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December 31

“You have taken a brave step walking in the door today, and we support your search for recovery.”

“A Special Welcome to the Woman Newcomer”

When I was fearful, my sponsor would say, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” I would get angry. If I prayed, it didn’t seem to help, and I wanted relief! To me, courage meant the absence of fear, and I didn’t see how I could proceed when I felt so scared.

I heard a talk recently that put things into perspective. The speaker’s experience is that Step Six is an action step. He prays for release and for courage (what my sponsor was trying to tell me!), and then does the opposite of what he formerly did when his character defects were active. This way he demonstrates readiness to have them removed.

I have significant social anxiety, a manifestation of my self-centered fear. I fear how I will come across in conversations, meetings, or other social situations. My shame tells me I am a fraud, and I’m afraid others will find this out and believe it too.

My solution is to pray for release from my self-centered fear, then put myself in situations that my fear would make me avoid. This means praying a lot and living outside of my comfort zone a significant amount of the time. It’s slowly getting easier, and I have grown tremendously. And apparently this is courage even though it doesn’t often feel like it.

I pray for relief from my character defects, and for courage to put feet to my prayers.