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A Different Approach to Step 1

I can still remember when I really "took" the First Step. I was listening to a speaker at a meeting, and she was talking about the "transforming principles" of the Steps. I mean, Step Twelve talks about "practicing these principles in all our affairs" but it doesn't say what "these principles" are. She gave us her interpretation of the principles and, boy, did it hit me.

"In Step One we transform the character defect of Dishonesty into the principle of Honesty."
Wow, that made sense. "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable." That's being "honest" with ourselves.

Those words danced around in my head for weeks. Sure, I had thought I had taken the First Step already, but I was still sneaking around and running covert ops trying to find out my husband's activities. I was still funneling money away... for protection. I was still trying to manage the unmanageable.

I Wrote a Letter

Then one morning I woke up and I knew I had to stop. The words that had been dancing in my head finally made it to my heart.

I went to my computer and I wrote a letter to my husband (we don't talk really well... never developed that skill between us) to tell him about all my "secrets and lies." I wrote and rewrote and rewrote... taking out all the "you rat bastards" and "it's all your faults" until all that was left was "me" and "I" statements.

I pared out the rationalizations and justifications, and after seven hours of nonstop writing and crying I had my "admissions." I put them in an envelope, gave it to him with a brief explanation of the contents, and left for my Step meeting. As I drove from my house I knew I had really taken the First Step and practiced the principle of Honesty.

Gifts I Never Expected

The next morning I woke up with "gifts" that I never expected. My sense of humor had reappeared. I wanted to create something again in the kitchen. I was smiling. I went into the yard to cut some gladiolas and saw a hummingbird sipping from the uncut flowers. When he was done I reached out my hand filled with flowers to him and he came and sipped from each blossom... another "gift" from my HP.

Before I practiced the principle of the First Step I had only "taken" it in my head, not my heart. It took a different approach for me to unlock my heart to the acceptance of surrender, and that key was the principle of honesty.

I thank that speaker, who turned out to become my sponsor, for sharing her ES&H in a way that I was able to really absorb. And thanks to everyone who shares on KEY their own ES&H... you never know when you can give that special "key" to someone else that let's them unlock the door to their hearts.

May the understanding, love and peace of the program grow in you one day at a time...

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