The principle behind Step Six is WILLINGNESS
Hello, fellow 12—Steppers, I'm Susan, still trudging along the "Broad Highway" with all of you! I've been so touched by all the Step Five posts! Some of you are finding a new way of life, and you're such an inspiration to the rest of us! :-) Today, with Step Six, we're at the halfway point of the Steps! Wow! And by now, some of you should be experiencing some of the "Promises" found in the AABB. Thank you, all, who share with the loop -- so many of us get a great deal out of reading other people's ESH (Experience, Strength and Hope). Keep up the good work! Now to Step Six!
Step Six uses the verb phrase, "were entirely ready." All three words are equally important to me. "Were" implies that the subject of the sentence is the plural, "WE." This is *still* a "we" program. I simply can-NOT do this program all by myself, in my room, with my AABB in my hand. I need others. I need the fellowship. I need 12—Steppers who are new, recovered, and relapsing -- I need you all! With all of you I can see my past, my present, and my future. Addicts have terrible memories. :-) The pain of "the first bite" that we took last week or last night is too easily forgotten. The pain of getting in someone’s face in a fit of rage is too easily justified. The pain of not staying spiritually fit is too easily ignored. We need each other. "Together we can do what we could never do alone."
The next word is, "entirely." Oh, yeah, that reminds me of that famous AABB quote: "Half-measures avail us nothing." The AABB certainly stresses that if we're *not* in a mindset of "entirely," we don't get a little bit of recovery, we get *NO* recovery.
And the last word is "ready." So I don't have to actually "do" anything here except sit still and "become entirely ready" in order for something to happen. This is a thoughtful action, not a physical action. But it has to be done, because if I'm not ready for what's coming, then it's not going to happen.
Being ready. Hmmm. For example, if I'm supposed to be ready at 2 pm to drive to a doctor's appointment, and I'm *not* ready to leave at 2 pm, then I *DON'T* leave at 2 pm! It simply doesn't happen! I may leave at 2:02 or 2:15 or 3:30, or I may miss the appointment entirely! But I do *not* leave at 2 pm because I was NOT READY. And "entirely ready" for my appointment means that I can't have on all my clothes except, say, my shoes. If I'm "sort of" ready, but not wearing my shoes, I'm still NOT READY.
“Entirely ready” for what? Well, again, it's not something I'm going to physically do. What I'm getting entirely ready for is for someone/something else to do something for me. I'm opening myself up, so to speak, so someone/something else can do something. I'm getting entirely ready to have my HP remove my CD's (character defects, defects of character, flaws, faults, short-comings, unattractive personality traits, etc.). Yep, *I* don't remove them -- my HP has to remove them. And trust me, HPs will do just that -- but only if I'm not standing in the way -- only if I'm ENTIRELY READY to have that happen. [My HP can’t remove a Character Defect (CD) from me if I’m gripping it tightly! I have to be WILLING.]
It has been said that we're as powerless over our CD's as we are over food. I have to believe that Step One applies to my CD's in the same way it applies to my compulsive eating. I'm as addicted to my CD's as I am to my trigger foods. HP gave me the gift of abstinence, and he can give me freedom from my CD's -- if I'm willing to be entirely ready for him to remove them.
So, why wouldn't I want that to happen? Why wouldn't I want someone to remove from me, say, my potential to be a Ms. CrankyPants? Why would I cling to *any* CD? When I first read this Step, I thought everyone would want to get rid of every CD! But apparently some of our CD's can feel "cling-worthy." Self-righteousness was one that I found I wanted to hold onto. It allowed me to justify any feelings of "I'm right and you're wrong." This is all EGO talking, of course. But after working the Steps, that first blush of HUMILITY taught me that I'm no better (or no "right-er") than anyone else. So when those feelings of self-righteousness pop up in me, it means that HUMILITY is being chucked out the window. I can't be doing HP's will if I'm clinging to *MY* will (my being right, my being better than you, my wanting to do it my way).
My EGO was "in charge" for a long time. Perhaps it grew large for a very good reason... For example, if I were a victim of abuse, then the EGO needed to puff up at least somewhat or I'd have been "annihilated." EGO saved me on some level. But now I'm an adult (and an ADDICT!), and EGO will keep me in my disease of COE. It's no longer "saving" me, it's actually killing me (with CD's that push me toward food which is used to "self-medicate"). For me to recover, these CD's have to go. They "block" me from doing HP's will. They "block" me from being useful to my fellow humans. ["Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to [our Higher Power] and the people about us." AABB pg. 77] I really need to have this "psychic change" that the AABB talks about, so my old ways have to stop. The AABB has a wonderful prayer that gets me ready for that.
STEP SIX PRAYER
I am ready for Your help
in removing from me the defects of character
which I now realize are an obstacle to my recovery.
Help me to continue being honest with myself &
guide me toward spiritual & mental health.
I hope you'll join me in getting "entirely ready" for the next phase.
A. Read in the AABB, from the last paragraph on page 75 thru the first paragraph on page 76 (just two paragraphs!).
1.) Make a list of as many CD's (character defects, flaws, short-comings, unattractive personality traits, etc.) as you can think of. [You don't have to share this with the loop unless you want to.] Some of mine were selfishness, self-centeredness, self-importance, impatience, people-pleaser, intolerance, bossiness, low self-esteem, etc....
2.) The principle behind this Step is WILLINGNESS, and it's discussed in the two-paragraph reading. Why is willingness so important here? Have you shown yourself to have willingness in earlier Steps? In what way? [Give examples of how your new-found WILLINGNESS has lead you thru these Steps.]
3.) Why do you think we have to ask our Higher Power (HP / God / your choice) to get rid of these CD's? Why can't we get rid of them ourselves?
4.) What CD's are you still clinging to? Why? What payoff do you get by clinging to them? [Note to myself: I don't do anything unless there's a payoff.]
5.) Look at your list from #1 (above), and re-read the Step Six prayer. Think about whether or not you really are entirely ready to have these removed. If you're not entirely ready for some, list them, and write about how you can become WILLING to have these removed by your HP.
See you next week for Step Seven! :-)
[NOTE: If you are still working on Steps 4 & 5, just keep working, keep moving forward, and catch up as soon as you can.]
Be sure to send private messages to individual(s) only, not to the whole loop.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write me on- or off-loop. Just put "Question for Leader" in your subject line.
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