Finding Strength in Step 7 of AA – How to Seek Higher Power for Healing

When you first encounter step 7 of the Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step program, you’re likely to come across the notion of a “Higher Power” – and this could bring misunderstanding or confusion within you. Many people mistake this higher power for a religious organization, but that’s untrue. In contrast, it’s more of a spiritual program encouraging you to practice humility by appealing to a higher power to swap your character defects with the right spiritual practices.

Therefore, step 7 of the AA program helps you recognize and accept your flaws and seek personal change. This post will show you how this crucial step in rehabilitation works and what you can expect from this program. Please continue reading if you’d like to discover more about using step 7 to seek a higher power for healing.

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What Does Step Seven of AA Entail?

The first book that outlined the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is called, “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism.” Commonly referred to as the “Big Book,” this text was first published in 1939, and it details the experiences that informed the 12 steps that helped people recover from alcohol addiction.

By now, you are already aware that quitting drugs and alcohol is a significant decision that could transform your life. There are a series of steps you need to undergo to complete this program successfully, but today, we will focus on step seven, which allows you to let go of your feelings, actions, and imperfections that are a liability to your life. Keep in mind that you need action and effort to effect this change.

For instance, it would be difficult to get rid of your character flaws by just using the 3rd Step Prayer AA to ask for them to be removed. You need to put in the work and create new choices. Most people who have been through the Alcoholics Anonymous program have discovered that embracing this higher power rids them of their limitations and makes them more determined to succeed in life.

The first six steps prepare you and strip you of longstanding layers of ego, self-centeredness, denial, and any other flaws that engulfed you when you were active in this disease. By the time you get to step seven, you are ready to stop concentrating on what you want to get in life and instead focus more on what you can contribute to other people in the world.

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Why Does Step 7 of AA Matter in Recovery?

Step 7 helps you develop a deeper and richer understanding of yourself and how you connect with others. It’s important to note that a good portion of people struggling with addiction lack humility, and this makes it more difficult for them to admit their imperfections or initiate the process of change.

Humility, on the other hand, entails a lack of pride, modesty, and a humble view of one’s importance. Practicing humility will allow you to recognize that you are not a perfect being and that you need help from a higher power to overcome your addiction. Step 7 of the AA program is often challenging, but if you can work through it to the end, you will reap more lasting rewards.

Here are a few ways that seeking healing from a higher power could help you in your journey toward full recovery from your addiction:

  • It changes the negative attitudes contributing to your addiction
  • It fosters humility, which helps you let go of character flaws that have caused you harm
  • It helps you prepare for the next recovery phase, which is acknowledging how your negative actions have affected other people.
  • It helps you let go of blame, excuses, and defensiveness that stand in your way of moving forward without using alcohol.

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Can You Undergo Step 7 if You’re Not Religious?

In Alcoholics Anonymous, we often use the phrase “God as we understand Him.” This phrase means that anyone’s understanding of their inner motivation and strength is personal and could vary depending on the individual. Depending on your personal beliefs, it is possible to substitute the word “God” with the religious entity that directs your life.

It’s common for some people to use a program of the 12 steps phrased as secular. You can consider referring to “God” as a “higher power,” although you’re likely to encounter people who prefer “the universe,” “nature,” or “love” to indicate where they draw their strengths. Instead of praying, such people seek strength and guidance through a simple mantra or meditation.

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Concluding Thoughts

It’s impossible to control what will happen to us in this strange life, but we can control what happens within us, how we take it, and what we do with it – and that’s what counts. When you undertake the seventh step, you are regaining control of yourself and exercising freedom from addiction by discarding your defects, developing your assets, and making new choices.

It would be best to gauge your recovery progress compared to who you have become rather than comparing yourself against others. You can assess your journey, understand your strengths, and exercise them humbly, seeking an honest, practical way of living in a sober reality.

Deeper and more lasting change takes time, and it’s difficult to shed all your character flaws at once. However, they can disappear gradually as you become aware and eliminate them, one day at a time. Remember, spiritual guidelines can only meet you at your point of action. Therefore, even though you can control life itself, you can control the spiritual moves you make and find the strength to achieve full recovery.