I'm on Step 4 again.
Third time for me, thanks.
The first time was really hard. It took 19 months. I spent about 17 of those filled with shame, unable to put anything to paper, rationalizing what I could and numbing what I couldn't. I felt like a freak sometimes, like a mortal sometimes.
And then I got a sponsor. A few weeks later, my Step 4 was done. Written, processed, read. OUT LOUD.
I felt so weird saying things out loud. I wanted to talk about everything little thing, explain stuff away, manage my sponsor's perception of what I'd said, what I'd done, how I'd behaved.
She sat with me with nothing but listening ears and a wide open heart. It was unlike anything I'd ever experienced. No judgement, no fixing? What was this world?
I walked away from that conversation with a little more courage and a lot more clarity. Life started making a different sort of sense... I could see my part more clearly in things. My proverbial mirror was polished, and I think for the first time I was able to see myself authentically.
It gave me the courage to do it again.
More came up the second time, but it didn't take 19 months. I didn't reason as much away.
I became more objective about myself -not to excuse myself in any way, but to just write a report of what I found when I sat that proverbial mirror up in front of me. I saw some things I lacked, some thing I loved... I wrote them down.
Defects is such a mean little word.
All it REALLY means, really, is "things that are actually rooted in righteous stuff that I let run rampant so they got into a patch of loco weed and now I need Jesus even more."
This time around, it feels almost as if I'm falling into that mirror and being taken on a tour I was never ready to take before. I'm recognizing lusts and appetites my body has, making note of them. I'm seeing strengths that have popped up in the last 3 years -are any of them former defects? This is something I'm asking myself, examining patiently.
Patterns, more patterns, are emerging. Instead of feeling the urge to reason them away or numb them away, I'm kind of fascinated. Like, "hey, I do that. WHY do I do that? What is my soul getting at here? What am I missing?"
Step 4 has catapulted me down a crazy path where instead of feeling judged by women who organize well and then letting the shame eat away at my worth and center, I now say, "Yeah, organizing is something I will always be working on because my mind doesn't work that way because I have other gifts instead -creative ones that thrive in chaos. I was shamed about cleanliness a lot, so I need to be patient as I work the surrender process, even in SMALL THINGS like laundry on the floor and cluttered counters."
I talk to God about it, I talk to me about it. I talk to support people about it (sponsor, friends).
And then I'm free.
The shame dissolves.
I guess I'm excited? to dig up more?
The truth dawns on me more and more these days: how can my soul be healed and reconciled if I don't know it? If I am daily shoving it down and denying certain aspects, how can I ever connect fully to myself? to God? to others?
"Know thyself!" said a wise man once, and those words give me a triumphant sort of courage as I put my pen to paper once again, as I set to polishing my mirror yet further.