Higher Power, … Grant me honesty, courage, humility, and serenity, to face that which keeps me from you and others.
— Life With Hope, p. 13
I once spent hours going through this prayer with my sponsor. What strikes me about it is that we don’t ask our Higher Power to keep us sober, or to make our lives better, or to make our problems go away. We ask for honesty, courage, humility and serenity – and what a package that is!
But what do we seek these things for? To face something. To face what? Something that keeps us from our Higher Power and others. For me, that something is fear. I am afraid to give myself to God, afraid to be vulnerable with others, afraid to let go of control, afraid to love or be loved, afraid to fail and afraid to succeed!
As I kept working through the Steps, I kept facing my fears, with the support of my sponsor and the other people in the fellowship. I continue to face them today, daily, because they have not gone away. I suspect they will never go away. But they are getting smaller and less powerful. They don’t run my life like they used to. And I am blessed with actual times in my life when I live in love rather than fear.
As I continue to w face those fears, they keep getting smaller, because Step 4 helped me to recognize them for what they are: fleeting thoughts and feelings that don’t define me. Step 6 helped me understand how they keep me from my Higher Power and others and aren’t effective in leading a clean and spiritual life. Step 7 helps me pray to have them removed, which I think of as seeing through them. Step 11 helps me stay close to my God so those fears just keep getting smaller and smaller. And Step 12 gets me out of myself completely – out of fear and into love and service for others.
Today I will ask for help in facing my fears so that I may learn from them, see through, and overcome them. I will ask to be closer to my Higher Power, others, and love.