Step Six

1997

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

Step Six Contents:

Part 1 and Questions for journaling
Part 2 and Questions for journaling

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Step Six ~ Part 1

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

With the help of my sponsor, in Step 5, I discovered my character defects. This was an amazing discovery. When I first came to OA, I thought I didn't have any. I was a nice woman who just ate too much. What a revelation!! I found my humanity in this process.

Now, having found these defects, I want to get rid of them. But am I ENTIRELY READY to have them removed. After all, if they are removed, I will become a different person. This can be a frightening prospect. I've been comfortable being who I am. However, the chance of going back into my illness if I keep my defects spurred me on to willingness.

It's a real toss up as to whether fear or pride is my number one defect. But fear had dominated my life for a long time. I had to let go of the fear of change in order to be entirely ready. I had to trust that my Higher Power was working a benevolent change in my life. This was a big step for me. Fear of change can still wreak havoc with my emotional well-being.

In order to work this step I had to work on my issues of lack of trust. I had been a complete control freak all of my life. Working this step would take the control out of my hands and put it in my HP's where it belonged. I still have to work on this on a daily basis. Some days I take back the control and BOOM!! Back come the character defects.

When I completely trust my HP with my whole life, then I am entirely ready. I am entirely ready to become the person my HP wants me to become. I can look for opportunities to change my reaction to people and places and things. I can work on visualizing myself without these defects. I can reach out to others and ask for help when I need it.

One of the character defects I have hung onto the longest is pride. I see it manifested in my life recently in being critical and judgemental of other people. I have to become entirely ready to let go of this petty reaction to others before I can let go of it. For me, that means praying for the willingness to let it go.

So many character defects and fears have been removed over the years, that I trust that the others will go with time and work on my part and trust in my HP.


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Step Six ~ Part 1: Questions

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

  1. What is the difference between saying I'm entirely ready and being entirely ready?

  2. Why is it so hard to part with my defects?

  3. Am I fearful of change to such a degree that I prefer to hold on to my defects?


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Step Six ~ Part 2

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

Some of my character defects are more appealing to me than others. I like some of the things I've been able to do because of pride. After all, pride helped me accomplished many high goals and win many awards. Perhaps I needed those awards to feel that I was okay.

I spent a lot of years in high school and college competing in speech and debate. I loved the honors and the acclaim. I did feel more worthwhile; I definitely enjoyed the spotlight and the accolades that came with success. Pride in these achievements gave my ego a boost. I could feel better than.

In education I frequently told others that I prided myself on being a good teacher. Pride was a strong motivator in being a leader in my field. When I became a mentor teacher, I knew that finally I had been recognized for my efforts.

Sloth or laziness is a defect that plagues me to this day. I am always looking for an easier softer way to do things. Unfortunately, this has included looking for an easier, softer way to work the program many times. Presently, I am resolved to use more tools of the program to try to capture the physical recovery which has eluded me for the last several years.

Giving up gossiping about others was a tough one. I loved knowing the dirt on everyone and passing it on. It made me feel better than others when I related their foibles and less than ethical escapades. I also had to become better at keeping my word. Because I had been privy to many professional negotiations and behind the scene planning, I used to love to use this information to show what a big shot I was. In order to save a valued friendship, I had to learn to keep my mouth shut when I had promised that I would.

Each of my character defects has been a two-headed coin. Each has done something for me and something to me. When the penalty of what it has done to me becomes more painful than the satisfaction of what it has done for me, then, I am totally willing to let go of it.

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Step Six ~ Part 2: Questions

"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

  1. Why do I like to keep some of my defects?

  2. Is pain the source of growth and change for me?

  3. How have my defects affected my relationships with others?

Thanks for letting me share,

Jeanne
Brea, CA

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