Working Through A Limited Self

limited self

Photo credit to Will Parfitt

When I say I am working through a limited self, what do I mean? Step 45. “Alone I can do nothing” of Steps to Knowledge says, “You work through the individual that is you personally, but you are greater than this. Accept the limitations of a limited self…”

I have shared on Step 45 before in this space, but I would like to elaborate some more today. When reconsidering this step to write this post I was particularly drawn by the idea of a limited self and the potential it has for doing nothing alone.

When I did Step 45 on December 23, 2013, I wrote in my notes: “I am very aware of this concept of accepting my limitations, recognizing them, which gives me humility, and in humility I am in a position to receive greatness. To put it in a different way, I often feel the humility that comes with recognizing my flaws, my disabilities, and in the past it has always been a new starting point to build up from again. And now this Step is teaching me that I can come to a position of strength and even accept and receive greatness in my life from this understanding of my limitations.”

There is not much I can do alone because I am working through a limited self. But in reality I am not alone, for I am part of a greater whole.

This becomes particularly apparent when I am drawn to other comments by Steps to Knowledge students that express other facets of the same idea.

Douglas brought my attention to one such comment: “God doesn’t get rid of our disabilities. He gives us great things to do,” said by someone (maybe Marshall himself he thinks) at Encampment last year.

And another veteran Steps student, Tom C, wrote in his blog on his Steps practice on Step 45 in reference to sharing his journal entries: “This opens me up, which may be a risk, but we need to know others in order that we together can do things. Thoughts can make us feel alone when no one else seems to share them. That has been my experience.”

This sharing brings the idea that alone I can do nothing closer to home.

I also find it very encouraging when I am pondering a particular idea and I am shown more confirmation of the very same idea. For instance, on the day I wrote this post, I opened Secrets of Heaven to page 192 and read:

You cannot find truth alone, for the truth is you are not alone.

Working through a limited self

My own notes for this step go on to say: “I am also aware that when I engage in creative writing and also in my professional work as a translator I receive inspiration and strength from some deep source within me that I now understand to be Knowledge. So indeed I can do nothing alone, from a separate, individual standpoint, only from a position of strength that transcends my limitations and comes from God.”

Indeed I do feel much of what I am able to contribute in the world comes not from me, from my limited self, but from a deeper well of inspiration and plenty, a source that is connected with the All There Is we call God.

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