Smudges On The Mirror

Early recovery for many of us was a bundle of confusion. We had been so full of denial and self loathing for so long that we didn’t have much of an idea of who we really were. To remedy this, we were urged by our sponsor and others to make  a “searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

Some of us wanted to avoid this process because we didn’t want to have to confront our character defects. We felt it would be too painful to face the truth about ourselves.

One member recently spoke about it this way. She described looking in a mirror that was so smudged that she could barely make out her reflection. That mirror was her life prior to entering the program. Every smudge represented a character defect.

So what do we do when our mirror is smudged? Why of course we clean it with some Windex. For her, every time she worked on a character defect, it was like a spray of Windex removing a smudge on her mirror. As she progressed in her Fourth Step work, the smudges on her mirror slowly began to disappear. For the first time in her life she began to have a clear view of who she was. For the first time in her life she began to like that reflection in the mirror.

Personal Reflection:  What smudges on your mirror still need to be removed?

2 thoughts on “Smudges On The Mirror

  1. My sponsor suggested that it’s like peeling an onion. We remove a layer at a time. Uncover, discover, discard. I like what the Little Red Book says about inventory – (From the 4th step) – “The necessity for listing and removing these personality flaws becomes increasingly obvious as we add new days to our record of sober living.” I know that this is true in my case. The insulation of time doesn’t hide my defects.


    • Thanks so much for your thoughts. I just need to remember that as the Incredible String Band, a band from the 1960’s said, there are “5000 spirits or the layers of the onion.” Lots of peeling away of character defects


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