Step Six

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



LEADER'S SHARE ~ STEP SIX

You may recall that I was quite a skeptic when I first came to the program. God was supposed to do good things for people, and I had, so I thought, given God adequate opportunity to make me thinner, and nothing had worked. So why would God do something now?

But I was also defeated by life itself, and had reached the place of a true "personal bottom" experience. The only way left to go was up, or my box was going to very soon be a real one, six feet under. The program came to me as an offering of my last best hope. And it has worked, where nothing else ever did.

Physical recovery is good. I am of the opinion that there can be no emotional and spiritual recovery without it. AA is so clear. You can't be recovering if you're drinking. By the same token, I think, we can't be recovering if we are still into our compulsive eating addictions. At the same time, I am also convinced that physical recovery alone is not enough for me. I have seen some who appear to be satisfied with the physical recovery only. One person I know like that still has all the other problems that are common to the compulsive eater. Money, clutter, resentments, inability to disengage with the problems of others, etc. This person says aloud that the emotional and spiritual things don't matter to him. And I won't argue with him.

But for me, I want it all. The disease I have has left me with frozen emotions and a spiritual void. I believe that the program offers me recovery in all of my life, and I want it. I want to be able to feel my feelings and know that they are only one way of knowing reality for me. I want to know the spiritual depths of my own self, and explore as far as I can into the spiritual depths of the God of my understanding. And I believe this is possible in the program.

Step Five began a process of trust, as I wrote last week. Part of that trust was in the Higher Power. Now I am being asked to take that trust a step further. There is no magic wand, but there is a force for good, which is healing, restorative, and both powerful and gentle at the same time. I had to come to believe that this was so. I also had to come to believe that it could happen for me.

I said that my first sponsor also ran a meeting which used "For Today," the OA daily meditation book. It is truly a great tool. In the months after my initial recovery, having this wonderful and yet simple man as a spiritual guide was a gift. He had come to know the Higher Power so well and so intimately, and his sharing of his experiences that had furthered his own recovery impacted upon me profoundly. Yet I had to find my own way, even so. It was unfamiliar territory. Not even Sam could guide me through the terrain of it. But Sam assured me that HP would come in some guise to guide me. Having a spirit guide seemed pretty "New Age" to me, but anyway, what's to lose besides these defects of character? So I tried imagining one. I sort of just let it happen, not trying to force anything. So here I am, lost in a jungle, and with no knowledge of how to get anywhere. Then, in my imagining, a tree moved. This is ridiculous. But the tree was moving in my image, so I followed it. Oddly, a path appeared. Eventually, in my imagining, I came to a place which I knew intuitively was the sacred space within myself, where I was closest to my Higher Power. I also knew intuitively in that moment that my Higher Power was able to do what I needed to have done. I had become ready.

This didn't happen all at once, or even quickly. It took time. I journaled on it -- I still have the journals, and I reread them sometimes. I am amazed at myself, and even more amazed at what my Higher Power could do, can do, has done. I just had to put myself in the place where the miracle could happen, and it happened, is still happening. I am by no means perfect yet, and sometimes I think that's a good thing. But learning how this process works and continuing to learn more about how it works has helped me enormously in my emotional and spiritual recovery. I have become someone I actually like, and so do a number of others.

Some of you have had your own experience, and I hope you will share that, somewhat as I have told a little about mine. Others of you are here for the first time. If you need to ask questions first, please do so. Ask your sponsor. Ask me. Ask the loop. But let's do it. All we have to lose now is the shackles which are our defects of character. What we have to gain is a healthy emotional and spiritual self, which I believe is our birthright which a disease has cheated us out of.

Love,
John



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