I want to grow up to be more like Henry, not the beheading king of historical England, but my dog, who is also named Henry the 8th. Fact is, I’m already enough like the royal figure and I’m not proud of that. I researched Henry’s namesake and found:
He is frequently characterized in his later life as a lustful, egotistical, harsh, and insecure king. – Wikipedia
That’s an ugly list of character traits, isn’t it? My Henry has none of those.
I have enough trouble just trying to admit the basic character weaknesses of the Not So Scary 15 Min Solution of Step 10 Worksheet: selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and fearful. I realize that all of the king’s characteristics do fall under the worksheet categories.
Let’s look at egotistical (smooth, skipping that first one, right?) Egotistical is defined as conceited, boastful, and somebody who is selfish or self-centered. Is that not me? Of course, it is. To blog is to be egotistical.
Insecure. Most of my self-seeking actions, like bragging and posturing for applause on the blog or at work (applause of truck drivers? Oh, please…) are manifestations of fearful self-seeking. I’m afraid of being average, of being ordinary. Extraordinary beckons, but by bragging or other self-seeking actions I only feed the habitual fear that I will never be more than I am. The goal is that I become OK not being OK. God knows I’m broken and wounded and loves me as is.
Harsh? Every time I criticize or judge someone, I’m being harsh. Refusing to communicate with others because I’ve been wounded? That’s harsh. Yup. Right now I can think of someone I need to call. Sigh.
Using the questions from the 10th Step Worksheet gives me a chance to examine my daily responses to life. It would be easier to just play the comparison game and can say, “At least I didn’t behead anyone today.” But Step 10 requires that I examine myself on a daily basis.
When I remember that my goal is not to become more worthy of approval, but to exemplify the traits reflective of the Sunlight of the Spirit within me, I feel more hopeful. It can happen. It is happening. When it does, when I embody those traits opposite from my weaknesses, I’m experiencing the grace that God makes available to me, even me.
Each time I run through the worksheet I’m taking another opportunity to grow, to face the reality of my actions and thoughts. I hope to become genuinely loving and humble like Henry, my dog. This discipline also helps me avoid another “Off with her head!” moment. Oh…wait. That was a queen…