After our Step 5 we may find that some of our most obvious defects have been removed. We rejoice that they are in the past; still there are some defects that persist. We need to do more about what we have found, and will find for the rest of our lives
Are we agreed that the defects of character are not helpful and thus unwanted? Sure there are some that are dearly loved and I think I can not do without. Actually quite a few, like procrastination, shyness, letting others do it, control and fear that comes creeping in. Also not thinking and praying before I act. But they don't let me grow positively. Maybe that is one of the definitions of a character defect!
If we are conscious of a loving God who cares that we grow each in our own way why wouldn't we be entirely ready to have Him remove them? There is that word again: entirely! Now really! Do I really want to be entirely ready? This seems like too much work. Isn't just asking laziness still on my part? But I will have to ask for it, just like I ask for abstinence. My God is a gentleman and will not force His will on us. We are free people and we ask. We take our part in this being entirely ready. And since we are asking not begging, not demanding but simply asking to do something in agreement with His will, we may not get the answer we want in the time we want. In fact we may be surprised how our HP removes a defect of character. Also if any one is not removed it may be God or I who is not ready! Often though God will suggest through a thought, a fellow member, a reading, nature or even a still small voice what I need to do now that I have asked. But I will be empty, if I lose all my food and all my defective behaviors! Not so, quite often we are attracted to the opposite from the defect and we are led to work toward it in the power of God. That is special and definitely not an empty feeling.
But I would have to be perfect to do this. Or this would make me perfect. Twelve Step Recovery states that only the first step can be done perfectly. One reference says the rest of the steps are ideals we work towards. No wonder we are on a life long journey.
So this step is getting ready to let go of our possession of our character defects. Remember that is both ends of the defect we willingly place in Godâ€™s capable hands.
So that you are introduced to a variety of the available literature I will use some of the questions from the OA Workbook which links with page numbers to our OA 12/12.
- Am I proceeding with my 4th and 5th steps?
- What is the difference between saying I'm entirely ready and being entirely ready? (cp)
- Am I fearful that I will be less interesting as a human being without my defects? (p. 54)
- What are some of my choice defects I would like to keep? (p.55)
- What do each of my defects do for me? (p. 56)
- What harm is it doing me to cling to each of these ways of thinking and acting? (p.57)
- What is my past experience with change?