Step 3: I Swore I’d Never…

1. What did you resolve that you’d never do when you were a kid? (ask the question*)

I had a long list. Of the eight above, I only managed to avoid one completely.  I’ve never lived in the ‘little boxes all in a row‘…unless being trailer trash counts.

2. What character trait were you afraid you might develop? (name the fear)

I am surprised how much my behavior through 6 decades has been framed around these fears: (corresponding to the list above my booster seat) I was afraid I’d be:

  • unfaithful
  • a workaholic
  • disorganized
  • predictable
  • poor
  • materialistic
  • vain
  • disloyal

3. How have you sacrificed in order to  make sure it never happened? Or did it anyway? (what has this cost you?)

Where I violated the childhood resolves, I’ve paid dearly in terms of self-esteem and regret. In some cases, I made foolish or impetuous decisions rather than come close to the breaking of those resolutions; in others, I’ve not only broken them, I’ve spent decades trying to extricate myself from the traps I swore I’d never fall into.

The Not So Scary Worksheet of Step 3 is one that helps me identify ways in which my self-will has contributed to much of the insanity of my life. My stubborn self-will and the attempt to control my own life have not worked for me. The more I dig, the more I realize that I was so busy trying to make my life work, that I missed knowing what God’s will for my life might be.

The resolves that I thought would ‘boost’ me into a life far better than that of my parents have not worked.

Before AA I judged myself by my intentions, while the world was judging me by my actions.  ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, p 418

PS: Can you think of a resolution you made as a child? What was the corresponding fear?

*questions from the Not So Scary Step 3 Worksheet