Step Six

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







Share One
Share Two

Leader's Share and Step Questions


Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
STEP SIX: "Were entirely ready to have God remove all theses character
defects."

Experience taught me that when one does some assignments before given
explanations and interpretations,
The step is better understood and internalized
So here are preparatory assignments for step six.

PREPARATORY ASSIGNMENTS:
A. Read chapter Into Action page 76 first paragraph.
1.Is there a difference between being willing and being ready?
2. What made us ready for step six?

B.. Read step six in the A.A 12&12
1. Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
2. Can we remove our defects by our will? Explain.
3. Why is our food obsession removed when we recover but we have to watch
out for our defects every day our entire life?
4. What should we do when we still cling to a defect and don't really want
to have God remove it?

C. Write a two column table in your notebook.
In the first column list your defects.
In the second column list the opposite assets that should replace them.
Here is a partial Example.

ASSETS-Attributes and characteristics of God's Will
CHARACTER DEFECTS-Attributes and characteristics of Self Will

ASSETS-------------------------------------------------------DEFECTS
Forgiveness, acceptance--------------------------------resentment
Faith, courage-----------------------------------------------fears (specify)
Altruism, interest in others, considerate-----------selfishness
Unselfish------------------------------------------------------self-seeking
Honesty-------------------------------------------------------dishonesty
Being considerate-----------------------------------------being inconsiderate
Humility, seeking to do God's will--------------------false pride
Giving, sharing---------------------------------------------greed
Generosity, being grateful for what I have got--envy
Taking action------------------------------------------------procrastination
Moderate eating--------------------------------------------overeating
Self acceptance--------------------------------------------self criticism
Minding my own business------------------------------gossiping
Acceptance , self-forgiveness-------------------------guilt
Accepting, minding my own business--------------being controlling
Trust------------------------------------------------------------jealousy
Patience-------------------------------------------------------impatience
Tolerance------------------------------------------------------intolerance
Gratefulness for what I have got----------------------self-pity
Humility--------------------------------------------------------self justification

Shlomo

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Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater, and leader of this workshop.

STEP SIX:
"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

Let us have a look at the words in this step.
What made me ready?
I did steps 1-5.
That is what made me ready.
Now I am aware of my defects, know how they affect my life, and know they
Block me from H.P.

The word "entirely".
I don't think I will ever be entirely ready to have all my defects removed.
"Entirely ready" is an ideal.
In the Big Book chapter How It Works page 60 it says:
"What an order! I can't go through with it. Do not be discouraged.
No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to
those principles.
We are not saints.
The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines.
The principles we have set down are guides to progress.
We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection"

But I have to strive to be ready.

When discussing step six the Big Book says in the chapter Into Action page 76:
"We then look at step six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable.
Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have Admitted are objectionable?
Can He now take them all-every one?
If we still cling to something we will not let go,
We ask God to help us be willing" (willing to have our character defects removed).

The last sentence is the sixth step prayer.

So what is the difference between being ready and being willing?
An example will make this clearer.
I wake up in the morning and want to go to the beach
But I am still in bed. Am I ready to go to the beach? Not yet.
I have to get up, wash myself, put some clothes on, eat breakfast and then
I will be ready.
Those series of actions make me ready.
Am I still willing?
Well, a friend called while I was eating and suggested we go to a special art show.
I liked his suggestion and was no longer willing to go to the beach.
I did all I had to do in order to be ready to go to the beach but now the
Willingness is gone.
And guess what? Without willingness I will not go.

Do you know what is the most fragile aspect of our recovery?
It is our willingness.

Why do I continue to cling to some of my defects?
I think and feel that I have a lot of benefits from them
The fact is that those benefits are not real.
Some of them may have been real in the past when I was little,
Like lying in order to avoid a beating, or some other abuse, but today they are not.
These defects block me from H.P.,
They drive me to active addiction expressed by feeling bad and eating compulsively.
But still I cling to them and that is why I need to pray for willingness.
I have to pray on a daily basis and do the best I can even when I am less
than willing.

Why do I need H.P., to remove my defects? Why can not I work on them by myself?
Let us have a look at the chapter We Agnostics pages 44-45:
"If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to
Overcome alcoholism (food compulsion), many of us would have recovered long ago.
But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried.....
Our human resources as marshaled by will, were not sufficient; they failed us utterly.
Lack of power was our dilemma.
We had to find a power by which we could live and it had to be a Power Greater than ourselves."

So only God can remove my defects.
Is there nothing I can do except pray? Yes there is.
We will deal with it in step seven.

I gave you an example table of defects and assets in my last share and asked

you to write one for yourself.
Those who find it difficult to Identify the right assets may use a thesaurus
And look for antonyms.
There is a thesaurus online at:
http://thesaurus.reference.com

The defects are manifestation of our self will run riot, and the assets are
Manifestations of the alignment of our will with God's will.
There is not much written on page 76 in the Big Book about steps six and seven.
I think the reason is that the essence of these steps is discussed in all the previous Chapters without mentioning them by name.
Our unmanageable life, our agnosticism, our need for H.P., in our life.
The way we deal with resentments and fears in step four, are all parts of step six and seven.

After writing our personal defect-asset table we can examine it a bit more.
If we examine all our character defects carefully we will realize that the
origin of every defect is projected fear.
As we already know fear is the result of lack of faith.
It is a manifestation of our agnosticism, and so are most of our other defects.

Some of our character defects are a manifestation of assets twisted to extremes.
So returning to balance will turn our defects into assets.
Examples: Stubbornness, when balanced turns to perseverance.
Stinginess when balanced turns to wise spending.
People pleasing when balanced turns to being helpful.
Overeating when balanced turns into moderate eating.
Self criticism when balanced turns into evaluation of our deeds.
Procrastination when balanced turns into doing things on time. Etc…

There are character defects that are just that and not assets driven to
extremes by our self will run riot.
Examples are stealing, lying, etc…

Step six is all about awareness and willingness to have God remove the
things that block us from him.
First we had to identify the blocks in steps four and five.
And now we have to be willing to let God remove them.
We have to stop clinging to them in order to be ready to turn to God in step seven.

ASSIGNMENTS:
1. Go over your defects in the defects and assets table that you wrote as
part of the assignments in my first share on step six..
Do you identify fears behind every defect?
Do you identify the unmanageability?
Do you identify the agnosticism?
Do you realize that those defects can lead you straight back to part one of
step one, to active obsession and bingeing?
Share with us.

2. Pray for willingness on a daily basis to have God remove your defects.

3. Read step six again in the A.A 12&12.
Pay special attention to the following:
Clinging to defects as a sign of immaturity.
The reasons for the difference in the release by God from compulsive eating and from character defects,
Different types of defects and the reasons for clinging to some of them.
Difference between step one and the other steps.
Never say never.
Reflect and share with us.

I invite you to ask questions and comment on my shares.
send your questions and comments to me at: 10.shaft@gmail.com

Send your answers to the assignments to the list: wts@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Shlomo






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