A survey released this week by Public Agenda, a non-profit organization dedicated to unbiased public opinion research, reported that most Americas feel that rude and selfish behavior has increased in recent years. Americans see others as often being selfish, inconsiderate, disrespectful, and acting as if their needs and wants and rights are more important and righter than the needs and wants and rights of others. Sex addicts are often selfish, inconsiderate, and disrespectful. When active in the addiction they often behave with entitlement, disregarding the rights and feelings of other people.
The seventh step reads "
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
." A part of recovery is developing humility. I used to think that humility was the product of lack of self-esteem. I thought humility was powerlessness. I thought it meant being not enough. But I was mistaken. Humility relies on strong self-esteem and self-respect. Humility combines the knowledge that you are special and equal - not special and better. That is arrogance. And not special and worth less. That is self-deprecation. Humility is the balanced middle ground where we stand simultaneously in self-respect and respect for others.
So here is the exercise. Write humility or #7 or some other cue on post it notes or small cards. Put those in places where you will see them everyday for at least a week. When you encounter someone who is behaving disrespectfully to you or others, pay attention to how you feel and what you think of them. Be very, very clear that what you think and feel at times like that is much like what others affected by your sexual addiction think and feel about you. Resist the temptation to return the disrespect. Tit for tat is mutual entitlement. Notice too when you behave selfishly and as if you are more valuable than others. Recognize that, when you do so, an element of your personality that supported your addiction is active.
You are special, worthy, valuable, and you have a right to be here - but no more so than anyone else. Let the selfish, inconsiderate behavior of others instruct you as you work on your humility. Forgive the other, forgive yourself, and stay on the path.