it says if we the the trick is to examine it right we get the time to sit and examine if it doesn’t apply we can let it fly but where it goes if the shortcomings we discover are real and we have a chance to be rid of them we will surely experience a sense of well-being and i just i had that whole paragraph i’m like that’s a [ _ ] powerful paragraph so many different aspects like i i definitely hate when people criticize me i [ _ ] hate it but see and i i mean for me like that is actually the essence of the step like when it talks about you know it says in there it’s an action step and then it goes on to outline the actions that we take and none of them are you know we pray and sit on our hands and wait for miracles to happen like they’re not but the first line throws me off because it says it’s time to ask god for help and relief and i i always i don’t know i it’s so interesting to me to hear the other side and i love it i think it’s great that we come with both sides of it right i get to to bring i really almost wish we had a a christian type belief person in here because i think that’s so prevalent that people find that really useful too and so you know i would say my wife is christian and so we were talking about some of this this morning and i asked her similar questions to what we’ve been talking about and she said for a lot of her sponsors like there is a and i’m going to call it magical you know she wouldn’t probably call it maybe she would but you know she said for a lot of sponsees you know some of her advice is you know you have this defect or shortcoming that you’re struggling with is like just pray about it for 30 days and see what happens you know just pray about it for 30 days every day for 30 days and see what happens interesting and she you know she says it’s you know it’s miracles happen with that stuff and whether that’s god revealing to you through a meeting going somewhere that you might hear something that you’ve heard a hundred times that never really seemed to fit or hear something for the first time that you’ve never heard before or a speaker say something that just hits you know your spirit in a way that’s like [ _ ] that’s exactly where i’m at right now like that might be how god’s working i’m sure it would be argued that like you’re just bringing awareness to it by praying you’re really just bringing awareness of your own argument

this is my defending god i love it i love it uh did you have more quotes that you had lined up or um i do if not yeah you can go ahead okay down here another little section i really like that said the word humble applies because we approach this power greater than ourselves to ask for the freedom to live without the limitations of our past ways and and this was kind of i don’t want to say it was mind-blowing because i could say that about every goddamn thing and i you know ruined the statement but i’ve always especially up until this step i look at defects of character as things that get me what i want right these are things that bring me pleasure because i get what i want and they feel good right if that’s as as deep as stepping outside of my relationship to have you know live out sexual fantasies with other women or if that’s as small as like you know getting over on somebody for a dollar like they bring me pleasure in some ways shape or form in the now and so my way of looking at defects is that they get me what i want and yet in here it says we’re asking for the freedom to live without limitations and so this re really reframes what a character defect is to me like i’m i’m sitting here thinking yeah man these defects these things that get me what i want right and they’re saying these defects are limitations to our freedom and that’s just a we talk about shifts in perspective like that’s a completely [ _ ] different way to see it it might make me want to do something about it right and i think that realization comes from the work in six you know and six we’re examining these defects and examining these behaviors and being like yeah what i’m really looking for is this but i’m doing this behavior and it’s not really getting me the results that i want i need to take notes if i’m going to share these seven step meetings this week i feel like i’m going to forget all this [ _ ] this becomes really really good look i just finished up four and five and i i will say as powerful as this six and seven process is i’m not really looking forward to it it’s painful humility is painful or can be painful it’s there’s a lot of growth in it and that’s the part of the pain i’m gonna try to keep remembering there’s a lot of growth uh and here’s another quote this growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer and i wrote that down just for you billy i thought you would love that not the result of wishing and i guess so for me the whole higher power thing it’s never about i just expect this power to live my life for me or make me better all by itself it’s just that i give it control of the outcomes basically i trust in it in the universal energy that the outcomes will work out just the way they’re supposed to even if that’s not the way i like and i trust in a belief that there’s a grand plan that’s bigger than me that’s where the comfort i find in in a universal type higher power it’s not so much in like oh this power’s gonna [ _ ] take care of my life and i can just chill here and do nothing it’s just in allowing the outcomes to be what they are that’s where i get my comfort of a higher power yeah and i think there is a lot of comfort there and i i guess you know i i don’t know exactly where in my recovery journey i’ve drifted over towards this agnostic sort of view towards a higher power i think it came as a result of feeling what i felt was a lot of pressure from the program or even people inside the program maybe you know self made up i don’t know but it felt like there was a lot of pressure that you gotta have this higher powered deity type belief that without this you will die and that’s come from people saying oh you better get a god and you better get all this stuff and so i did that for a long time and then what i found out for myself was crisises or tragedies would come up in my life and i was not able to rely on that deity made up power that i had tried to force into my life that was not bringing me relief or comfort and so over time i’ve realized i don’t care if you tell me what i need to believe i’m gonna figure it out for myself and if i’m not really sure about you know god and if you go into like richard dawkins i don’t know if he has a book of atheist book and i can’t remember the name of it at the moment but it outlines like these seven levels of you know belief in god and they go all the way from like i’m a hundred percent sure there is a god no matter what to like i am a hundred percent sure there is no god no matter what um i’m probably at like a you know what i would call like maybe a five or possibly a six whereas like i’m not really sure um if i was a betting man i’d probably bet there was no god and we say god like i mean like a deity creator controlling the manipulative force that sort of runs the universe um i would say i’d probably lean more towards there’s not that in the world but i’m not necessarily opposed to that i don’t know that i would be incredible i probably would be surprised if they came out and said we figured out god you know we know there’s a guy up here he sent us a message and he [ _ ] told us like yes i’m god and i’m in charge and i’m gonna make it rain for three days watch and then he made it rain for three days or whatever like if that happened i guess i would be shocked but there are people that believe that that’s how god works and i strip i felt like i was being forced to make that choice so i’ve taken probably more of a agnostic approach lately just to try to open that door of conversation or or thinking i think it’s hugely beneficial for a lot of people who struggle with god to be able to hear uh an informed view of how to do these things without that power doing it for them i i do tend to think that when you when you frame it as in like you think people who believe in god are just gonna they just sit at home and and you know wish on a star that god’s gonna fix their life in recovery and i’m like that’s completely not what i do it’s interesting i think it’s a good for us to have multiple perspectives and i guess i worry because i feel like that’s dangerous like i don’t feel like you do that and that’s great and i like my wife she doesn’t do that at all she’s got a lot of you know action and stuff behind this and and we still have some slight disagreements on some things because she is you know christian in the way that she thinks some of these things work and and she does i mean she describes it as almost like a magical element to some of this that i don’t know why it works it just it just does when i do these things it just happens and you know i tend to look for the more rational or logical definition almost like you talked about you know through prayer i become aware and then when something happens i’m like ah that’s god you know but really it’s not it would have happened whether i prayed or not it’s just whether i would have been aware of it or not so you know that’s kind of a way that i’ll explain the same things that she would explain in a different way and that’s the beauty of this is that we can both do that we can both gain all the benefits of this work and the steps and and all that with two very different spiritual beliefs in a god it’s incredible how many different versions of this program work and that’s why so the the one guy uh anonymous addiction i think the podcast is called he’s a little newer to it but he talks he’s kind of left a a uh and says that a is a religion and he doesn’t like it right and and i’m like dying to know like but it kind of like what you just talked about how you felt forced into a box with the god thing like i’ve never i’ve never felt that i’ve never ever felt that anybody was like all i’ve ever heard is you know people defend our right to whatever god or not god that we want i’ve had some internal thoughts and judgments towards people who don’t have a god i’m like how the [ _ ] do you work these steps then um but because it’s it’s there’s no way they could work them the way i did that’s for sure they had to have some other kind of way to do it and i didn’t understand um but i’ve never felt forced into a god or a religion or well and some of that’s you know it’s like the politically popular thing like if you walked into a meeting just per se if you walked into a meeting and started off you know your share or whatever by saying something like i do not believe in a capital g god i have not found a really good god in this program that works for me don’t you think you would feel like in the minority yes or immediately sort of shut off by half the room that oh i mean i’ve had people approach me when i’ve said things like that after the meeting and try to convince me how wrong i was wow yeah it’s been awkward this is where i need more humility because i’m like though i would sound so profound after that that they would obviously trust in my information i don’t i really don’t know i’ve never had that experience uh interest you keep saying lowercase or capital lies g god i [ _ ] hate capitalizing anything i think the whole use of capitalization in the united states is [ _ ] stupid and ridiculous why do we capitalize days of the week months of the year they’re not that [ _ ] special right my god does not need to be praised or or you know worship that’s my own [ _ ] i’m not trying to knock anybody who’s does mine doesn’t right i like the idea of my god being lowercase g my personal own freight name yes lowercase j please i don’t need all this like it just doesn’t i hate the capitalization system and so i i don’t i really try not to capitalize when i say god now i will caveat my phone auto corrects to a capital g frequently and sometimes i bother to go back and fix it and sometimes i’m just in too much of a hurry that i don’t give a [ _ ] but i would much rather it be lowercase g so maybe that’s more my argument is if we lowercased g god and lowercased higher power so that it wasn’t this formal thing that it wasn’t feeling like it was some like need to be identified you know because that’s how i interpret like capitalizing things means it’s a certain one yes it’s a it’s a well it’s a particular it’s more of a concrete or specific type of thing you know and tommy this is me being anal and argumentative because i like to be argumentative [ _ ] yeah but i’ll go on it so that sayings in the in that same paragraph you just ah read it says the main objective of step seven is to get out of ourselves and try to achieve the will of our higher power and uh again higher power capitalized and so i again take just i can almost put spiritual principles or spiritual living in place of any of this higher power thing and say you know the will here is for get out of my own way and try to live like the will of spiritual living or the will of spiritual principles in my life trying to be a spiritual person when i don’t want to be you know read that sentence again for me so it says the main objective of step seven is to get out of ourselves and strive to achieve the will of our higher power and so i i what’s really interesting to me is that for a program that says hey you don’t have to have a religion you can have no religion you don’t need a [ _ ] god if you don’t wanna this program will work for you it’s so interesting that we have sentences like this that say that instead of putting in place of it what you just said like why do we need to say aligning with our higher powers will why can’t we just say you know whatever other thing we could say that isn’t so descriptive or limiting yeah i don’t understand why we do that i don’t either so i want to be the voice of those people there you go uh another quote one dangerous being too hard on ourselves uh and i think we already kind of mentioned the self-compassion and how crucial that is we’ve spent a lot of our life with us and those around us being too hard on ourselves right we’re not going to get better that way um one more i thought you would like god often works through those who care enough about recovery to help make us aware of our shortcomings that’s a really different take right because normally i’m pissed at people who point out my shortcomings and so if i could stop when they do that and just think to myself damn this is god working through people who give enough of a [ _ ] to go through the uncomfortable you know uh way of life to show to point this out like because it’s not comfortable to tell people about themselves that [ _ ] sucks and so really i need to look at that as like damn maybe they actually care enough about me that they want to help me they’re willing to walk through that awkwardness yeah and so interestingly enough my wife and i had again we were talking about some of this this morning and she was so we were talking about humility and and what that means and she was kind of describing to me her way of saying like we are all equal in all of our assets and all of our liabilities so i might think that i’m smarter than someone else but really we’re all like equally smart and of course i balked at that and we started kind of going back and forth about some of that if you were as smart as me you’d know that’s not true right um but it it opened up a different sort of uh line of thinking in my head about that kind of stuff like it’s so easy for me to put these judgments on where i think different people fit with you know even their assets and their liabilities right you know and to be like no we’re all equally and and her description i i get what she was going for like she said all right so maybe i’m intellectually smart maybe i’ve read a couple of more books or you know work the steps a little more but this person may you know deeply or intricately know about you know 1950s gospel music or some other you know my favorite weird random you know thing that they just know an abundance of information or a deep understanding or knowledge of that is like well i don’t think that’s relevant so that doesn’t count you know and it’s easy for me to be like dismissive of what is important now because it doesn’t fit my narrative and that you know really if we look at all these assets and liabilities like we’re all equal in them it’s just a matter of you know which ones were sorta uh almost the awareness thing like what we’re almost being aware of and so in that you know she can have conversations many of the people that she doesn’t like or people that are critical of her and and try to listen to what their point is um instead of being dismissive and being like well they’re just stupid or they don’t know anything about me hugely important and i you know the other part of that god works through people around us that i thought was really relevant besides the fact of like being more tempered to the criticism that people give us is the fact that it’s hugely crucial to my spiritual work to surround myself with people who i trust and who are also living in a life of recovery one if i don’t trust the people in my network along with my sponsor or my close group of friends if i’m not in a recovery network right if i don’t trust those people when they have criticism for me or when they tell me about myself i’m not going to hear it i’m just going to dismiss it like i’m you know ah [ _ ] him he’s just a jerk anyway right so i need to trust them i also need to interact with them regularly so they have a clear picture of me um and they’ve got to be living a life of recovery right there’s a this is a psychological concept that we are the average of our five closest friends right if i hang out with people who you know uh deal in the black market and and you know visit massage parlors not that there’s anything wrong with that but that might not be conducive for the way of life i’m trying to live and they might not be able to call me out on the defects that are going on in my life they might my stuff might seem minimal to their you know exploits or or whatever you want to call them sins or defects my stuff might be like i just stole a [ _ ] candy bar like at least i’m not doing that crazy [ _ ] so i need to have other people who have what i want so when they say something to me i can say oh well i want what they have obviously they’re not living that way maybe i should take that into consideration yeah well and i actually look at a lot of the or i guess i should say a bigger struggle for me is looking at criticism that comes from people that don’t like me or that don’t care about me because those are the people that i’ll dismiss the easiest and those might be the most honest criticisms that i don’t want to hear and so again just like this morning you had mentioned i guess amanda has a criticism about something i said immediately my defense mechanism goes up to like 11. you know what i mean like i want to you know start defending what i have to say defending my point of view because i don’t really know her and i don’t you know whereas if it was criticism from you or my wife or one of my other friends i tend to not dismiss that as quickly um and both are equally as important you know what i mean and i think i became aware of that like debating with people through facebook like you just start to see like people start criticizing you and i was like well [ _ ] you i don’t care about your opinion of me and then it’s like well wait a minute you know maybe that is how i come off and maybe that is important that i look at that because if my goal is to try to you know sort of get people to be more open-minded to get more think more deeply about things and all i start doing is becoming like this dismissive sarcastic [ _ ] then that’s not achieving my goal and all it does gets me angry and it gets them angry and that really doesn’t achieve anything so what’s the point that’s a really interesting point you you make there i mean people do they could possibly have the ability to say more honestly what is true about us like if they’re not that close so that’s that’s relevant i think we do need to listen to it all i just i know i need so generally when that has happened to me i take what uh those jerks that i don’t know have said and i bring it back to my trusted people and i say hey i’ve heard this do you see this too and that’s usually where i can open the door for their honest input right and so i just crucial i can’t do this alone is what i want to get at and i i see people out there who maybe don’t have a circle of friends in recovery or maybe don’t have a tight-knit network or maybe they do have a tight-knit network and it’s just not really people worth a whole lot of admiration honestly and i’m not saying they’re bad people they’re just not really working this right now and so maybe you want to find a couple of people that are right to be around and get more familiar with yourself all right um uh this is another quote to work the seventh step we must get out of the way so that god can do god’s work i thought that i was like billy will question the [ _ ] out of this statement yeah what does that even mean yeah that’s a mommy no it’s a media though like what does that mean must get out of the way so that god can do god’s work i i don’t know i to me that just speaks to the whole i can’t remove defects and i’m waiting on some higher power to do that not that i’m waiting doing nothing but it’s not up to me when it happens do you so how do you how do you explain that that it just takes an amount of time like when they say because that’s a lot of the seventh step that i’ve heard is that it’s not it’s up to the higher power when it gets removed it’s not up to me right so how do you rectify that or or or how does that understanding fit into your belief system of not really believing in that power specifically that you like you could do the work but maybe the defect doesn’t get removed or do you think you have control over when it gets removed so i think that gets into a more i don’t know what you would call it like neurosciencey way of looking at things like when do you think an idea actually changes in your head you know let’s take a concept that you don’t understand about [ __ ] traffic accidents or whatever you know two cars hit at a speed you know i don’t understand that science but if someone explains it out to me and then all of a sudden i go oh i know what that means now and now every time i see a traffic accident i can you know sort of work through these concepts i don’t know when that idea happens but when that idea changes or forms in my head is that a miracle or is that a result of work i guess so

for me i guess it would be you know i need the consistent uh influence input of like you’ve talked about like a network of positive people a network of people that are trying to live spiritually a network of people that are really trying to look honestly at some of these concepts that we talk about through the steps love faith humility surrender acceptance you know hope all these things kindness caring love like i need people that are really looking deeply at these principles and applying them in their life and then as i also try to apply them in my life you know something in that process changes you know and i don’t know when that moment happens um if we want to attribute that moment of change within our brain to being god i mean i got no problem with that that’s good enough you know for me i think it’s more of a neuroscience kind of thing but you know the concept’s still the same if i go about my day trying to be kind and i say you know i’m gonna actively try to just look store clerks in the eye and say thank you very much and have a little bit of intention behind that in the beginning that might be like a fake thing almost it might be like a forced thing but if i do that over and over and over again eventually that just becomes a thing that i do and hopefully the meaning goes with it i believe that’s part of meditation is similar like i’m trying to almost you know correct my way of thinking and it corrects not the right way of saying that but i’m trying to change my awareness on a way of thinking and so if i do that through a simple act like looking a store clerk in the eye and trying to be a little bit more compassionate say thank you very much i appreciate you know your service or whatever like i think eventually that touches my spirit you know what i mean like eventually that becomes you know not a thing that i’m forced to do and i almost do it unintentionally after 30 days or 60 days or whatever kind of like the science behind forming a new habit it makes sense i guess what i was thinking was if there was this process of it’s just what we do and what we go through that there would be a set amount of time to that and you know after i’m done this obviously i have fixed myself so i have a control over when the defect gets removed but even in the mental health field there’s not that right people come in at different ages different levels of willingness different levels of being done with whatever they’re tired of being done with we never know if it’s going to take a month or three years to hit that point where they’re ready to do something different right it’s really very guest working up in the air at so many other factors and inputs right and so uh i was just sitting here thinking and i could look back i mean i might be able to find one or find something but i think back to like character defects that i think that i had when i came in dude like do i honestly feel like any of them are just gone and that they just don’t exist in my life anymore like no not at all so have they really been removed i mean i don’t know true true just to a level yeah they’re removed through my action i think but are they removed in thinking is right i mean my concept when the guy gives me too much change in the store is to still keep that [ _ ] all the time you know right yeah will that never go away i don’t know i don’t do it you know or i wanted to take the goddamn piece that i got from floaming back to the for 13 i wanted to sell myself out and get around i want to manipulate and control and get what i want and you know thank god i didn’t but you know if it was like a thousand dollar part i might sell myself out but not for 13 bucks just too cheap so i think all these reliefs of these defects are temporary just for example or yeah as long as i continue to do the work necessary to keep it at bay right you know and as soon as i stop doing the work they slowly you know push their way back up to the top right because it it feels good to feel good it’s all about that instant gratification another one just to move us along here we tried so hard to get it right we were tired of our shortcomings we were worn out from trying to manage and control them and we wanted some relief oddly enough this is precisely the attitude we hope to demonstrate in step seven the attitude of humility we admit defeat recognize our limitations and ask for help from the god of our understanding uh not a whole lot to say about that or maybe not even any of these i just thought they were really kind of nicely put like we we do beat our heads against the wall trying to control these defects right and we come to a point of it’s that surrender i think it’s that letting go it’s it’s almost like being so aware of the defect i just get so tired of seeing it and seeing me act on it and seeing me hurt the people in my life and myself and feel bad that i finally get to a point where i’m like there’s got to be something else there’s got to be a pause moment there’s got to be a even if i feel this [ _ ] angry internally i’m just not going to say anything i will tape my goddamn mouth shut before i will yell at my kid again i just can’t do it and part of that is you know our i mean i think where that comes from and this i’m trying to think of how to explain this to people that aren’t addicts it’s like i get so worried that i’m not going to get what i want that it’s not going to turn out the way i want it to that things are gonna be different than i think they should be that i will you know claw fight and scratch you know tooth and nail to hang on like this is how i need this to turn out so this is what i have to do to get it to turn out the way that i need it to turn out and i have no faith you know outside of myself and my limited view that anything else is going to be good or better this is the only way this cannon should go and if it goes any [ _ ] differently it’s going to be a disaster i think one of maybe the most universal ways to and i it’s a tough one because it’s really uh strikes home with some people but food food and health and exercise right that whole tie-in i think a lot of people not in a program like ours or both in a program and not in the program can relate to that idea right we come to a point where we’re just sick and tired of ourselves not being able to fix our eating habits right i’m sick and tired of god damn not spending the time to make dinner i’m just getting that fast food because it’s so much easier and convenient i’m sick and tired and so when new year’s day rolls around i got the resolution that i’m gonna join a gym and i do it for two [ _ ] months and then i quit every year i’m sick and tired like that’s a place where people get sick and tired of themselves and try to make that change regularly they hit that point of surrender they’re so tired of that behavior or the outcomes of that behavior that they finally are willing to do something different unfortunately they see what we see if you don’t continue to stay in that sick and tired place it creeps back in right place of humility yeah it’s tough super tough um our illusions of uniqueness have been overcome in the process we know that we are neither more we are neither more nor less important than anyone else understanding that we are not unique is a good indication of humility this is a [ _ ] thing i still struggle with the time let’s just say the same thing i love being unique like i remember my buddy told me forever ago you’re one of a kind jason and i was all proud and he’s like nope there’s a kind like you and you’re [ _ ] one of them i’m like [ _ ] you man like that just hurts but we’re we’re not as unique as we think we are right i don’t think it’s i don’t think it’s that i’m not a little different from everybody i am my own unique person right but i have so infant there’s such a tiny piece of me that’s different from so many different people right there’s people that are very much like me kind of like when we started this podcast i thought you and i were almost exactly like i was like oh my god we think so much alike on everything and we don’t obviously like we disagree every week but it’s just so interesting to find that there is so much in common with so many other people and i think i mean i i struggle with the use of the word unique there more so than i felt way happier to hear the word importance so i am not more important my ideas aren’t more valuable my thinking isn’t more special than anyone else’s but i can be unique i mean i don’t think that being unique in and of itself is a bad thing i mean i i joke all the time and i say i’ve been to i don’t know how many thousands of meetings and i’ve never heard my story i’ve heard people say oh i’ve you know you told my story and i’ve had people say that to me but i’ve never felt like i have heard my story you know because i feel like that’s unique to me i’m going to pay an actor i’m going to write down your story and i’ve shared in a meeting just so we can accomplish this for you but i don’t think that makes me special you know what i mean like i don’t think that makes me different a difference loose there but i don’t think that makes me you know well and i think you’re you’re hitting the nail in the head with the word special is where all my uniqueness led me to think that i was more special than others right and i think that’s where we attack it from it’s we need to understand that we are different but it’s not a difference that makes us better than others right it’s just a difference that makes us us but it’s not really like that the difference over there in joe is also great there’s nothing better it’s the unique way in which we live out common principles another one patience is an essential ingredient of working this step we may have difficulty with the notion of patients because our addiction accustomed us to instant gratification and i just thought that was so so true for me and i struggle with patience at times and this entire step is six was me realizing i have all these defects and wanting to fix them right the [ _ ] now because that’s my whole life i want to do it now really i want to do it yesterday god damn it why isn’t it already done and so to realize that a lot of seven is the patience of hey i ain’t fixing you know 30 40 whatever many years of doing this one way overnight like this ain’t gonna magically pop in the right way tomorrow uh it’s gonna take time like you said the neuroscience aspect of this like it takes time to form new patterns of behavior new habits to replace old ones yeah and then again if i don’t consistently keep doing that work that old one seemed to come back yeah you know all of a sudden a defect has kind of been at bay for a while so i may you know slack up on the work on it because i’m not aware of it and then all of a sudden you know it comes back it does come back and maybe in a different way maybe it’s manifesting in a new area of my life or something i didn’t have before you know i really i i like knocking on some wood here uh gambling is a way that really has just not ever hit home with me and i i’m not completely sure why possibly because of how cheap i am or whatever it is i just don’t want to spend the money i don’t enjoy it but i’m always so nervous that because of that like what the idea that like you know if i say something enough it’ll you know i’ll jinx myself basically i’m always worried that when i say that i’m like oh [ _ ] that one’s down the pike somewhere i’m gonna go gambling on everything [ _ ] i don’t want it um another one in working this step we move away from intellectualizing the recovery process our concern is not to determine exactly how or when our shortcomings will be removed it’s not our job to analyze this step this step is a spiritual choice a choice that goes beyond any emotional reaction or conscious act of will as a guy who intellectualizes every [ _ ] thing in my life first because i don’t want to feel it this hits home to me and that it’s not my job to sit here and like keep tally i think it talks about that in our step guys like it’s not my job to keep tally of how good a job god’s doing i’m removing my defects of character right like oh you’re not being quick enough there god you [ _ ] right like it’s not for me to do that it’s just a try that’s the goal of this step just try yeah and i think there’s a point to and maybe this is over analyzing it but it’s like in you know maybe say loving my kid instead of less being you know as critical of my my kid in an area you know like if i’m just looking at results well criticizing them might get the outcome that i want but the principle of love might create a better person you know a person that feels better about themselves that has a better outlook on life that is you know quote unquote healthier than the person that just does what i want them to do so if i’m just looking at things and measuring outcomes and measuring you know these on these you know tangible things it’s hard to kind of see the intangibles of spiritual living you you make a great point right uh science knows that it’s very easy to change a behavior now by smacking the [ _ ] out of your kid that’s right that works highly effective right harsh punishments highly effective in changing what they do right this second also creates pretty terrible human beings down here right we can’t see the terrible human beings down the line so we think this way works now i can see the evidence right in front of me we can’t see the evidence that it’s not really so beneficial long term um and so i think that’s a really relevant point let’s just work on sometimes the opposite of the defect and that for me is kind of over the years where my faith in you know higher power or in spiritual living comes in it’s like i just have to trust or i choose to trust i don’t have to do anything i choose to trust that that spiritual living is going to give me a better outcome than whatever i might see in the here and now nice and so for the last one i have written down here we’ve seen our character defects our faulty belief systems and our unhealthy patterns of behavior we’ve seen that we need to change but may not be aware that we’ve been changing since we first came to n a for help we walked into our first meeting with a spiritual void some essential ray of spiritual light had been cut off we had lost the ability to love laugh and to feel for so long people had looked into our eyes and had trouble seeing the human being behind the blank gaze from our very first meeting we sensed the love and acceptance of other n a members we began to come back to life what we are experiencing is an awakening of the spirit no less dramatic than it sounds this awakening has been evident to those around us for quite some time but the change is now so obvious that we can see it as well and i just thought that was a really poetic statement um it makes me feel a little sad for people who a lot of people and i don’t know if people who aren’t and they know this or not a lot of us don’t make it to step seven like it seems to be a thing some people never work steps some people work one through three and then four is just uh too much of a mountain to climb um i a great deal i know so if you’ve ever been a speaker seeker for a meeting that has to get speakers on the steps you get to seven it’s like oh [ _ ] i’m limited like who the [ _ ] can share this uh and so it’s just sad that a lot of people miss out on this process man it’s it’s incredible uh and it’s been incredible every time i’ve gone through it right like the first time through was pretty mind-blowing but i i even thought the second time through well this won’t be as mind-blowing because i already did it once and i know and and the fact is it’s still there’s so much left to work on always that layers of the onion theory is so true for me at least yeah and i think that’s what it talks about you know in that step it’s like we’re never gonna be perfect there’s always gonna be you know work to do on ourselves i mean my goal isn’t perfection you know my goal is to be the best version of myself as i can be here now right i think one of the things that i i struggled with in step 11 just to bring up right before we end here um god had removed the obsession and compulsion for me to do drugs right which was the most amazing [ _ ] thing that could have ever happened for my life when i got here and i started this process and i was blown away by it and i just thought it was such an impossible thing to do and for me my higher power removed that and i was free to live without that and it was like holy [ _ ] no more amazing miracle could have happened in my life and yet when i got to six and seven and thought can god remove these defects i questioned it right like he’s already done and removed the biggest defect possible and yet here i am i’m like well i don’t know these are personality traits can you really handle this like i really doubted the ability of you know my higher power for some reason even though i knew he had done this incredible thing i don’t know if you had that kind of experience but no i mean i would say no i trusted wholly in the process of recovery you know what i mean like i i’ve never looked at like this outside and maybe part of this is again ego stuff i think you know maybe it’s almost like the one quote you said it’s like i think i over analyze [ _ ] and intellectualize it and be like if i just k i guess the faith came if i just keep doing this work shit’s going to get better and it was pretty much had to be that simple i got you i got so the other thing that came up and i think it does talk about this in our step working guide um but i didn’t look through that to double check but i the idea that i got nervous that god might over remove my defects if that makes any sense like so we talk about it we don’t really want them removed we want them brought back down to their right proportion in life right like basically we say pain’s a bad thing but honestly if you don’t feel pain you’re gonna die pretty soon in your life because you don’t know how to avoid things that are hurting your body right there this has happened before like to a human they couldn’t feel pain literally they had no pain receptors and they just like died early because they couldn’t feel it when they grabbed a hot thing on the stove so they just continued to hurt themselves um so we don’t like it’s good to have a healthy level of jealousy like really it’s not healthy to completely have jealousy gone and for me it was an area like a lust right where i had lust for all these women outside of my relationship i was terrified that god would remove lust and i would no longer be lustful towards my partner and then they would need to seek you know things outside of the relationship because i wouldn’t want to meet their needs anymore because i just didn’t care about sex anymore it just completely got removed as if that was even possible this is my fear right a guy who thinks about it too much and i’m scared it won’t be there at all but i i just i it’s incredible that we can have that worry like that concern uh and it’s too to the point where i’m not so unique it’s mentioned in our guide because obviously some other people had it i just that blew my mind yeah i don’t know maybe i secretly think so little of myself i never thought i could be too good i don’t think that’s ever been a thing my criticism of myself is that like you’ll never be too good that’s hilarious uh any other thoughts on step seven i i think it’s i think we’ve done it justice yeah i hope i can remember any of this [ __ ] to share during these meetings this week um so obviously next month we’ll be on eight we’ll talk about making our list uh that’s going to be an interesting conversation for sure um uh next week we’ll talk about either sponsorship or we’re gonna have somebody on to talk about another program which i really i really enjoy the conversations with people about their programs um so hopefully i can find somebody for that if not we’ll be doing that in two weeks i really hope uh and sponsorship i’m excited to do that too honestly so either way i’m i’m pretty pumped for next week however it plays out and if there’s anybody out there interested in talking about other programs and they don’t even have to be specifically you know addiction can be al-anon or you know adult children of alcoholics or oa or gambling on whatever you know any of those other fellowships that aren’t specifically about drugs you know yeah yeah absolutely i think it’s great to have conversation more exposure for people right i think you know i ended up seeking out some other fellowships it was hugely beneficial for me but i just think just knowing that it’s out there like that other people struggle in ways that we also struggle and maybe we can find some help there or maybe it’s right for us and there’s a fear of going to check that kind of stuff out right like oh my god i’m going to walk into a sex addict meeting that’s that’s all the perverts are right but maybe if you hear more about it it might identify with you and you might be able to get some help for it so yeah yeah absolutely if you feel like you can represent uh and know a lot about a fellowship please feel free to contact us reach out also if you have any thoughts about the seventh step as usual you know go ahead find us on facebook or wherever else we are instagram twitter look us up email us do whatever the hell you want um and stay safe out there and we’ll see you next week yeah have a good week

  1. all right not bad shorter than last week thank god a little much cool ah i liked it i thought that was a great steps seven-step discussion and it’s funny because i felt like you kept saying i can’t wait to hear and i was putting all this like pressure on myself like oh [ _ ] i gotta and then i read all the stuff and i’m like this is all [ _ ] like cats i mean i i try to live this i try not to be one of those people that just says a bunch of good [ _ ] and then about their lives it’s super funny to me because in reading the basic text and it works out why in both of them i like half of the writing was oh my god let billy explain this one without a god right and the other half was well this is exactly what billy’s talking about i’m like what the [ _ ] we wrote this half

yeah not that anybody wants to [ __ ] watch us sit here and do nothing but i’m almost like that would kind of force me to i wonder if i would sit stiller if i know i’m being observed

interesting

composed

so there’s not too much to go over ahead of time a couple little things i’m sure we’ll make it last half an hour and then i got a long list of

quotes

i’m not going to read this [ __ ]

because it’s in your iron ham running yeah we definitely need to do an episode about sponsorship too i i’m the more i think about that the more my kids that’s a necessity i i feel like i put out the call weeks ago when we did the recovery dharma episode that like hey we need people from other fellowships and what are you into and like i was trying to i didn’t just want to say oh cool you’re in that fellowship come on i wanted to like have some some interaction and be like hey you know is our conversation flowing do you sound intelligent uh and then i just feel like all those people fell off the face of the earth and like what the [ _ ] yeah well they were messed up on twitter right yeah but i went back and looked and there was only actually way less than i thought it was kind of it felt like more i felt like there was like 20 comments there was like five and even then like the one guy i reached out to about the marijuana anonymous or whatever and he never got back to me and i’m like well i need to find somebody to schedule over the next two sundays smoking weeding good time for that [ _ ] right

i was motivated to do these meetings

but then i got high

oh lord all right i got that that that why can’t i find this facebook thing i guess that’s as good as it gets i don’t i was surprised nobody commented on the relationship thing like i posed it as a question like does people have opinions about whether it’s better to date in recovery out of it i’m like nobody really had much to say about it i have a general and it’s my general feeling with that [ __ ] too it’s like i’m done engaging with facebook why is that just curious i just don’t feel like it’s healthy or productive you know it just really doesn’t feel like it a lot of it probably not all right probably not

we’re going to look so fancy in here when we get our other microphones

all right i don’t know you’re ready to start yeah i don’t have a whole lot else to figure out i’m just going to talk about step seven

i’ve been waiting forever to hear about

this oh i got a coffee i wonder if me sipping my coffee is gonna oh well we’ll try it

hey what’s going on welcome back to recovery sort of i’m jason i’m a guy in long-term recovery uh my name is billy i’m also a person in long-term recovery and today we finally get to hear the incredible magical insight into step seven from you know not god removing uh these defects of character which i’m dying to hear right because i i really am uh i was thinking about this the other day and i thought it’s almost more magical to me to think of this in a different way like people would say like god sounds like magic and crazy you know flying spaghetti monster sounds ludicrous and i was like i actually think it sounds more flying spaghetti monster-ish to not have god remove these and i don’t know i was really i’m just it’s so interesting so we will get to that uh that is the main purpose of today step seven definitely excited about that just to cover some things before that uh we had a little bit of feedback about dating it was interesting i i posed a question i feel like i’m leaning too close into the mic here i’m trying to chill i get a little excited i posed a question all over the place um is it easier or better or are there more benefits to having a relationship with someone also in your program or outside of recovery altogether uh and i guess that leaves room for a third option of in recovery but in a different program which is maybe that’s the best of both worlds i don’t know we don’t know that one um but there was very little response and so the only hypothesis i have about that is that everybody has a partner in recovery and they didn’t want them to see their response but they thought it was better to have them outside of recovery so i i don’t know do you have any idea why that could be well i mean immediately when i mentioned to my wife we were doing this podcast about relationships she’s like oh my gosh i can’t listen to it you know what i mean it’s gonna start a fight and then you had said you know it brought up some stuff with your wife you know some issues and i think i mean just me personally i think that could be part of it you know what i mean it’s like people just don’t want to put their [ _ ] out there because it you know even to be honest and say like yeah it’s really difficult in whatever situation you’re in is just opening up the potential for it is and for the benefit of the doubt just to let you all know since she doesn’t always have a voice on here my wife did completely disagree with my assessment and said that even as a person outside of recovery she has attempted to help me stay focused on recovery and and be my eyes and ears and call me out on [ _ ] which i was telling billy it was a benefit to having you know someone in recovery and she said she tried that and i told her i didn’t want to hear that [ _ ] so there would you still tell them that when they’re in recovery too i’m like yeah but i don’t shut up i know what i need to do i don’t need to hear from you exactly so you know it’s all a matter of uh where we’re looking at it from but yeah that’s what i figured people people don’t want to put their stuff out there with their partner having the ability to see that we did get a couple of responses our buddy kirsten she said dating an earth person can be exhausting if they don’t if you struggle to feel or question whether they completely understand what you go through and i do think that is one thing that’s a little different right if i had to say what’s the greatest downfall or risk of dating someone in recovery it would be well they can [ _ ] relapse and ruin my life right and if i had to say what’s the greatest downfall of dating someone outside of recovery it’s that a lot of them truly can’t grasp what it’s like to not be able to [ _ ] stop and to want to do something hourly that destroys your life like i just well i think there’s a lot of similarities between us and non-addicts right in a lot of ways and i’m going to get to one of them in a second too right but that’s one of them that’s just it’s really it’s a hard concept to grasp if you haven’t had that calling inside of you to just wreck your [ _ ] life yeah and i mean i would go through this conversation with my parents when i was a you know in my early 20s and getting in trouble with drugs and stuff and and they would say like why don’t you just stop and there were two significant things to that one i didn’t know why i couldn’t you know i didn’t have a good answer for like oh i don’t know i just want to get high like it just i just love it and then i would try to say this to my mom all the time like she smoked cigarettes and i would say it’s just like cigarettes like why don’t you stop you know it’s not healthy you know it’s not good for you you know it’s killing you but yet you do it anyway and she would just be like well that’s different you know and and it was so easy to dismiss that people do not want to hear that [ _ ] when you put it back on them especially if they feel their life’s a little more manageable right like maybe they can get up and go to work every day and you try to call them out and say it’s exactly like your shopping habit as you’re going in debt or it’s exactly like the way you eat as you’re you know becoming obese and they’re like oh [ _ ] you right like i don’t need to hear your [ _ ] i go to work every day you lazy bum and it’s like maybe you don’t want to see it but it is very much like that i think to some level everyone has some sort of compulsion or self-obsessive type behaviors or things that they get into and for some people they just you know they don’t one let it get to the point where it’s such an extreme it’s causing chaos in their life you know for some people it’s healthy eating or the gym or they get really into that and they become kind of obsessive almost regimented you know in that stuff and it’s healthy and it’s good and it works out fine i think for addicts though the difference is we are repeatedly engaging in behavior that is killing us like we we can almost see that it’s killing us and wrecking our lives but we can’t stop you know yeah so uh kirsten went on to say you know it’s probably pros and cons of both which is obviously the the ultimate answer that i think either of us would ever come up with um you know another guy jay had said that he said there’s no perfect but it might make it easier to have somebody inside recovery just so they could understand and so that turned into a little conversation caroline had some input that she’s only had serious relationships with others in recovery and she just can’t imagine because recovery is such a huge portion of her life having someone that wasn’t also into that at the same time and and that’s where i think it gets tricky when we talk about either someone in our program or someone who’s you know living a different method of recovery that you know recovery looks so different for so many of us and i don’t think we acknowledge how similar that is like even someone who just has some i don’t say just has some because that’s terrible minimization right someone who’s gone through some childhood trauma but maybe never got into drugs but sought out therapy for healthier relationships later in life like they are also in a recovery type life right they’re probably focused on self growth and and you know some spirituality and so i think they could be also very in tune with the recovery type lifestyle even if they’re not in our program and so it just gets interesting when we when we look at those kind of things and the differences um but yeah that there was not a whole lot of people who wanted to speak up about their dating or marriage preferences and maybe that maybe you know them not speaking up was wise and kept their marriages intact for another week yeah well and after my wife said that to me i went back and listened to the whole episode to make sure i didn’t say anything that i regretted and there was one or two little things in there i was like i’m like now you can listen it’s fine you know right uh so we also oh i wanted to point out so voices of hope has their online virtual rubber ducky race which this just like i don’t know i think my wife actually brought this to my attention i just think it’s hilarious that they’re gonna have like a rubber ducky race online uh and you buy a duck i guess is that how it works yeah you buy a duck and you float it down a thing and you win a prize that you know whoever crosses first they get numbers you know they have numbers on them that’s [ _ ] cool i’m definitely buying a duck just for the hell of it because i got nothing better to do and the money goes to a good cause uh to help you know the still suffering people out there who are struggling to find a new way to live in some way shape or form and i should know more about what the prizes are and stuff but i don’t at this point i think it’s coming up in uh next next no i think it’s september so yeah yeah it’s like two months ago i knew it was a while away yet so it is it’s just it seems so funny to me and hilarious that i i couldn’t help i posted it on our facebook page so if you need to find it you can find it through our facebook page or through voices i hope if you’re interested it’s not till september you have some time i just i don’t know why i i’m sure it’s been done before it just seemed oh yeah they’ve done it unique and hilarious to me yeah so and i mean it’s like so sometimes it’s kind of fun to like laugh and fun you know have fun with recovery and recovery related things i know in our area at one point a few years back they talked about doing like a dope fiend olympics where they were gonna have you know different like bad idea events that you know were sort of stigmatizing but not would be fun like throw a bunch of white crumbs on the floor and see who could pick up the most crumbs in 30 seconds and things like that you know just and it got voted down i guess some people got upset about it but sometimes it’s fun to just do silly things and and laugh at yourself and not take things quite so serious well and it’s it’s so tricky like they’ve done that dope fiend olympics in some places and and the idea and the concept is hilarious and it’s the same struggle i have with with uh you know all the memes i make up to put on our page and on our instagram and stuff it’s like generally the more offensive they are the funnier they get right and that’s that fine line i try to walk between i don’t want to do harm to people and at the same time i do need to laugh at myself and and you know the situations i find myself in funny enough it comes up in the seven step reading uh and so that will definitely be part of what we talk about today uh one last thing i did want to mention before we get into that um i had a message from a friend of ours uh amanda today who still shocks me one of a few people that listen that is not uh particularly themselves you know an addict and i’m just always i’m like normal people yeah for [ _ ] what we’re crazy right and i don’t know it’s always so nice that because i even asked i’m like why do you listen right and she kind of explained that a lot of our struggles are her struggles too and i guess that’s it’s so nice to feel normalized that like maybe the things we struggle with on a daily basis maybe we’re really not as different as everybody else as we like to think we are right uh terminally unique it talks about in the seven step reading um but it’s just nice to feel like damn maybe maybe everybody struggles with this [ _ ] maybe yeah for us it’s a little different like we could go you know shoot some heroin and die unfortunately but in general like we struggle with the same things everybody else does and uh i don’t know that felt kind of nice but the other part of what she messaged about was she was just listening to the cliches episode and she was kind of highly offended by the the let go and let god being a little belittled by you got a good take for it i’m willing to listen i don’t i haven’t uh so and this is what i found with almost every cliche that people don’t like or that somebody wants to defend it it’s the cliche itself is not actually the problem it’s more so that it’s been used in a way that doesn’t it makes the person who’s heard it or been on the receiving end of it feel like it’s not very useful for them or they’ve felt like they’ve been dismissed and not heard that’s what it seems like with a lot of these cliches like the cliche itself is fine but if you tell somebody to it in the moment of their distress it sounds kind of shitty when you say it to them so her her deal and i was like oh maybe she’s a believer that like is really offended by that and no she’s not she doesn’t she doesn’t believe in god either i was like oh well so apparently her her story was that she had some anxiety and just saying let go and let god reminds her that there are a lot of things that are out of her control and she needs to not try to control them basically and it lowered her anxiety um in saying that and that being her reminder and so i just thought that was incredible like here i am i thought she was going to [ __ ] about like being a believer and and you you know being uh uh i guess a non-believer i still don’t know an atheist agnostic what are you i don’t know i try to find out today i’m not really sure

but it was like ah man she went the whole other way sometimes i gotta laugh at the irony she went the entire other way with it and just said no i just use it because it’s useful and i’m like damn yeah i guess that’s how cliches work they’re just useful for some people whether they truly make sense or not i guess yeah i guess they could go back to the forest gump stupid is as stupid does like i never understood that what it even means it goes over my head i guess maybe i’m not smart enough to figure it out but it’s like you know a saying like that like that’s kind of how i feel about the let go and let god it’s like i don’t get what that means you know if someone else can take comfort in it great you know that’s awesome i just don’t i don’t understand what that means so i don’t know that this is right uh and p you know forest gump lovers please uh correct us if we’re wrong i thought stupid is as stupid does was the point that people call him stupid as in his you know apparently he’s got some kind of brain stuff going on that’s not quite up to par with what we would decide was normal for our society he’s a little slower than the rest of the world so people call him and refer to him as stupid but he’s comforted by his mother saying stupid is as stupid does meaning it doesn’t really matter what people think of how smart you are in your brain how are you living right and he did all these great feats like he did the next right things when he needed to and he was kind to people and so like is that really stupid or is stupid people who do stupid things like you could be as smart as you want but you’re a jerk to your kids or your wife or something that’s how i always took it i don’t know um so are we ready for step seven sure okay step seven humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings which oh my god obviously humbly humility must be a huge part of this step so i’ve already decided i must suck at this step that’s not my uh my highest you know asset um but i’m curious do you have any any takes on it just to start what do you think about step seven um so of course for me you know humility is probably the the key uh ingredient spiritual principle there in this step um it starts with you know we go through this series of these other steps up through our inventory and sharing that with other people so that we can get a chance to try to figure out who and what we really are you know that that most of us you know we’re we always or i can’t say we i would judge myself by what i thought i was supposed to be and then i was constantly falling short of all of those so therefore i was a piece of [ _ ] and i was no good and i was a worthless human being and and you know i didn’t deserve anything and all those negative things we tell ourselves because i didn’t have the ability to look at myself honestly you know i couldn’t see like yes i have assets and i have liabilities and you know i can choose to work on my liabilities and try to get better at them or and i can choose to you know own my assets and try to you know use them more productively in my life things like that um i wasn’t doing that when i was using i had some what i thought i was supposed to be in my head compared to what i the way i was really living and those two things didn’t line up and so where do you where do you think that comes from like i heard you say that uh we tried to measure up to this image we had of what we were supposed to be where do you where does that image come from in in your mind like where does it get twisted that it’s not just hey we’re just supposed to be human where we make mistakes and falter and learn from it and like who gives us this twisted image that we’re trying to live up to that we can’t um i i mean i can’t say for sure i know in my case i can tell you some things about my background that i think shape that but i don’t know if they’ll answer that question exactly so um my parents were loving kind people they were you know good people overall but my mom was pretty critical and pretty harsh uh judgmental wise she also wasn’t very uh outwardly like loving with with like hugs and praise and and affection you know those were things that were very much missing in my house and then my dad when we were young worked a lot you know worked a lot of hours wasn’t home a ton and wasn’t overly affectionate himself and that’s probably why him and my mom got along so well because neither of them were overly affectionate with each other or with us um that on top of i was you know sexually abused as a kid at a young age and then also the fact that we went to like a catholic school and were raised you know in the catholic uh tradition like there were a lot of things about myself that i felt like i was just a bad person you know that i was never good enough that you know unless i was perfect at everything all the time you know there was something wrong with me it’s interesting because i think you know i would say oh yeah well you know my experience must be everybody’s we must all have had this critical parent uh in our household that you know gave us this flawed schema or core belief system and yet i know there’s people who didn’t have any real parent to speak up in their in their household so they couldn’t have been a critical one and i’m just curious if it’s all these factors put together which i’m sure it’s some portion of that you know biology would say oh it’s it’s dna some of that’s just in your core genetics that you’re going to have these type of belief systems about yourself and then there’s you know the parental input there’s a peer input society’s input hollywood’s input and as a whole this all leads us to what you know the mental health field would say your core belief or your schema is that there’s something wrong with me and so all the information you take in comes through that lens it’s kind of like if you’ve ever looked through a filtered lens like if you’ve looked at a page and you have on blue sunglasses that have blue lenses and you can’t see any of the blue right and so it’s almost like we put lenses on like that in our lives where you know we we put on these lenses where we can’t see any of the positives we do and so all we take in because of this core belief system all we take in is things that line up with i’m not good enough and i would tweak that just a sec because we had it interesting when you talk about putting on lenses and colors we had an interesting experience last night and uh i think it ties into what you’re talking about here so we have some camping chairs and they’re these blue like you know royal blue camping chairs and we were at a friend’s house and they have one of those yellow bug lights you know outside and then as it got dark you know and they just the yellow light was coming down all of a sudden these chairs looked green like completely green so it’s and you could take your you know your white light from your phone and shine it on there and see that it was blue but it was just a really neat sort of hey look at this kind of sciency thing when you take this color out you see it this way and it’s almost i think like that like we see ourselves through these lenses to where it’s not that we don’t necessarily see assets but we start to look at them differently you know like and i say that because for me like growing up through addiction maybe as a survival mechanism or whatever like i started to think like caring about other people or or putting other people’s needs you know not just doing what you wanted like these were like weaknesses they weren’t assets they were weaknesses and i saw them and i recognized these principles that other people lived by and thought oh those you know people that are just living their life serving others and and not putting their needs first like they’re suckers you know they’re they’re not doing what they need to do for themselves and they’re letting other people walk on them like this thing that would be an asset all of a sudden became a liability to me it’s interesting uh the the chair i like that idea the yellow light and the blue chair and it really brings us to just how i went through life thinking there was this set of rules facts truths that existed and nothing could change that and to learn that a lot of things in the world are really just perception and perception can be changed depending on you know like we talk about the lens you’re using to look at it is mind-blowing uh to think about you know uh what color’s the sky billy i would say blue right and yet if you said orange at sunset you’re right right like uh but i if you told me this guy was orange i’d be like you’re [ _ ] crazy what’s wrong with this guy right and so those type of things uh you know when you had the realization that the sun doesn’t actually come and go like the sun’s always there it’s the clouds that come and go right it just doesn’t seem to line up with what we really think about um and so maybe we’ll do a whole episode on perception at some time i don’t want to get us too lost in the woods right now about step seven but yeah i think that’s incredible um i would say step seven for me was like the culmination of i’m trying to figure out how to do this for somebody not in a 12-step program right somebody who’s not working the steps like so for we we write down basically our life history right we kind of like do a written version of our life history so we can look at it from a third person point of view uh it’s kind of like the principle of you know if my friend comes to me with a relationship problem it’s really easy for me to see what the [ _ ] he’s got to do in his relationship because i don’t have feelings about his relationship i can just tell him what makes sense and he’s really confused and it doesn’t make sense to him and yet for me when i’m in a relationship it’s the exact same way i can’t see clearly what it is i need to do so when i write four and i put my life story on paper it’s a little clearer to me to look at it from a different perspective five i get to share that with an even further removed from feeling perspective uh and you know with god and with myself out loud and get some more insight into it six i i start to look at the places in my life that really don’t i act in ways to try to get what i want that aren’t necessarily ways that benefit me long term right i sit on the couch and watch whatever instead of going and doing the dishes because it feels better to sit on the [ _ ] couch and eat some donuts than to go do the dishes in the moment but what i start to learn in six is that at the end of the night i feel like [ _ ] for not getting the dishes done whereas if i go do the dishes i feel better later right so six is to me like kind of recognizing the ways that i chase instant gratification over the long term you know better feeling about myself and then seven would be i don’t know how to describe this for somebody who’s not in recovery and also not a believer in a bigger power like i think through the literature that i was reading it kind of made me think maybe i just involve other people and like hey billy uh you’re a good buddy of mine and i trust you and i wanna change my habits can you help me change my habits by helping me to you know point me out point them out at me when you see them maybe like is that yeah so all right i’ll i’ll use a little bit different analogy so your description there was really good of the going through the step process i would use the analogy of you know let’s take furniture like let’s say i have some furniture in my apartment it’s old kind of crappy furniture and before i found recovery what i like to do is move that furniture around into different positions and think that it looked different and now all of a sudden well this is a better arrangement this furniture looks looks better now but then when i sit on it you know there’s still a spring poking me in the ass and it’s still all out of whack and you [ _ ] fall through the you know the recliner doesn’t work anymore whatever and all i can do on my own is keep moving that furniture around you know what i really need is to go out and get new furniture you know and i need and this is where the higher power or or you know power greater than me comes in it’s like i can’t make new furniture on my own in my apartment i gotta go outside of myself i gotta look to things outside of me to find the tools and resources and things i need to bring back with new furniture you know so six is recognizing that my furniture sucks and that it’s [ _ ] and then as long as i keep moving that furniture around it’s still the same crappy furniture it might look different on that wall still the same crappy couch and seven is going i need to go outside of myself i need to get out of this apartment and go outside of myself to get the tools and resources that i need to fix my room maybe somebody to help me build new furniture maybe a furniture store that has access to more furniture maybe a friend to help me carry furniture in and that’s where the uniqueness of someone’s individual recovery path and their sponsorship you know your crappy furniture is going to be different than my crappy furniture you know my crappy furnitures has different you know things with it maybe mine can be fixed maybe i need new maybe it needs to be thrown out and same with yours and maybe you can build your own furniture maybe you go to a church to get your furniture you know all these different things but that’s where our individual recovery path comes in is how and where we get our new furniture i love that analogy and since we like to change the wording of every step to make it better step seven will now be we humbly asked him to replace our furniture that’s the [ _ ] way we’re going uh so funny enough so we just heard a story yesterday so we were at a cookout with some people in recovery and we had a guy sharing about i think he and i might mess this up a little bit but he said he had celebrated i think seven years twice and what he realized the first time around and uh as he read through the basic text the first time he would say to himself things like oh there should be a comma here and oh they could have said this better if they did that and oh we should have done this you know this could have been different if it was said like this and then he relapsed and when he came back the second time he realized to try to identify you know the concepts and the principles so this is interesting that’s really interesting because i actually have a very similar story yeah i had gotten almost 18 months at one point and i picked out every misspelled word in our [ _ ] literature and there was a version of the the traditions the readable tradition uh laminated sheet that we read before and it was like very widely circulated instead of saying are stronger than those it said stronger that those like somebody had misspelled then and put the t at the end by accident autocorrect who the [ _ ] knows but i used to pick that [ _ ] apart and then sure enough and somebody even pointed out to me but i couldn’t change it it’s like that’s just who i was at that time well see and and that’s where humility comes in like humility comes in where we learn like hey that’s a part of who i am that’s not something i like about myself it’s okay i don’t have to hate myself or you know degrade myself or belittle myself because that doesn’t help anything right but i need to recognize that about myself like that’s a part of who i am and if i’m not careful that [ _ ] will get me into trouble you know and that’s the difference between like uh being overly critical or overly judgmental of ourselves and having what i would call like honest humility um i was joking with jason before this i said uh with you before this that uh like i actually did a little research on this one beforehand i was reading through the basic text and there was something that because humility is such a huge part of my recovery for me because i was such an egomaniac and and still am and it’s still a thing i gotta really keep an eye on that you know i think i’m smart and i think i got you figured out and i can think my way out all kinds of problems that must be awful to deal with so i have to really be on top of that and so in the basic text it talks about you know humility as being the uh you know the core of this step and it says to be home to be truly humble is to whoa that just jumped there we go to be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves none of us is perfectly good or perfectly bad we are people who have assets and liabilities most important we are human you know and and that’s important for me because i can say yeah i tend to be an egomaniac i tend to be someone who thinks really humbly of myself and less of others and i don’t have to hate myself for it i don’t have to think gosh if i didn’t have i mean if i spend all my time thinking about what i could be doing what i should be doing how i should be acting how bad i am because i don’t do this or that thing i’m not really fixing the problem you know right we’re not going to beat ourselves into being better people and one thing that you stuck out clearly like and because i said i i couldn’t change that as who i was at that point in time in my life like i was just the guy who that’s what i saw flaws that was my old furniture that’s what i was given when i was growing up you’re going to see flaws and everything and nothing positive about anything it’s what it is i will say this when you see somebody who’s constantly picking out the flaws and everything in the world and people around them know this for sure that’s how they treat themselves all [ __ ] day long right and so i just didn’t have another perspective i didn’t have the ability to get my furniture out and i hadn’t made it that far in the steps yet i only got to i want to say five um at that point in time and so i wasn’t there yet i didn’t have new furniture i hadn’t i hadn’t gotten a new recliner right to lay back in and say well you know they misspelled a word no big deal um but you’re right yeah recognizing that it is part of us and ultimately what i always forget about uh i want the steps to fix me and get rid of these problems and i always think that these are problems and i forget that it tells us right in there character defects are basic character traits of humans that we have blown out of proportion i don’t really necessarily it’s not healthy if i get rid of it i just need to put it back in proportion and i forget that a lot yeah and i think that’s why it talks about being human like no person is all good and or all bad you know we all have these different traits that work together and we’re all gonna make mistakes and you know the difference is you know making an honest mistake versus an intentional mistake you know or or say that repeated mistake maybe yeah or staying stuck in things that you know aren’t good or you know aren’t healthy are going to harm others and then doing it anyway out of selfishness right which is what i did when i was using you know i knew stealing wasn’t right i knew taking advantage of my family wasn’t right but i did it anyway so let’s uh before we get into more of these quotes since we’ve got a basic running description here of of step seven let’s take a break here and play our voices and we’ll be right back

it’s not bad 32 minutes keeping track of the time i like it so five minutes in we started i think that was useful where are we at 10 15 oh golden golden sun sending me tick tocks that i never understand dude i never thought i would be so old i didn’t understand what the kids are doing i don’t [ _ ] understand what the kids are doing i know i feel the same way he sends me tick tocks and i’m like i’ll watch it like three times and i’m like what the [ _ ] is that supposed to be i don’t get it then i gotta ask him i’m like dude i don’t get it you gotta explain it to me oh yeah well billy makes references to all these youtube videos and stuff that i don’t know anything about or these you know youtubers that i’ve never seen oh that’s like [ __ ] pewdiepie i don’t you know when pewdiepie did that thing i’m like no i think i don’t know that i don’t spend my time watching pewdiepie right yeah i’m with you i’m lost in a lot of that so what is the what is the quote you just read because i know i have that in here and i need to not really um it was in like oh well it was we examine our brother yeah

to be truly humble is to accept and honestly try to be ourselves none of us is perfectly good or perfectly bad is that like the second paragraph or the third paragraph oh let’s see that would be the second paragraph okay having decided god to relieve us of our useless or destructive aspects of our personality yeah okay that’s good i didn’t write that whole paragraph in here but i did write entire second paragraph yeah yeah the whole thing’s good that’s i felt the same way like well i can’t read the whole thing okay so when we come back i do have one more thing to say about that just a little thing uh and then a bunch of others but if you want you’re welcome to go through and i’ll try to like keep up with not repeating them there was so much good stuff in the readings though i i really did take such a short reading and it’s like the whole thing is pretty relevant i got some long paragraphs out of there that was just really good

oh what are we going to talk about next week we’re going to try to get some so if we get somebody on are we going to have them on google meet and then we’ll have our microphone and we’ll just talk to them is that how we’re going to do it yeah if they’re remotely can’t come in yeah it’s going to be i mean we always have and you know i don’t know either uh aaron i thought aaron male aaron to talk about smart recovery um i can’t say always have i mean i don’t know what his [ _ ] plans are so it might not be available on sunday but that’s someone who like say he’s been doing that for a while he facilitates a smart recovery meeting in this area well i almost and not that it’s a terrible thing because we’ve realized we can ask hey well what made you decide but he hasn’t really left n a i almost want somebody who solely does that or who just only did that from the beginning i’m curious and i’ve thought that too that’s i felt the same way it’s like well you really do n a and you know as much as you want to try you can’t parse out what you get from where or which right i mean you might be able to see like this one has these benefits but i thought as far as if we kept it more focused on like what is smart what is it you know who’s it good for like what you know those more general kind of questions versus maybe his personal experience right you know like for him i think that would be a better conversation than to start you know how smart changed your life and you know because he’s in a person right you know he does those smart because we need somebody to do it right but he might be able to explain it and then or i don’t know if we reached out to him if he would know like i don’t know if there’s other smart facilitators around or if he knows anybody else who’s really into smart and more meaningful way ah yeah i don’t know i would think if they there were those people they would be around here running meetings and i don’t think there are other meetings around here well i thought just maybe just like recovery dharma like it might be bigger you know they might have more down towards baltimore up towards philly and i know like through voices they do a lot with like the harm reduction coalition down through baltimore and stuff like that so he may even just know someone and be like oh this guy you know he’s all [ _ ] all about smart or you know even jen or aaron might know somebody i should say we could try that way and then just contact that person and say hey would you like to come on and talk about smart are we uh are we open to having people are we open to having programs described that aren’t for drug addiction recovery like i was assuming we were but i definitely want to double check like are we willing to explore overeaters anonymous and and what like yeah people who end up in our fellowship might also i think it’s a large thing that we tell people they don’t need to go anywhere else and i really don’t like that yeah now i’m all i thought same thing with that adult children of alcoholics like if you need to talk from there yeah and even alan on you know that yeah i’m open to all that kind of stuff okay all right i just got to find somebody it’s hard i don’t want to just invite the first person i see i want to have dialogue with them and say oh man we sent some messages they have something useful to talk about right make sure they’re like halfway i would say interesting people everybody’s interesting in their own way but if you get people on that aren’t really knowledgeable it comes off bad yeah you definitely want to be knowledgeable have a place in the program i wonder i do know a lady who’s in al-anon who i have liked talking to a little bit here and there she might be a good fit but if i can’t find them for next week and i have to schedule them two weeks out i really need to get on top of the dose because i will just keep doing that and then it’ll be like well if i can’t find them four weeks from now yeah um do we want to talk about sponsorship next week if we don’t have a person yeah that’s fun i can’t believe we haven’t done that just can’t for the life and we believe we haven’t done that oh man all right i’m ready for this i’ve taken enough of a break anybody got pee um i better okay

i didn’t have to until i said that now i’m curious i didn’t either

tick tock tick tock

play

why why not play

here we go

that was the tick tock i was getting rick rolled by my son nice oh [ __ ] i just opened something up and i didn’t know that that’s a thing

all right let me uh i know now matt i don’t have my highlighter it’s so hard to try to read while you’re talking and i’m like trying to read i’m like god damn it i pulled the book out this morning highlighted like four things it was like mad at myself

um

i actually have to share two seven-step meetings this week monday and zoom and then wednesday oh yeah but what time do you get home from work usually like by five five thirty oh okay do you wanna go to a meeting with something delta pennsylvania uh possibly yeah i gotta go share on the settings for sure i gotta check with jim what’s going on but i know that’s her homegroup night so oh yeah well it shouldn’t go anywhere she does it at home so and we have kids that can stay home

but yeah uh do you know paul i don’t want to say his last name from harford county area apparently moved up to pa like two years ago you might know him if you’ve seen him i don’t know he asked me to do it on the seven step oh i didn’t tell you this either uh i the girl i asked you to share on the 13th the 20th instead if that’s okay okay should be fine okay just change out my calendar she had messaged and said it was an anniversary and she had forgotten so that was general 13th let’s change this

want to say it’s some kind of random literature or something 7 30 to 8 30. i don’t know it’ll be a big shock

i guess i could look it up

well i just got to know so that i know a where to get the link right it’s in the time i don’t think you’re signed into our instagram but i can always send you the link it’s not hard oh that’s the one yeah i’m not signed into instagram it’s 7 30. oh it’s an hour and 15 minute meeting too

uh it’ll be a literature-based open discussion so are they going to read something i’m assuming they would read something and then you’d probably talk about whatever hits you well are you doing it first when are you doing it i do it monday this monday one step seven which i’m gonna i’m gonna take all this great information i was like yes that’s perfect

you know what i should probably send you that sign and stuff right now just so i don’t forget

yes that was smart good job jason

there it is incredible technology i can send [ _ ] signals to space yeah and back in seconds maybe they don’t go to space but whatever it’s still [ _ ] cool okay we ready what time is yep 27 ooh we’re getting lengthy on our brakes we’re gonna get unionized soon

okay so here we are back i did want to make mention we’re uh we’re in a new location today which how does that feel for you is it different is it weird uh i don’t know i like it it feels comfortable i was thinking the same thing like it for a new location it definitely feels cozy yeah so i’m good with it yeah i’m down with it too so back to step seven uh you were mentioning in the piece you read uh one of the things that stuck out to me is that and i’ve heard this quote before this isn’t the quote you actually read but it’s another way to say the same thing and it says figure out who you are and try to do it on purpose and i’ve always loved that right because especially when i got here my concept of who i was was terrible and like the last thing i wanted to do was to try to be me i was spent my whole life trying to be some other [ _ ] that was better than me right and so the concept of damn really i’m really supposed to try to be me on purpose like that’s the best thing i can do in my life and it is and it’s just mind-blowing i don’t know i love that concept yeah and see i think people get confused about the concept of humility like they think it implies some sort of humiliation or some sort of less than feeling or or you know there’s all this like negative services that comes with this idea of humility and for me it’s been the opposite like it’s been almost empowering it’s like this idea that you know we’re all just human beings here on this earth we all have assets and liabilities and i have some things that i’m you know really good at and you might have some things you’re really good at and the next person has things they’re really good at and then i have things i struggle with and everybody has things they struggle with and you know it really is uh almost empowering you know it’s a way for me to not feel so bad about who i am that i’m not just you know the ideal me isn’t necessarily just all my best qualities you know that i am also the the character defects of in my nature too it’s humility is very much a perspective changer right and that’s what we talk about perspective and you’re right we do look at it as all these other things besides a change in perspective but it’s interesting i’m reading this book the untethered soul i thought we say reading listening whatever great [ _ ] book by the way if you get a chance and you need an audio book or a book to read incredible book right at this moment um but one of the things it talks about is the practice of they don’t call it humility but they say the practice of like every time you go to get in your car to drive somewhere stop for a second and remind yourself that you’re on a rock flying through space right just to get some perspective on like what’s really important here and then it says and if that’s not enough do it every time you pull out your phone right before you look at your phone remember to think i’m on a rock flying through space and like that’s a that’s a humbling thought like yeah you’re right like what is so important here is it is is me getting this little you know dinner right and not burning my chicken nuggets [ _ ] that critical to my life today or does it matter that much um so what what’s the next quote you had that you really liked uh just the last thing about humility that i had was uh humility is as much a part of staying clean as food and water are to staying alive that was the next one that’s an incredible quote yeah and it it’s sort of i mean it sounds real prophetic and all that stuff but it’s it really like say for an egomaniac like myself is so important to be like man i gotta keep myself grounded you know i can’t let myself get and i’ve done it at times get too good for you know recovery get too good for my job too good for my life you know it’s that’s what will happen to me you know i i get myself into some place where i don’t fit in here i don’t belong here i’m better than all these people you know that’s the [ _ ] that i say quietly to myself in my head and if i don’t remember like yeah you’re a dummy who was you know ended up in jail with your best thinking you know i need to kind of get some humility back in there or i will you know ego my way right into [ _ ] disaster right yes jason before you sought help you slept on a park bench and ended up in prison it is only through seeking help from other people that you’ve gotten where you’ve gotten so how [ _ ] great are you at this moment no it’s a it’s a great reminder but here’s the moment of truth right okay so we realize we’re not that humble we say okay i’m not always that humble i need to remain more humble right my character defect is a overblown ego or or thinking too greatly of myself or a self-righteousness right and now i need to keep myself in check and remain humble step tells me i can’t right we humbly asked him that’s kind of the point of six would i at least for me what i had always heard was six i run into trying to fix character defects myself and butting my head against the wall realizing i don’t have that kind of power to just change myself overnight or so what do we do if we are not believers in a power greater than ourself uh or no that’s not true i’m sorry i misstated that you are a believer or power greater than yourself but not believers in a particular god uh so how do we humbly ask him to remove these shortcomings how do you do that because yeah people need to hear this right and so you know the next paragraph of the actually in the basic text starts out the seventh step is an action step it is time to ask god for help and relief and if we took this god and changed it to good orderly direction with a lowercase g and not some magical power outside of ourselves in that paragraph it goes on to tell you what the actions that are required and it’s being humble enough to listen to people when they give you criticism being willing to acknowledge like harms and wrongs that you do in your life most of the time with and this is where the humility comes in like without that humility i run around thinking well i just do what i want and i don’t care and if it hurts you oh well you know it’s your problem you get over your own [ _ ] feelings call your sponsor right or i don’t care if you don’t like that about me you know but i find some humility and then i begin to realize like oh [ _ ] i’m running around causing harm in other people’s life my significant other is telling me you’re doing this and it’s hurting my feelings my kids are you know crying or upset or whatever because of actions and things that i’ve done and i learned to sort of recognize oh [ _ ] you know what i mean like i am responsible for these things that i’m doing to other people um then where i guess the solution comes in is again other for me it’s recovery but if you have a power outside of myself is where the furniture analogy comes in it’s like okay so i don’t of my own power know how to change those things where do i go and get the resources that i need to change those things for me in this case it’s recovery i go to meetings i listen to other people that are living a spiritual life i might seek it out through books or readings about how to be more compassionate be more caring be more loving but left to my own devices i will not change i will i have to go outside of myself to seek solutions to those problems okay so it’s not so much that we can’t apply the suggestions of somebody who maybe has some growth in that area things they’ve done to to try to be less self-righteous right we can apply those suggestions it’s not like that’s out of our ability it’s just for whatever reason we can’t seem to come to those suggestions all by ourself we need to seek it out through others through self-help books maybe even through uh mental health counseling if it needs it like to deal with some of our childhood traumas which can help us act in different ways because i one of the things i did realize in seven was that uh in humbly asking him that her whatever to remove my shortcomings what i was doing was the old uh kleenex box shuffle right i guess facial tissue i don’t want to advertise for kleenex but whatever it’s pretty standard now so you pull out a character defect like it gets removed and then the next one pops up in its place just like the kleenex does when you pull it out um and so ultimately for me i i honestly stopped praying for that particularly not that i don’t revert back to that when i’m in a particularly nasty defect but i just try to pray for a greater love of myself because i found that was the true reason i acted on all these things was because i just didn’t have enough self-love to be okay and so i used all these defects blown out of proportion to try to protect you know that fragile uh feeling i had that like one of these things was gonna expose me for the piece of [ _ ] i was and so through self-love i’ve had less reason to act on defects um and so i i don’t know that’s it like maybe through uh mental health you know that’s a an aspect we can explore that we can deal with some of that underlying issues and then we don’t have to act as much and that could be a power greater than us that’s not so i can’t go and do therapy on myself right like that’s impossible i need other people to help with that and i guess i i struggle with your question in the opposite direction of like okay so if you are a you know religious person or you have a god perspective do you think that means you just pray a lot and then do nothing about it like is that how that works i mean it says we humbly ask them to remove our shortcomings does that mean i just pray and then sit back and wait for something to change on its own you know this kind of reminds me of uh an episode i did episode 50 on my own podcast by the way exciting i got to 50. i don’t know what the [ _ ] i’m talking about but uh it was kind of about it doesn’t matter necessarily what i’m doing the outcome doesn’t depend on that right like sometimes i’m putting in all the work i’m doing all the prayers i’m hitting meetings i’m talking to sponsors i’m working my step uh i’m talking to my sponsees and helping them i’m doing all the right spiritual practices right and sometimes i’m still just in a bad or a rough place uh and in a shitty mood and then sometimes i’m like living it up like going to strip clubs [ _ ] ignoring any spiritual suggestion and life feels great right so i would say it would it doesn’t even like my it’s not that i don’t do anything in particular like yeah obviously i keep living i keep personally trying to like stop acting on these defects which doesn’t seem to work um but i i do become obviously more greatly aware of them and more greatly aware of the the pain and wreckage they leave in my life in the lives of those i care about right so those things are happening that’s the action that’s going on i’m trying to take care of this character defect i’m not having much success i finally surrender to the fact that i just am not in control of it right kind of like the drugs uh it’s beating me up now i gotta surrender to it and so the surrender is kind of like what the ultimate action of my process comes to but where i include the higher power in this for me is that it’s not up to me when this defect goes i can do all the right actions and you know what i can still have this defect for the next five [ _ ] years like it’s really not my call when it gets removed and that’s where i say that’s the higher powers thing like i’m gonna have it until i’m supposed to be [ _ ] done with it and then when that time comes maybe even through no further effort of my own i could just be doing the same things i’ve done for the last three years and then one day it’s just not there anymore yeah and i hear all that like your initial description in a in a different way so i hear that and i think yeah that’s actually an indicator of why we need powers greater than ourselves in our lives or outside of ourselves in our lives because we aren’t good at an honest [ _ ] assessment of who we are and how we’re living if i’m doing all these good spiritual things in my life and i still feel like [ _ ] then i am out of touch with my spirit if i believe that these are my values this is the person i want to be this is what makes me the best person i could possibly be in my life and i’m doing all those things and i still feel like a piece of [ _ ] there’s a disconnect there and then vice versa if i’m out living like a piece of [ _ ] and i feel like i’m fine and it’s great and life’s wonderful that’s a disconnect as well like that’s the disconnect that i lived in the whole time that i was using it could be i mean it definitely talks about later in in the step i think it’s in ten maybe it’s in two i don’t know it talks about how sometimes we can be feeling different than how we’re doing right and and i think that’s just the thing like i don’t think it matters i don’t always have to be disconnected just for to wake up one day and feel bad about life like it just happens and that is so that’s similar to our defects i would say are our feelings like i’m not like i shouldn’t feel bad that i feel bad like that’s not the point i guess what i was trying to say i mean more directly that the powers greater than me my support group my wife my sponsor you know people outside of myself can help to point out to me like hey look take an honest look at what you’re doing here you shouldn’t you don’t need to feel this way you know you’re really a loving i mean sometimes you know just my wife saying you know you’re a really good husband a father and you’re you should be proud of yourself it’s like [ _ ] man that can really turn around a day you know that can turn around the rest of the day we’re getting you know whatever praise at work or something like that like that positive reinforcement for like yeah you know what you’re doing the right things and it’s tough right now but you know you’re a good person and you deserve good things and you know that sort of positive reinforcement helps uh helps me not give up on myself because i want to give up be like [ _ ] this this sucks i don’t want to do this anymore right and so i could see that i for me i think what i get help with in the feelings aspect is not having the secondary feeling right that’s the one that just crushes my [ _ ] hope like i can feel bad that’s okay i can feel depressed that’s okay it’s that next feeling that comes with it that judgment of it like oh well it’s never gonna [ _ ] be better because you know you’re doing all the right things and here you are feeling shitty anyway [ _ ] it you might as well get thrown in the towel right whereas or the the whole oh you feel bad and then the secondary feeling is well why do you feel bad you should feel fine what the [ _ ] wrong with you why do you feel bad when everything’s fine right and so for me my ability to to you know get assistance from a power greater than me with feelings is just to remember okay you feel bad let’s get up go to work eat breakfast whatever it is you’re doing today and just understand that some days you feel bad and that’s okay and it won’t be permanent like let’s just keep moving and so that’s where i think my help has come in with that i keep hitting my goddamn foot on this thing maybe that humility of like other people feel bad at times too it’s not the end of the you know for me it’s the end of the world and i think that’s what becomes so overwhelming i think for addicts sometimes it’s like when i feel bad about myself like i have like self-loathing like it’s not like oh i did this and i you know because i i think you know anyone that gets criticism is going to feel a little bad i mean i don’t you know even constructive criticism is still kind of like oh it’s like that little you know punch to the gut kind of thing um and that’s normal but as an addict i tend to take it to an extreme and i either feel like a total piece of [ _ ] or i get so defensive that whatever you just said i can dismiss off-hand and be like well that’s just [ _ ] you’re just an [ _ ] you know and it’s one of those two extremes like to be able to hear it and go huh is that relevant like does that really fit like wow i really do that and that’s not so good you know like and that’s and that’s exactly the rest of the paragraph you just started you started with the seventh step is an action step and it is time to ask god for help and relief we have to understand that our way of thinking is not the only way are you [ _ ] kidding me really are you sure uh so that’s other people can give us direction right that’s something i struggled with for a long time and i think i can still struggle with if i don’t pay attention on a daily basis and then it says when someone points out a shortcoming our first reaction may be defensive maybe defensive is the understatement of this book i’m pissed i’m pissed when somebody points out a defect to character i don’t want to hear that [ _ ] i want to [ _ ] tear them apart and tell them how much they suck and then it says we must realize we are not perfect there will always be room for growth no matter how far we’ve come in the right like if i just look at it as hey there’s always room for growth i can accept what they say if we truly want to be free we will take a good look at input from fellow addicts so hard to remember that when people say some [ _ ] especially when it’s people we already judge and don’t like right there’s probably some grain of truth in this right maybe not maybe once in a while there’s the offhanded you know attack on you that is really coming from a place of just they’ve lost their mind or whatever in general there’s usually some truth to what people say about me at least uh and i don’t always want to see that and it says if we the the trick is to examine it right we get the time to sit and examine if it doesn’t apply we can let it fly but where it goes if the shortcomings we discover are real and we have a chance to be rid of them we will surely experience a sense of well-being and i just i had that whole paragraph i’m like that’s a [ _ ] powerful paragraph so many different aspects like i i definitely hate when people criticize me i [ _ ] hate it but see and i i mean for me like that is actually the essence of the step like when it talks about you know it says in there it’s an action step and then it goes on to outline the actions that we take and none of them are you know we pray and sit on our hands and wait for miracles to happen like they’re not but the first line throws me off because it says it’s time to ask god for help and relief and i i always i don’t know i it’s so interesting to me to hear the other side and i love it i think it’s great that we come with both sides of it right i get to to bring i really almost wish we had a a christian type belief person in here because i think that’s so prevalent that people find that really useful too and so you know i would say my wife is christian and so we were talking about some of this this morning and i asked her similar questions to what we’ve been talking about and she said for a lot of her sponsors like there is a and i’m going to call it magical you know she wouldn’t probably call it maybe she would but you know she said for a lot of sponsees you know some of her advice is you know you have this defect or shortcoming that you’re struggling with is like just pray about it for 30 days and see what happens you know just pray about it for 30 days every day for 30 days and see what happens interesting and she you know she says it’s you know it’s miracles happen with that stuff and whether that’s god revealing to you through a meeting going somewhere that you might hear something that you’ve heard a hundred times that never really seemed to fit or hear something for the first time that you’ve never heard before or a speaker say something that just hits you know your spirit in a way that’s like [ _ ] that’s exactly where i’m at right now like that might be how god’s working i’m sure it would be argued that like you’re just bringing awareness to it by praying you’re really just bringing awareness of your own argument

this is my defending god i love it i love it uh did you have more quotes that you had lined up or um i do if not yeah you can go ahead okay down here another little section i really like that said the word humble applies because we approach this power greater than ourselves to ask for the freedom to live without the limitations of our past ways and and this was kind of i don’t want to say it was mind-blowing because i could say that about every goddamn thing and i you know ruined the statement but i’ve always especially up until this step i look at defects of character as things that get me what i want right these are things that bring me pleasure because i get what i want and they feel good right if that’s as as deep as stepping outside of my relationship to have you know live out sexual fantasies with other women or if that’s as small as like you know getting over on somebody for a dollar like they bring me pleasure in some ways shape or form in the now and so my way of looking at defects is that they get me what i want and yet in here it says we’re asking for the freedom to live without limitations and so this re really reframes what a character defect is to me like i’m i’m sitting here thinking yeah man these defects these things that get me what i want right and they’re saying these defects are limitations to our freedom and that’s just a we talk about shifts in perspective like that’s a completely [ _ ] different way to see it it might make me want to do something about it right and i think that realization comes from the work in six you know and six we’re examining these defects and examining these behaviors and being like yeah what i’m really looking for is this but i’m doing this behavior and it’s not really getting me the results that i want i need to take notes if i’m going to share these seven step meetings this week i feel like i’m going to forget all this [ _ ] this becomes really really good look i just finished up four and five and i i will say as powerful as this six and seven process is i’m not really looking forward to it it’s painful humility is painful or can be painful it’s there’s a lot of growth in it and that’s the part of the pain i’m gonna try to keep remembering there’s a lot of growth uh and here’s another quote this growth is not the result of wishing but of action and prayer and i wrote that down just for you billy i thought you would love that not the result of wishing and i guess so for me the whole higher power thing it’s never about i just expect this power to live my life for me or make me better all by itself it’s just that i give it control of the outcomes basically i trust in it in the universal energy that the outcomes will work out just the way they’re supposed to even if that’s not the way i like and i trust in a belief that there’s a grand plan that’s bigger than me that’s where the comfort i find in in a universal type higher power it’s not so much in like oh this power’s gonna [ _ ] take care of my life and i can just chill here and do nothing it’s just in allowing the outcomes to be what they are that’s where i get my comfort of a higher power yeah and i think there is a lot of comfort there and i i guess you know i i don’t know exactly where in my recovery journey i’ve drifted over towards this agnostic sort of view towards a higher power i think it came as a result of feeling what i felt was a lot of pressure from the program or even people inside the program maybe you know self made up i don’t know but it felt like there was a lot of pressure that you gotta have this higher powered deity type belief that without this you will die and that’s come from people saying oh you better get a god and you better get all this stuff and so i did that for a long time and then what i found out for myself was crisises or tragedies would come up in my life and i was not able to rely on that deity made up power that i had tried to force into my life that was not bringing me relief or comfort and so over time i’ve realized i don’t care if you tell me what i need to believe i’m gonna figure it out for myself and if i’m not really sure about you know god and if you go into like richard dawkins i don’t know if he has a book of atheist book and i can’t remember the name of it at the moment but it outlines like these seven levels of you know belief in god and they go all the way from like i’m a hundred percent sure there is a god no matter what to like i am a hundred percent sure there is no god no matter what um i’m probably at like a you know what i would call like maybe a five or possibly a six whereas like i’m not really sure um if i was a betting man i’d probably bet there was no god and we say god like i mean like a deity creator controlling the manipulative force that sort of runs the universe um i would say i’d probably lean more towards there’s not that in the world but i’m not necessarily opposed to that i don’t know that i would be incredible i probably would be surprised if they came out and said we figured out god you know we know there’s a guy up here he sent us a message and he [ _ ] told us like yes i’m god and i’m in charge and i’m gonna make it rain for three days watch and then he made it rain for three days or whatever like if that happened i guess i would be shocked but there are people that believe that that’s how god works and i strip i felt like i was being forced to make that choice so i’ve taken probably more of a agnostic approach lately just to try to open that door of conversation or or thinking i think it’s hugely beneficial for a lot of people who struggle with god to be able to hear uh an informed view of how to do these things without that power doing it for them i i do tend to think that when you when you frame it as in like you think people who believe in god are just gonna they just sit at home and and you know wish on a star that god’s gonna fix their life in recovery and i’m like that’s completely not what i do it’s interesting i think it’s a good for us to have multiple perspectives and i guess i worry because i feel like that’s dangerous like i don’t feel like you do that and that’s great and i like my wife she doesn’t do that at all she’s got a lot of you know action and stuff behind this and and we still have some slight disagreements on some things because she is you know christian in the way that she thinks some of these things work and and she does i mean she describes it as almost like a magical element to some of this that i don’t know why it works it just it just does when i do these things it just happens and you know i tend to look for the more rational or logical definition almost like you talked about you know through prayer i become aware and then when something happens i’m like ah that’s god you know but really it’s not it would have happened whether i prayed or not it’s just whether i would have been aware of it or not so you know that’s kind of a way that i’ll explain the same things that she would explain in a different way and that’s the beauty of this is that we can both do that we can both gain all the benefits of this work and the steps and and all that with two very different spiritual beliefs in a god it’s incredible how many different versions of this program work and that’s why so the the one guy uh anonymous addiction i think the podcast is called he’s a little newer to it but he talks he’s kind of left a a uh and says that a is a religion and he doesn’t like it right and and i’m like dying to know like but it kind of like what you just talked about how you felt forced into a box with the god thing like i’ve never i’ve never felt that i’ve never ever felt that anybody was like all i’ve ever heard is you know people defend our right to whatever god or not god that we want i’ve had some internal thoughts and judgments towards people who don’t have a god i’m like how the [ _ ] do you work these steps then um but because it’s it’s there’s no way they could work them the way i did that’s for sure they had to have some other kind of way to do it and i didn’t understand um but i’ve never felt forced into a god or a religion or well and some of that’s you know it’s like the politically popular thing like if you walked into a meeting just per se if you walked into a meeting and started off you know your share or whatever by saying something like i do not believe in a capital g god i have not found a really good god in this program that works for me don’t you think you would feel like in the minority yes or immediately sort of shut off by half the room that oh i mean i’ve had people approach me when i’ve said things like that after the meeting and try to convince me how wrong i was wow yeah it’s been awkward this is where i need more humility because i’m like though i would sound so profound after that that they would obviously trust in my information i don’t i really don’t know i’ve never had that experience uh interest you keep saying lowercase or capital lies g god i [ _ ] hate capitalizing anything i think the whole use of capitalization in the united states is [ _ ] stupid and ridiculous why do we capitalize days of the week months of the year they’re not that [ _ ] special right my god does not need to be praised or or you know worship that’s my own [ _ ] i’m not trying to knock anybody who’s does mine doesn’t right i like the idea of my god being lowercase g my personal own freight name yes lowercase j please i don’t need all this like it just doesn’t i hate the capitalization system and so i i don’t i really try not to capitalize when i say god now i will caveat my phone auto corrects to a capital g frequently and sometimes i bother to go back and fix it and sometimes i’m just in too much of a hurry that i don’t give a [ _ ] but i would much rather it be lowercase g so maybe that’s more my argument is if we lowercased g god and lowercased higher power so that it wasn’t this formal thing that it wasn’t feeling like it was some like need to be identified you know because that’s how i interpret like capitalizing things means it’s a certain one yes it’s a it’s a well it’s a particular it’s more of a concrete or specific type of thing you know and tommy this is me being anal and argumentative because i like to be argumentative [ _ ] yeah but i’ll go on it so that sayings in the in that same paragraph you just ah read it says the main objective of step seven is to get out of ourselves and try to achieve the will of our higher power and uh again higher power capitalized and so i again take just i can almost put spiritual principles or spiritual living in place of any of this higher power thing and say you know the will here is for get out of my own way and try to live like the will of spiritual living or the will of spiritual principles in my life trying to be a spiritual person when i don’t want to be you know read that sentence again for me so it says the main objective of step seven is to get out of ourselves and strive to achieve the will of our higher power and so i i what’s really interesting to me is that for a program that says hey you don’t have to have a religion you can have no religion you don’t need a [ _ ] god if you don’t wanna this program will work for you it’s so interesting that we have sentences like this that say that instead of putting in place of it what you just said like why do we need to say aligning with our higher powers will why can’t we just say you know whatever other thing we could say that isn’t so descriptive or limiting yeah i don’t understand why we do that i don’t either so i want to be the voice of those people there you go uh another quote one dangerous being too hard on ourselves uh and i think we already kind of mentioned the self-compassion and how crucial that is we’ve spent a lot of our life with us and those around us being too hard on ourselves right we’re not going to get better that way um one more i thought you would like god often works through those who care enough about recovery to help make us aware of our shortcomings that’s a really different take right because normally i’m pissed at people who point out my shortcomings and so if i could stop when they do that and just think to myself damn this is god working through people who give enough of a [ _ ] to go through the uncomfortable you know uh way of life to show to point this out like because it’s not comfortable to tell people about themselves that [ _ ] sucks and so really i need to look at that as like damn maybe they actually care enough about me that they want to help me they’re willing to walk through that awkwardness yeah and so interestingly enough my wife and i had again we were talking about some of this this morning and she was so we were talking about humility and and what that means and she was kind of describing to me her way of saying like we are all equal in all of our assets and all of our liabilities so i might think that i’m smarter than someone else but really we’re all like equally smart and of course i balked at that and we started kind of going back and forth about some of that if you were as smart as me you’d know that’s not true right um but it it opened up a different sort of uh line of thinking in my head about that kind of stuff like it’s so easy for me to put these judgments on where i think different people fit with you know even their assets and their liabilities right you know and to be like no we’re all equally and and her description i i get what she was going for like she said all right so maybe i’m intellectually smart maybe i’ve read a couple of more books or you know work the steps a little more but this person may you know deeply or intricately know about you know 1950s gospel music or some other you know my favorite weird random you know thing that they just know an abundance of information or a deep understanding or knowledge of that is like well i don’t think that’s relevant so that doesn’t count you know and it’s easy for me to be like dismissive of what is important now because it doesn’t fit my narrative and that you know really if we look at all these assets and liabilities like we’re all equal in them it’s just a matter of you know which ones were sorta uh almost the awareness thing like what we’re almost being aware of and so in that you know she can have conversations many of the people that she doesn’t like or people that are critical of her and and try to listen to what their point is um instead of being dismissive and being like well they’re just stupid or they don’t know anything about me hugely important and i you know the other part of that god works through people around us that i thought was really relevant besides the fact of like being more tempered to the criticism that people give us is the fact that it’s hugely crucial to my spiritual work to surround myself with people who i trust and who are also living in a life of recovery one if i don’t trust the people in my network along with my sponsor or my close group of friends if i’m not in a recovery network right if i don’t trust those people when they have criticism for me or when they tell me about myself i’m not going to hear it i’m just going to dismiss it like i’m you know ah [ _ ] him he’s just a jerk anyway right so i need to trust them i also need to interact with them regularly so they have a clear picture of me um and they’ve got to be living a life of recovery right there’s a this is a psychological concept that we are the average of our five closest friends right if i hang out with people who you know uh deal in the black market and and you know visit massage parlors not that there’s anything wrong with that but that might not be conducive for the way of life i’m trying to live and they might not be able to call me out on the defects that are going on in my life they might my stuff might seem minimal to their you know exploits or or whatever you want to call them sins or defects my stuff might be like i just stole a [ _ ] candy bar like at least i’m not doing that crazy [ _ ] so i need to have other people who have what i want so when they say something to me i can say oh well i want what they have obviously they’re not living that way maybe i should take that into consideration yeah well and i actually look at a lot of the or i guess i should say a bigger struggle for me is looking at criticism that comes from people that don’t like me or that don’t care about me because those are the people that i’ll dismiss the easiest and those might be the most honest criticisms that i don’t want to hear and so again just like this morning you had mentioned i guess amanda has a criticism about something i said immediately my defense mechanism goes up to like 11. you know what i mean like i want to you know start defending what i have to say defending my point of view because i don’t really know her and i don’t you know whereas if it was criticism from you or my wife or one of my other friends i tend to not dismiss that as quickly um and both are equally as important you know what i mean and i think i became aware of that like debating with people through facebook like you just start to see like people start criticizing you and i was like well [ _ ] you i don’t care about your opinion of me and then it’s like well wait a minute you know maybe that is how i come off and maybe that is important that i look at that because if my goal is to try to you know sort of get people to be more open-minded to get more think more deeply about things and all i start doing is becoming like this dismissive sarcastic [ _ ] then that’s not achieving my goal and all it does gets me angry and it gets them angry and that really doesn’t achieve anything so what’s the point that’s a really interesting point you you make there i mean people do they could possibly have the ability to say more honestly what is true about us like if they’re not that close so that’s that’s relevant i think we do need to listen to it all i just i know i need so generally when that has happened to me i take what uh those jerks that i don’t know have said and i bring it back to my trusted people and i say hey i’ve heard this do you see this too and that’s usually where i can open the door for their honest input right and so i just crucial i can’t do this alone is what i want to get at and i i see people out there who maybe don’t have a circle of friends in recovery or maybe don’t have a tight-knit network or maybe they do have a tight-knit network and it’s just not really people worth a whole lot of admiration honestly and i’m not saying they’re bad people they’re just not really working this right now and so maybe you want to find a couple of people that are right to be around and get more familiar with yourself all right um uh this is another quote to work the seventh step we must get out of the way so that god can do god’s work i thought that i was like billy will question the [ _ ] out of this statement yeah what does that even mean yeah that’s a mommy no it’s a media though like what does that mean must get out of the way so that god can do god’s work i i don’t know i to me that just speaks to the whole i can’t remove defects and i’m waiting on some higher power to do that not that i’m waiting doing nothing but it’s not up to me when it happens do you so how do you how do you explain that that it just takes an amount of time like when they say because that’s a lot of the seventh step that i’ve heard is that it’s not it’s up to the higher power when it gets removed it’s not up to me right so how do you rectify that or or or how does that understanding fit into your belief system of not really believing in that power specifically that you like you could do the work but maybe the defect doesn’t get removed or do you think you have control over when it gets removed so i think that gets into a more i don’t know what you would call it like neurosciencey way of looking at things like when do you think an idea actually changes in your head you know let’s take a concept that you don’t understand about [ __ ] traffic accidents or whatever you know two cars hit at a speed you know i don’t understand that science but if someone explains it out to me and then all of a sudden i go oh i know what that means now and now every time i see a traffic accident i can you know sort of work through these concepts i don’t know when that idea happens but when that idea changes or forms in my head is that a miracle or is that a result of work i guess so

for me i guess it would be you know i need the consistent uh influence input of like you’ve talked about like a network of positive people a network of people that are trying to live spiritually a network of people that are really trying to look honestly at some of these concepts that we talk about through the steps love faith humility surrender acceptance you know hope all these things kindness caring love like i need people that are really looking deeply at these principles and applying them in their life and then as i also try to apply them in my life you know something in that process changes you know and i don’t know when that moment happens um if we want to attribute that moment of change within our brain to being god i mean i got no problem with that that’s good enough you know for me i think it’s more of a neuroscience kind of thing but you know the concept’s still the same if i go about my day trying to be kind and i say you know i’m gonna actively try to just look store clerks in the eye and say thank you very much and have a little bit of intention behind that in the beginning that might be like a fake thing almost it might be like a forced thing but if i do that over and over and over again eventually that just becomes a thing that i do and hopefully the meaning goes with it i believe that’s part of meditation is similar like i’m trying to almost you know correct my way of thinking and it corrects not the right way of saying that but i’m trying to change my awareness on a way of thinking and so if i do that through a simple act like looking a store clerk in the eye and trying to be a little bit more compassionate say thank you very much i appreciate you know your service or whatever like i think eventually that touches my spirit you know what i mean like eventually that becomes you know not a thing that i’m forced to do and i almost do it unintentionally after 30 days or 60 days or whatever kind of like the science behind forming a new habit it makes sense i guess what i was thinking was if there was this process of it’s just what we do and what we go through that there would be a set amount of time to that and you know after i’m done this obviously i have fixed myself so i have a control over when the defect gets removed but even in the mental health field there’s not that right people come in at different ages different levels of willingness different levels of being done with whatever they’re tired of being done with we never know if it’s going to take a month or three years to hit that point where they’re ready to do something different right it’s really very guest working up in the air at so many other factors and inputs right and so uh i was just sitting here thinking and i could look back i mean i might be able to find one or find something but i think back to like character defects that i think that i had when i came in dude like do i honestly feel like any of them are just gone and that they just don’t exist in my life anymore like no not at all so have they really been removed i mean i don’t know true true just to a level yeah they’re removed through my action i think but are they removed in thinking is right i mean my concept when the guy gives me too much change in the store is to still keep that [ _ ] all the time you know right yeah will that never go away i don’t know i don’t do it you know or i wanted to take the goddamn piece that i got from floaming back to the for 13 i wanted to sell myself out and get around i want to manipulate and control and get what i want and you know thank god i didn’t but you know if it was like a thousand dollar part i might sell myself out but not for 13 bucks just too cheap so i think all these reliefs of these defects are temporary just for example or yeah as long as i continue to do the work necessary to keep it at bay right you know and as soon as i stop doing the work they slowly you know push their way back up to the top right because it it feels good to feel good it’s all about that instant gratification another one just to move us along here we tried so hard to get it right we were tired of our shortcomings we were worn out from trying to manage and control them and we wanted some relief oddly enough this is precisely the attitude we hope to demonstrate in step seven the attitude of humility we admit defeat recognize our limitations and ask for help from the god of our understanding uh not a whole lot to say about that or maybe not even any of these i just thought they were really kind of nicely put like we we do beat our heads against the wall trying to control these defects right and we come to a point of it’s that surrender i think it’s that letting go it’s it’s almost like being so aware of the defect i just get so tired of seeing it and seeing me act on it and seeing me hurt the people in my life and myself and feel bad that i finally get to a point where i’m like there’s got to be something else there’s got to be a pause moment there’s got to be a even if i feel this [ _ ] angry internally i’m just not going to say anything i will tape my goddamn mouth shut before i will yell at my kid again i just can’t do it and part of that is you know our i mean i think where that comes from and this i’m trying to think of how to explain this to people that aren’t addicts it’s like i get so worried that i’m not going to get what i want that it’s not going to turn out the way i want it to that things are gonna be different than i think they should be that i will you know claw fight and scratch you know tooth and nail to hang on like this is how i need this to turn out so this is what i have to do to get it to turn out the way that i need it to turn out and i have no faith you know outside of myself and my limited view that anything else is going to be good or better this is the only way this cannon should go and if it goes any [ _ ] differently it’s going to be a disaster i think one of maybe the most universal ways to and i it’s a tough one because it’s really uh strikes home with some people but food food and health and exercise right that whole tie-in i think a lot of people not in a program like ours or both in a program and not in the program can relate to that idea right we come to a point where we’re just sick and tired of ourselves not being able to fix our eating habits right i’m sick and tired of god damn not spending the time to make dinner i’m just getting that fast food because it’s so much easier and convenient i’m sick and tired and so when new year’s day rolls around i got the resolution that i’m gonna join a gym and i do it for two [ _ ] months and then i quit every year i’m sick and tired like that’s a place where people get sick and tired of themselves and try to make that change regularly they hit that point of surrender they’re so tired of that behavior or the outcomes of that behavior that they finally are willing to do something different unfortunately they see what we see if you don’t continue to stay in that sick and tired place it creeps back in right place of humility yeah it’s tough super tough um our illusions of uniqueness have been overcome in the process we know that we are neither more we are neither more nor less important than anyone else understanding that we are not unique is a good indication of humility this is a [ _ ] thing i still struggle with the time let’s just say the same thing i love being unique like i remember my buddy told me forever ago you’re one of a kind jason and i was all proud and he’s like nope there’s a kind like you and you’re [ _ ] one of them i’m like [ _ ] you man like that just hurts but we’re we’re not as unique as we think we are right i don’t think it’s i don’t think it’s that i’m not a little different from everybody i am my own unique person right but i have so infant there’s such a tiny piece of me that’s different from so many different people right there’s people that are very much like me kind of like when we started this podcast i thought you and i were almost exactly like i was like oh my god we think so much alike on everything and we don’t obviously like we disagree every week but it’s just so interesting to find that there is so much in common with so many other people and i think i mean i i struggle with the use of the word unique there more so than i felt way happier to hear the word importance so i am not more important my ideas aren’t more valuable my thinking isn’t more special than anyone else’s but i can be unique i mean i don’t think that being unique in and of itself is a bad thing i mean i i joke all the time and i say i’ve been to i don’t know how many thousands of meetings and i’ve never heard my story i’ve heard people say oh i’ve you know you told my story and i’ve had people say that to me but i’ve never felt like i have heard my story you know because i feel like that’s unique to me i’m going to pay an actor i’m going to write down your story and i’ve shared in a meeting just so we can accomplish this for you but i don’t think that makes me special you know what i mean like i don’t think that makes me different a difference loose there but i don’t think that makes me you know well and i think you’re you’re hitting the nail in the head with the word special is where all my uniqueness led me to think that i was more special than others right and i think that’s where we attack it from it’s we need to understand that we are different but it’s not a difference that makes us better than others right it’s just a difference that makes us us but it’s not really like that the difference over there in joe is also great there’s nothing better it’s the unique way in which we live out common principles another one patience is an essential ingredient of working this step we may have difficulty with the notion of patients because our addiction accustomed us to instant gratification and i just thought that was so so true for me and i struggle with patience at times and this entire step is six was me realizing i have all these defects and wanting to fix them right the [ _ ] now because that’s my whole life i want to do it now really i want to do it yesterday god damn it why isn’t it already done and so to realize that a lot of seven is the patience of hey i ain’t fixing you know 30 40 whatever many years of doing this one way overnight like this ain’t gonna magically pop in the right way tomorrow uh it’s gonna take time like you said the neuroscience aspect of this like it takes time to form new patterns of behavior new habits to replace old ones yeah and then again if i don’t consistently keep doing that work that old one seemed to come back yeah you know all of a sudden a defect has kind of been at bay for a while so i may you know slack up on the work on it because i’m not aware of it and then all of a sudden you know it comes back it does come back and maybe in a different way maybe it’s manifesting in a new area of my life or something i didn’t have before you know i really i i like knocking on some wood here uh gambling is a way that really has just not ever hit home with me and i i’m not completely sure why possibly because of how cheap i am or whatever it is i just don’t want to spend the money i don’t enjoy it but i’m always so nervous that because of that like what the idea that like you know if i say something enough it’ll you know i’ll jinx myself basically i’m always worried that when i say that i’m like oh [ _ ] that one’s down the pike somewhere i’m gonna go gambling on everything [ _ ] i don’t want it um another one in working this step we move away from intellectualizing the recovery process our concern is not to determine exactly how or when our shortcomings will be removed it’s not our job to analyze this step this step is a spiritual choice a choice that goes beyond any emotional reaction or conscious act of will as a guy who intellectualizes every [ _ ] thing in my life first because i don’t want to feel it this hits home to me and that it’s not my job to sit here and like keep tally i think it talks about that in our step guys like it’s not my job to keep tally of how good a job god’s doing i’m removing my defects of character right like oh you’re not being quick enough there god you [ _ ] right like it’s not for me to do that it’s just a try that’s the goal of this step just try yeah and i think there’s a point to and maybe this is over analyzing it but it’s like in you know maybe say loving my kid instead of less being you know as critical of my my kid in an area you know like if i’m just looking at results well criticizing them might get the outcome that i want but the principle of love might create a better person you know a person that feels better about themselves that has a better outlook on life that is you know quote unquote healthier than the person that just does what i want them to do so if i’m just looking at things and measuring outcomes and measuring you know these on these you know tangible things it’s hard to kind of see the intangibles of spiritual living you you make a great point right uh science knows that it’s very easy to change a behavior now by smacking the [ _ ] out of your kid that’s right that works highly effective right harsh punishments highly effective in changing what they do right this second also creates pretty terrible human beings down here right we can’t see the terrible human beings down the line so we think this way works now i can see the evidence right in front of me we can’t see the evidence that it’s not really so beneficial long term um and so i think that’s a really relevant point let’s just work on sometimes the opposite of the defect and that for me is kind of over the years where my faith in you know higher power or in spiritual living comes in it’s like i just have to trust or i choose to trust i don’t have to do anything i choose to trust that that spiritual living is going to give me a better outcome than whatever i might see in the here and now nice and so for the last one i have written down here we’ve seen our character defects our faulty belief systems and our unhealthy patterns of behavior we’ve seen that we need to change but may not be aware that we’ve been changing since we first came to n a for help we walked into our first meeting with a spiritual void some essential ray of spiritual light had been cut off we had lost the ability to love laugh and to feel for so long people had looked into our eyes and had trouble seeing the human being behind the blank gaze from our very first meeting we sensed the love and acceptance of other n a members we began to come back to life what we are experiencing is an awakening of the spirit no less dramatic than it sounds this awakening has been evident to those around us for quite some time but the change is now so obvious that we can see it as well and i just thought that was a really poetic statement um it makes me feel a little sad for people who a lot of people and i don’t know if people who aren’t and they know this or not a lot of us don’t make it to step seven like it seems to be a thing some people never work steps some people work one through three and then four is just uh too much of a mountain to climb um i a great deal i know so if you’ve ever been a speaker seeker for a meeting that has to get speakers on the steps you get to seven it’s like oh [ _ ] i’m limited like who the [ _ ] can share this uh and so it’s just sad that a lot of people miss out on this process man it’s it’s incredible uh and it’s been incredible every time i’ve gone through it right like the first time through was pretty mind-blowing but i i even thought the second time through well this won’t be as mind-blowing because i already did it once and i know and and the fact is it’s still there’s so much left to work on always that layers of the onion theory is so true for me at least yeah and i think that’s what it talks about you know in that step it’s like we’re never gonna be perfect there’s always gonna be you know work to do on ourselves i mean my goal isn’t perfection you know my goal is to be the best version of myself as i can be here now right i think one of the things that i i struggled with in step 11 just to bring up right before we end here um god had removed the obsession and compulsion for me to do drugs right which was the most amazing [ _ ] thing that could have ever happened for my life when i got here and i started this process and i was blown away by it and i just thought it was such an impossible thing to do and for me my higher power removed that and i was free to live without that and it was like holy [ _ ] no more amazing miracle could have happened in my life and yet when i got to six and seven and thought can god remove these defects i questioned it right like he’s already done and removed the biggest defect possible and yet here i am i’m like well i don’t know these are personality traits can you really handle this like i really doubted the ability of you know my higher power for some reason even though i knew he had done this incredible thing i don’t know if you had that kind of experience but no i mean i would say no i trusted wholly in the process of recovery you know what i mean like i i’ve never looked at like this outside and maybe part of this is again ego stuff i think you know maybe it’s almost like the one quote you said it’s like i think i over analyze [ _ ] and intellectualize it and be like if i just k i guess the faith came if i just keep doing this work shit’s going to get better and it was pretty much had to be that simple i got you i got so the other thing that came up and i think it does talk about this in our step working guide um but i didn’t look through that to double check but i the idea that i got nervous that god might over remove my defects if that makes any sense like so we talk about it we don’t really want them removed we want them brought back down to their right proportion in life right like basically we say pain’s a bad thing but honestly if you don’t feel pain you’re gonna die pretty soon in your life because you don’t know how to avoid things that are hurting your body right there this has happened before like to a human they couldn’t feel pain literally they had no pain receptors and they just like died early because they couldn’t feel it when they grabbed a hot thing on the stove so they just continued to hurt themselves um so we don’t like it’s good to have a healthy level of jealousy like really it’s not healthy to completely have jealousy gone and for me it was an area like a lust right where i had lust for all these women outside of my relationship i was terrified that god would remove lust and i would no longer be lustful towards my partner and then they would need to seek you know things outside of the relationship because i wouldn’t want to meet their needs anymore because i just didn’t care about sex anymore it just completely got removed as if that was even possible this is my fear right a guy who thinks about it too much and i’m scared it won’t be there at all but i i just i it’s incredible that we can have that worry like that concern uh and it’s too to the point where i’m not so unique it’s mentioned in our guide because obviously some other people had it i just that blew my mind yeah i don’t know maybe i secretly think so little of myself i never thought i could be too good i don’t think that’s ever been a thing my criticism of myself is that like you’ll never be too good that’s hilarious uh any other thoughts on step seven i i think it’s i think we’ve done it justice yeah i hope i can remember any of this [ __ ] to share during these meetings this week um so obviously next month we’ll be on eight we’ll talk about making our list uh that’s going to be an interesting conversation for sure um uh next week we’ll talk about either sponsorship or we’re gonna have somebody on to talk about another program which i really i really enjoy the conversations with people about their programs um so hopefully i can find somebody for that if not we’ll be doing that in two weeks i really hope uh and sponsorship i’m excited to do that too honestly so either way i’m i’m pretty pumped for next week however it plays out and if there’s anybody out there interested in talking about other programs and they don’t even have to be specifically you know addiction can be al-anon or you know adult children of alcoholics or oa or gambling on whatever you know any of those other fellowships that aren’t specifically about drugs you know yeah yeah absolutely i think it’s great to have conversation more exposure for people right i think you know i ended up seeking out some other fellowships it was hugely beneficial for me but i just think just knowing that it’s out there like that other people struggle in ways that we also struggle and maybe we can find some help there or maybe it’s right for us and there’s a fear of going to check that kind of stuff out right like oh my god i’m going to walk into a sex addict meeting that’s that’s all the perverts are right but maybe if you hear more about it it might identify with you and you might be able to get some help for it so yeah yeah absolutely if you feel like you can represent uh and know a lot about a fellowship please feel free to contact us reach out also if you have any thoughts about the seventh step as usual you know go ahead find us on facebook or wherever else we are instagram twitter look us up email us do whatever the hell you want um and stay safe out there and we’ll see you next week yeah have a good week

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