Sunday, May 16, 2010

Smooth Sale - ing

This week, I took inventory and laid all my junk out on the table --literally-- in preparation for our garage sale. This evening, while surveying the items that didn‘t sell, I couldn’t help but think about Step 4 - taking inventory, Step 5 laying it all out, which lead to Step 6 and 7 and so on.

Step 4 calls us to make “a searching and fearless morally inventory of ourselves.” For me, this step is vital to making any real spiritual progress in the program.

In Step 5, we “admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”  This step continues to chip away at my pride, bringing humility, little by little, and making true peace and happiness possible for someone like me.

Steps 6 and 7 give me an opportunity to use my fresh shot of humility to ask God to remove my character defects.

Steps 8, 9, and 12 - well, for me, that just means I have more actions to take.

For me, the actions I can take for hosting a garage sale and the actions I take in the program are all simple, but not easy, just like they say. Here are some examples:

  • Go through every space in my house and look in every nook and cranny, each dark, cluttered closet, the hot, musty attic, the cold, damp basement, even the crawl space under the stairs that is full of cobwebs and probably spiders, which scares the be-jeezes out of me!
  • Same as above only replace the word “house” with the word “mind.”
  • Find things that I forgot I ever had like tap shoes from when I was nine years old. Or find things that I can’t believe I still have like those blazers from the 1980’s with the big-honkin’ shoulder pads! Or find things that I have used once in fifteen years but have kept through eight moves like our ice-bucket.
  • Instead of tap shoes, I may find fear. Instead of obnoxious clothes from the 80’s, I may find pride --also obnoxious mind you! Instead of an ice bucket, I may find friends that I never call upon for help.
  • Put all the stuff I don’t want, need, or never use out on the table and hope that someone takes it.
STEP 4s and 6:
  • Put all the stuff I find (i.e., resentments, fears, character defects, etc.) on paper and hope that God takes it.
  • Let people come in and see all of the crap I have accumulated over the years.
  • Let my sponsor come in and see all of the crap I have accumulated over the years!
  • Wonder why some stuff sells and some doesn’t. Wish that it was all gone in one morning’s time so that I don’t have to do any more work.
STEPs 6 and 7:
  • Wonder why God removes some character defects and leaves others. Wish that they would all disappear at once so that I wouldn’t have to do any more work.
  • Get off my butt, box up the left-over items, load them in the truck and drive them to a donation drop-off center.
STEPs 8 and 9 and 12:
  • Get off my butt, make a list, make amends, and help others.
  • Give it away to get rid of it.
STEP 12:
  • Give it away to keep it.
photo credit


  1. And now, there's so much spare space in your home, you can begin filling it back up. Eh?

  2. ANd the memories that are brought back through those "things" are priceless, they can set us free and show us a life lived and loved when we take them out and reflect the right light on them :)

    So cool!

  3. I like the analogy. I have to be careful not to continue to "collect" more after I let things go.


Thank you for sharing!