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Step 11

Section 4: The SEA's 12 Step Workbook
Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous -

The SEA's Program of Recovery
By James J. Messina, Ph.D.

 

Step 11

We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power praying for knowledge of what we are capable of becoming and the power to carry this out.

 

Directions: As you systematically work through the twelve steps of the SEA's program, you will be expected to read the material in this section and respond to the questions in your journal. Each step contains key words or concepts, which are explored in the questions under each step. Your recovery from the negative impact of self‑esteem is dependent on your honest assessment, admission, and acceptance of the steps you need to take in order to ensure your personal recovery. Most likely over your lifetime you will need to review these twelve steps, so for later reference keep the SEA's manual along with the other Tools‑for‑Coping‑Series books in a safe place.

Openness to be all that you can be

Step 11 requires that you open yourself to the full range of possibility thinking. It is a “can do" attitude which is strengthened through spiritually connecting with your Higher Power in the form of positive self‑affirmation, letting go of the uncontrollables and unchangeables in your life and openness to accept that the human condition is not perfect and that we have possibilities even if we fail or are not perfect.

 

Prayer and meditation are the channels to open yourself to the possibility of recognizing all that you are capable of becoming. This process can lead to positive change for you as exemplified in the following:

 

The Answer

Prayer plus positive thinking leads to creative change.

Our Higher Power always answers prayers.

When the idea is not right He says, “No.''

When the timing is not right He says, “Slow.''

When I am not ready He says, “Grow.''

When all is in order He says, “Go.''

 

To assist you in Step 11, consult Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 15 Spirituality. In that chapter you are encouraged to grow in faith, hope and love. Also in the same book, Chapter 13 Handling Pride, you are encouraged to remind yourself that, no matter how bad things get, your Higher Power is there to help you as long as you are there to help yourself in a partnership with your Higher Power. As the poem, “The Difference,” points out, this partnership is to be practiced in daily dialogue with your Higher Power:

 

The Difference

I got up early one morning

and rushed right into the day:

I had so much to accomplish

that I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,

and heavier came each task.

"Why doesn't God help me?" I wondered.

He answered, "You didn't ask."

I wanted to see joy and beauty,

but the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn't show me.

He said, "But you didn't seek."

I tried to come into God's presence;

I tried all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided,

"My child, you didn't knock."

I woke up early this morning,

and paused before entering the day;

I had so much to accomplish

that I had to take time to pray.

 

The power of visualization in meditation is a tool to assist you to practice that which you are capable of becoming in cooperation with the strength of your Higher Power. In Tools for Personal Growth, Chapter 3 Self‑Affirmation, the concept of visualizing positive aspects of your life is discussed.

 

Step 11 encourages you to place your Higher Power in a realistic perspective. There is no guarantee on earth that your life will be free of hurt and pain as you recover from low self‑esteem. All that is guaranteed at the end of life is that the road to recovery will be worth it, as exemplified in the following poem:

 

The Weaver

My life is but a weaving

Between my Lord and me.

I cannot choose the colors.

He worketh steadily.

 

Ofttimes he weaveth sorrow.

And I in foolish pride

Forget He sees the upper

And I, the underside.

 

Not till the loom is silent

And the shuttles cease to fly

Shall God unroll the canvas

And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful

In the Weaver's skillful hand

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern He has planned.

 

Conclusion

As you grow in prayer, meditation, and visualization, reframe Step 11 to show how it benefits you in your progress at recovering from low self‑esteem.