Step Six

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


Step 6 talks to me about willingness, surrender and letting go.

Now that I know what my character defects are and how they've impacted my life, I'm asked to become willing to have them removed. The catch is that *I* can't do the removing, kind of like my not being able to do surgery on myself (or in my case, even my own hair or nails). I have to rely on God, believing that God can and will do this for me - in God's time - trusting that this timing will be in my best interest. This can be scarey, so this is where my work on Steps 2 and 3 comes in as a foundation of more recovery. Working Step 6 relies on my believing:
(a) that there is a Power greater than myself [Step 2] and
(b) that this Power can (and will) restore me to sanity [also Step 2] and
(c) that this Power cares about my life [Step 3].

"All" I have to do is become willing to let go of the way I used to live in favor of - hopefully - something much better. All my life I believed that if I had a problem, I had to solve it without depending on anyone. Step 6 was Step 3 in action. I had made that decision to give my life (like a broken appliance) to God (my "repair shop"), and Step 6 was going to be yet another time when I was willing to actually have God replace a broken part. It wasn't easy.

Working Step 6 is similar to working Step 4: I made a list of all my defects of character, wrote down the pros and cons of having those defects in my life (how they worked for me [so to speak] and what they did *to* me) and made a decision as to whether or not I wanted those defects to continue running my life.

Step 6 is an ongoing - and repeated - process. Many years ago I called my (then) sponsor from a huge train station in a major city where I was waiting to take a train home. A significant character defect had shown up - yet again. Why? It wasn't fair. I had been willing to have God remove it ... I really was. So how come it was back in a major way? My sponsor told me, "you're not ready to let it go. When you're ready, you'll let it go. Again. And again."


1. . What's the difference between being "ready" and "entirely ready?"

2. What's the relationship between Steps 2 and 3 and Step 6?

3. Why is having worked Steps 2 and 3 so critical for successfully working Step 6?

4. If you are controlling kind of person (like I am), why is Step 6 such a challenge?

5. How do you overcome your fear of letting go of the idea that you have to solve all your problems by yourself?

6. If you have worked Step 6, what was your process?

7. My "pros and cons" list for Step 6 tells me what defects I want to hang on to, even if they are harming me. Why would we want to hang on to something if it's hurting us?

8. "When you're ready, you're ready." What does that mean to you, and how does it relate to Step 6?

Yours in Recovery,

Step Five

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