"Love is based on the mutuality of the confession of our total self to each other. This makes us free to declare not only: 'My strength is your strength' but also: 'Your pain is my pain, your weakness is my weakness, your sin is my sin'...When we are ready to throw stones- words can be as sharp as stones- someone just may have the courage to cry out: 'He who is without sin, let him throw the first stone'. - Henri Nouwen
There is grace abundant for the sinner. But how to receive that without first the acknowledgment that we need it? And if we see no need for it in ourselves, how can we freely give it?
The fourth step of the program is perhaps the scariest - 'made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves'. When you go through the steps, you get a sponsor and you write down your fourth step and share it with that sponsor. You write down everything you have a resentment about. Everything. Starting from childhood. It's like a list of all the people who have ticked you off. But then you have to look at each resentment individually and figure out what part you played in it. How you were wrong.
I did this a long time ago. I try now on a daily basis to make amends quickly and look at my part in things.
But sometimes, I miss stuff.
I've realized quite recently, that I have a major resentment in my life. It cuts deep. And I have not forgiven. And I have not accepted responsibility for my part in it. I am not free to share the details, nor do I think you would particularly like to know them, but because of my desire to be here, to share, to confess, I mention it.
And here's the thing. I have the head knowledge to know that forgiveness is needed. I have the sanity to admit to myself that I played a part. But there's a stronghold that somehow takes me back to a place of insanity when I'm confronted with it. Emotion too big for the circumstance arises and I lose my head.
"Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully, Though I had been only a nominal churchman, their proposals were not, intellectually, hard to swallow. But the program of action, though entirely sensible was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my...condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be." - AA "More About Alcoholism"
So, 'first thing's first'. I need to make up my mind to go (again) through this process.