STEP SIX

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







Essay

The work of Step Six is best begun with the understanding that God is a master husbandman who is at work in our lives. He has been preparing our lives like a farmer prepares soil. During the first five steps, God has been preparing us for this time. And what is this time? It is a time of new willingness on our part - a willingness to trust God. In Step Six we are plowed, prepared and pliable. We are ready - ready for God.

To expect action in Step Six is a mistake. Step Six purposely calls for no action on our part. It is time for an internal change of heart and mind. Just as physical healing after an injury is not the result of effort on our part: so too, we cannot produce a willingness to change. God produces the willingness, and God produces the healing.

(- Meditations for the Twelve Steps, a spiritual journey, Friends in Recovery)

Now another problem gradually revealed itself. We discovered that while we had gained perspective on ourselves and espoused Godís guidance in our lives, we were nevertheless continuing to live in self-destructive or self-defeating ways in many areas of our lives, often in the very same areas our inventories had flagged as being problematical. There was no doubt about it: a big discrepancy existed between what we had come to realize was beneficial for our lives, and how we were actually still going about living them.

We had been hopeful, of course, that all our troubles and character defects would dissipate as a by-product of the labours we had taken in doing an inventory and sharing it with another. But as evidence accumulated that some of our "old friends" were still with us, in spite of our best efforts to take stock of them, discouragement mounted. It was frustrating to have to acknowledge that becoming aware of our defects was not the same thing as having them removed. This dilemma brought us into contact with the Sixth Step.

(- extract from the Augustine fellowships basic text)


Open your diary/notebook and write the step 6 sentence.

Please read the following;

BB: Chapter 6 "Into action", page 76 (3.edition) "If we can answer to our satisfaction, we then look at Step Six" - stop at ask God at help us be willing. (just a few lines)
OA: Step 6
AA: Step 6
Overeaters Anonymous: story no 3 "She found herself" + Appendix C "Disease of the Spirit" (in the back of the book)

While reading, take 3 colours of your own choice.
1. colour underline everything that you recognize in yourself,
2. colour underline everything that you find important, and
3. colour underline everything that you can die from.

Daily exercise for diary:

Daily powerlessness list
Daily gratitude list
Daily surrender list (with motives included)

Pray one 6th step prayer of your own choice;




Master, my eyes look up. I have no self-control, but I have you.

Lord, my life is locked tight with my failing and faults. Rescue me!

Dear God, I'm weary of sinís effect. I'm tired of my defects. Please take me to a better place in you.

God, as I draw nearer to you and abandon my old ways, please show me yourself: your desires and your will.

Heavenly father, hereís my broken life. Please help.



Talk to your sponsor everyday!
If you think you have "nothing to say", write her/him anyway!

Step six principle is willingness, we have to be willing to change if we want a better life. Simple, but not easy.

I usually see my defects of character as old tools that are no longer useful to me, but very harmful. I once needed those tools in my dysfunctional family, to survive physically, mentally and spiritually. But as time went by, I dintí only survive I started to rotten from inside, because I was not living, I was only existing.

Like nuclear weapons, they once serve a country status, power, control and destiny over many humans, in time they are leaking and destroying the soil, the humans and the international politics. My character defects are my own personal nuclear weapons, they poison me, those around me and all created by God.

I need to widen my perspective, to understand short time fun and personal control is not long term serenity or prosperity for me or others.
Itís fun to be angry when I can always have my way, but in time I have no friends. So how fun is it really?

Ask your sponsor to help you sort out your list of character defects. We don't need too many, we need the main ones, the patterns. And most important, what is behind them?
Please remember:
Fear is not a character defect; codependency is not a character defect, in desperate need of love in not a character defect. They are results of growing up in dysfunctional families or not having our needs met. A character defect means wrongly expressed side of your personality (mental or moral qualities that make a person, group, nation etc. different from others -dictionary).

An example:
Because I fear not being loved, I control myself and others. Control is a character defect in me. By controlling situations, conversations and what happens, I am not allowing my self or others express them selves freely. I "steal" what could have been, with what I can manage to consume.

Instead of control, I can practice acceptance. I am allowing life to be, on lifeís own terms (not mine).

Because I fear anger and confrontation I lie. Lying is a character defect in me. Lying is also controlling, but must be written as a separate defect, because I must practice the opposite, honesty.

Summary questions:


  • Write down your list of your character defects
  • On the left side write what "GOOD" (dysfunctional good) each defect has done for you (short)
  • On the right side, write down all what BAD they have done for you (short)
  • When you go through the list with all this information on, what is holding you back from getting ready for a total change?
  • Can you see what that is your own will - EGO?
  • Can you see what that is Gods will, your higher power who knows your best interest?
  • "Going to any lengths to recover", how can you use that commitment now?
  • Do you feel that your entire identity needs to surrender? Why?
  • Will you feel deprived without your defects of character? Why?
  • Do you feel like you have to be a saint? Or behave perfectly?
  • Can you see what is your true YOU behind these defects of character?
  • Are you entirely ready to have the character defects changed? Explain why.
  • Keep praying for willingness to leave these defects as we continue to step 7 next week.

Step 6 guarantees:

You will clearly see what you need to change in yourself.
You will have a job assignment.
You will come to understand that defects were developed for a reason, and you are not mean.
You will come realize what you can not longer afford to participate in, for your abstinence and serenities sake. As we read in the Big Book, this luxury is not for us..(beginning of chapter how it works)
It was enough that we be willing to do the legwork, and be open-minded about what the result would be. Godís grace would give us freedom from the burden of our old self. In humility, we understood that we were only being asked to get out of Godís way, so that, with our cooperation, Godís work could be done in our lives.


Keep up the good work, keep posting!

All the best to you,
Mariam





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