Step Seven Explained
In the previous steps we discovered that it was not just alcohol that had ruined our lives. Alcohol was “but a symptom” of a much greater ailment — which was that we were trying to run our own lives on self will. We were driven by unbalanced instincts. We chased after prestige, companionship, sex, power, love and importance. In attempting to be the captains of our own lives, we ended up destroying them. We lacked all humility.
“In all of these strivings, many of them well intentioned, our crippling handicap had been our lack of humility,” the Twelve & Twelve reads. “We had lacked the perspective to see that character-building and spiritual values had to come first, and that material satisfactions were not the purpose of living.”
Before we get to Step Seven, we should have already come to the realization that if we want to be happy, joyous and free, we have to give up control of our lives to a Higher Power (however we define it). In Step Three, we turned our will and our lives — our thoughts and our actions — over to the care and direction of our Higher Power. This was a huge act of humility. But we have to go further in Step Seven.
The importance of this Step is made clear in the Twelve & Twelve, which says that “without some degree of humility, no alcoholic can stay sober at all,” and that “unless they develop more of this precious quality than may be required just for sobriety, they still haven’t much chance of becoming truly happy. Without it, they cannot live to much useful purpose, or, in adversity, be able to summon the faith that can meet any emergency.”