Step Six

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



STEP SIX~QUESTION #1

If you have an AA or OA 12&12, it is suggested that you read step #6.

Read Chapter 6, "Into Action," page 72-75 in the AA Big Book. Discuss and reflect on what you have learned about fearlessness, humility and honesty. How do you utilize these realities in your life today?

LEADERS SHARE:

To me, being fearless means to trust God and the outcome is up to him. I am required to do the footwork and turn over the results to God. A friend in my small group uses the term "Put some Feet Under Your Prayer." When I am afraid, I must pray about it and ask God for guidance and direction. Every time, this process gets me through the fear.

Being humble is not being a doormat as I once thought. Humility is knowing that god is in charge and I am not. I constantly ask God for help and support in my life. I also pray for other people who I come into contact with. As I was answering my own questions while doing the 4th step, things came up that never came up before. I asked God to allow me to forgive those who hurt me in my past.

Being honest goes beyond not taking something that is not mine. Being honest is expressing my true feelings to others in my life who I care about. This has been, and still is, hard for me because I have a natural fear of other people's reactions.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #2

If you have a AA 12&12 or OA 12&12, re-read Step Six. Discuss and reflect on the idea that our defects of character can be lifted if we are willing to turn over the burden.

LEADERS SHARE:

Working my program is all about God and turning over my life to him and to do his will for me. I ask God each day to give me direction and keep me on the right path. My main defect of character has always been the inability to express my true feelings to others. Today, I am learning to do this one baby step at a time. I consciously know that I really do matter and that God does love me just as I am.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #3

If you have a AA 12&12 or OA 12&12, re-read Step Six again.

Discuss and reflect on the idea that "Half measures avail us nothing." How are the three parts of the program coming together in your life today? (Emotional, Physical, Spiritual)

LEADERS SHARE:

If I work at something "half baked", then the results will be "half baked." The more effort I invest in my program, the more that I will have in my account (recovery), plus interest. Volunteering for service positions and being there for others who need someone in an investment in my personal recovery.

The emotional part of my recovery has made progress over the years. During the last two years, the emotional recovery taken a giant leap by becoming aware of some of the buried feelings of my childhood and adolescence. Even this time around as the leader and answering my own questions have brought new memories that I had to deal with. In dealing with the issues, I prayed to God to heal me, acknowledge that those who hurt me were wrong (not my fault), ask God to forgive those who hurt me, and ask God to guide me in forgiving those who hurt me.

My Physical recovery has always been a struggle. I am around 210 pounds. I came into program weighing over 300 pounds. I should be around 185 pounds, but my body will not go below 200. This is something I must turn over to God.

Spiritual recovery was the last part that came to me. About 6-7 years ago at an OA men's retreat, I connected to god like never before. I focused on my christian faith in a practical way that can be used in everyday life. I still could not attend any services or religeous ceremonies until a little over one year ago. My bad experiences during my childhood and being kicked out of church because my two children were disabled made church attendance very hard for me. Today, I am very active in my church and I am involved in the disabled ministry. I feel that I am giving to others that I never got as a child and this is part of my healing process.

Each level of my recovery (physical, emotional, and spiritual) represents a leg on a 3-legged stool. If one of the legs is shorter or longer, then the stool will be wobbly and out of balance. In this case, I must be careful not to fall and to work towards making all legs the same length. If one of the legs are much shorter or longer, then I will surely fall flat on the floor. The fall hurts and getting back up is hard.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #4

Make a list of character defects that you are ready to have God remove.

LEADERS SHARE:

The defects of character that I am ready to have removed are; procrastination, and my inability to express my true feelings.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #5

Do you truly believe that your own willpower will not work with food?

LEADERS SHARE:

My willpower has never worked with food since 1980. My willpower works with having the willingness to be willing. My strength comes from God when I ask Him on a daily basis to remove me from the bondage of food.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #6

Pick a defect of character that seems to be troubling you such as a resentment or jealously of a person, place, or thing, or perhaps pride or procrastination. Ask yourself if you are entirely ready to give it up. If you are, then it is time to take Step Seven. If you are not ready, make a list of the reasons why you still want to keep that defect. What are the pay-offs for giving the defect up? What are the pay-offs for keeping it? Now, ask God to help you to be willing to give this character defect up.

LEADERS SHARE:

My main defect, as mentioned earlier, is procrastination. In order for me to be ready to give this one up, I must step out and act on things. My mind wants to wander on other things rather than focus on what needs to be done at times. I am getting better at this one day at a time. The pay-off for giving this one up is that I will be more productive and get more things done. Pay-off for keeping this defect is being backed up with too many things to do at once and not getting things done.

When I have important things to do, I ask God to see me through. I need to also ask for procrastination to be lifted one day at a time.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #7

Explain the concept as it relates to you: "Delay is dangerous and rebellion may be fatal."

LEADERS SHARE:

Delaying an opportunity to grow keeps me from scoring opportunities that may come along that I would otherwise enjoy. My main character defect is procrastination, which makes this question interesting for me. The sooner I recover from a character defect, the sooner I allow the sunlight of the program to enter my life. The character defect that I have been working on for several years is not standing up for myself. This is something that always been hard for me because of my natural fear of other people's reactions.

Rebellion keeps me from the program. If I do not work this program, I overeat and my health will be in jeopardy.



STEP SIX~QUESTION #8

List the character defects you really enjoy that "masquerade" as something other than they are. Now make a list of your positive character assets. Check and see if any 'positives" are really masquerading" negatives.

Also, write on what step #6 means to you.

LEADERS SHARE:

One defect of character became known to me while driving to work yesterday. This character trait involves slowing down rapidly to force the person behind me on the freeway offramp to abruptly slow down. This one masquerades myself by giving me a sense of "power" through controlling other people. This is one that I really do need to ask God for help on.

My positive character assets includes being compassionate for others, giving service, being willing to give encouragement to others who may need it. The one that really covered up for negatives is service. During 1982, I was opening up 5 meetings per week and served on the intergroup board. I was escaping my program and wallowing in service. This made me feel OK by working the first half of step #1 and the last half of step #12 while ignoring the rest. The only person I was conning was myself. Today, I only have one service commitment at a time. My current service commitment is leading this step study that has really meant a lot to me.

Step #6 is my chance to ask God to step in and clear away any character defect that I want removed. But first, I must first recognize the defect (which may take a lot of time) and be willing to let it go by God's grace. When I become aware of a defect, the program teaches me to ask God for the willingness to be willing to ask the defect to be removed. I do this my morning prayer that takes place after my morning reading. This is one of the housekeeping steps that I must work from time to time.



Love In Recovery,
Dennis

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