Just a warning, these devotionals are going to start out looking like a feel-good story. Then stuff is going to get real. Buckle the seatbelt!
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
…story began on Day 3…
From yesterday: If we’re intent on defending ourselves to avoid looking inward then we will live in such a way as to be isolated from ourselves and others because we refuse to live in reality.
This is one of life’s most central questions: Are we willing to live in reality or will we settle for fantasy?
Each option has benefits and drawbacks. Living in reality brings the capacity for intimacy. If we are willing to examine ourselves and live with the reality of who we are then we have something to offer to others that is honest, even though it may be flawed. And, when we choose honest, flawed intimacy we find the capacity for profound spiritual growth. We find meaningful connections. We find freedom. We’re not stuck in patterns of denying and defending but accepting and embracing the reality of what is. When we accept and embrace the reality of ourselves then we can interact with the world around us as a unified person who is unafraid of being caught or found out. We don’t have hidden compartments. This is freedom (one part of it anyway).
The downside to living in reality is it is painful and tiring. There is no end to the work to be done. Self-awareness isn’t accomplished once the 4th and 5th steps (or the 12th for the matter) are behind us. It’s not something we achieve and keep forever. It requires maintenance. We must always be working these middle steps in order to live at peace with the reality of ourselves. Who has the time and/or energy for that?
Tomorrow: The benefits and drawbacks of living in fantasy.