I spent most of my life — even well into recovery — rejecting those parts of me that I judged unlovable. As a kid, I burned with guilt over behaviors that violated commandments and the anti-social thoughts I kept locked up in my head. As the light of innocence fell away, I beat myself unmercifully for every mistake. Early on you told me to check my whip of self-hate at the door, that I can't hate myself into recovery. It took many years and many trips through the steps to realize I am a work in progress. You guys accepted me way long before I could accept myself.
I still have most, if not all, of the character defects I walked through the door with. My defects have not disappeared, they have simply rearranged themselves over time. It helps me to realize my character defects, like my alcoholism, are not my fault. I didn’t choose to become a liar, a cheat and a thief. My character defects developed automatically as I tried to find inner security in a fearful world. Continuing to beat myself up for not being better than I am is just pride in reverse. Today I know I could not have changed to become the person I am today without my character defects. I no longer worry too much when I act unloving or intolerant. I get into action and use my amends tools to clean up the mess I’ve made.
I like the idea that humans are like mountains. Mountains have a sunny side and a shaded side and so do we. I must embrace both sides of myself if I am to be restored to the wholeness promised in Step Two. I can’t imagine how boring life would be if we all went around like perfect angels.
I’m coming to believe that I’ve been exactly where I was supposed to be in every moment of my life. If I was supposed to be further along in my spiritual journey, I would be.