I still keep thinking of the question, ‘what’s wrong with character defects’? And again I believe that each of us decides how far we really want to go in recovery. Just how much of our lives do we seriously want to turn over to a Higher Power and how much do we want to hold onto. I think we each need to decide how hard we are willing to work on spiritual growth and I am learning more and more every day that there are very few people who really want to reach their spiritual potential.
The AA big book states; Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. Taken from “How it Works” in the AA Big Book.
Rigorous honesty is key to ongoing personal growth. It means I don’t put on blinders or pretend things are not that serious when they are. In Africa there were rumblings and many warnings not taken seriously before the onset of the most efficient genocide in history. One million people slaughtered in 100 days. Being rigorously honest sometimes means facing the truth that people are not who we thought they were. Their intentions are not about light, but are deeper and deeper in the shadow. We call them friends, collegues, neighbors, sometimes even family, yet they will turn on us in a way we never thought possible.
Rigorous honesty involves not only looking deeply within myself at my character defects, but also having the courage to honestly recognize the truth, without judgement, of those around me. If I admit to myself that someone I love is lying to me, has fallen into an addiction, is going to use the words I share against me, has committed a crime, etc. that is simply being honest about the shadow truth. If I start name calling because of it, gossiping, or degrading that person then I am judging. It is also judging to take anything personally no matter how personal it appears.
We are taught in recovery to pray for our enemies. I have come to realize that the idea of an enemy is a perception. It is my shadow self presenting my potential to me and offering me a choice. We are living in a time of lightning fast change and to hold onto character defects is to hold onto the past. We are truly in a new age and it is imperative that we allow our spiritual selves catch up to our ego material self. If we don’t there will be consequences, there always are.