Welcome back, Welcome Home, I am so blown away and greatly blessed by all of your shares of your very own Experience, Strength and Hopes. Humble, humble thanks for all of the awareness you are bringing me into, so I can get into acceptance and then take spiritual action to continue on in my recovery miracle. You are such a great blessing to my heart, soul, mind and Recovery and I thank you ever so much for trudging along, and allowing me to walk along side of you on this recovery road to happy destiny.
STEP SIX: " Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE: "Willingness"
STEP SIX QUOTE ON PRINCIPLE: "Faith without works is dead, so willingness without action is fantasy!" - Anonymous "
This is "the Pause Step" in this Step we reflect on all we have learned & received about ourselves in Steps Four and Five. We have come a long way, however our work is not yet done. Now we must allow God's Spirit to work deeply in our hearts routing out our defects of character & making changes in our behavior & attitudes that will bring wholeness and serenity. We must let God chisel away the defects of character every bit as much as we release the weight and allow Him to chisel it away. (See below for visual). Facing our brokenness and character flaws is heartbreaking and I use this heartbreak as humility to become willing to have God remove all of these character defects, so I can move out of the victim mode, out of the survival mode and finally be in the thriving; living mode! Addiction brings grandiosity, arrogance, selfishness to self loathing! Such EGO, or (Edging, God, Out). My huge character defect was trying to make life work on my own power or control. In our own self sufficiency is where the addictions of food, sugar, COE behaviors, all addictions come from selfishness, rebellion & pride; the 3 Roots of addiction. Only these are empty wells, that leave that God shaped hole in our souls needing to be filled, and then we act out because we want to control, something that is so out of control. We become addicted & dependent. The readiness to let go of our character defects come when the pain of acting them out becomes greater than what they do for us! God will have to remove these defects because they are just so automatic. Humility to admit we have character defects can be difficult, however we can pray for willingness, and it will come, then the ability (Step 3 teaches us this miracle). The removal of these defects is spiritual surgery that can only be accomplished with God's hand! We are invited to step out in faith, take action toward our recovery. A we do our part and choosing and being willing to act differently in the moment, God removes the defect! It is truly an amazing transformation! First time this happened to me, I was internally asking myself, "Who just said that? How did I just do that? Who is this person/me?" God removes our defects by supplying His Power and Spirit to make these changes in us. Over time, our defects are replaced with character strengths and character assets!).
ACTION STEP BELOW: (upon completing the Step Six Questions there will also be a list of character defects for you to make an inventory of the defects of character you need to ask God to remove. After the defects inventory you will see the asset inventory where you to list the assets you need to ask God to add to your character).
"I must be bluntly honest as I continue on here. I am not sure that this dis ease, COE & Anorexia,(compounded by other health complications that I had before the weight came on), will not take my life!!. My health is very fragile, tenuous as best. My Doctor has told me I am on the precipice of death. I still have nurses come to my home twice a week to help support me to live, to stay out of the Hospital, that is there goal. I have physical therapists come to my house twice a week to help me stand up for 4 to 10 minutes, to exercise, so I can ambulate, not live in my wheelchairs or Hospital Bed. I am still homebound. This disease will kill you. This is at 500 pounds. At 745 pounds it and I were truly a breath a heartbeat away from death.
I am very happy to share that for the first time in 15 years, I walked into the CVS and shopped. This is just one store I never made it into since moving here because of my health, my habitus, size and inability to ambulate. I could not walk and breathe at the same time to go inside. SO I just sat in the van and chose to breathe. This disease and others kept me an outsider. I had not been inside of a store or anyplace, other than the Doctor or Hospital at all 5 years or more again. However since we have been working the Steps together, I got out, I even got of the car and went in! (Just imagine yourself picking up about 150-200 pounds in each of your arms and walking around shopping in front of people, your community, your little home town, yes with all the stares, glares and comments. I did it anyways. I did it afraid. I did it embarrassed and as an amends to my Son, who when I made it back to the car, (shaking like a leaf, fatigued and gasping for air, even with receiving 5 liters of oxygen up my nose continuously), says, "Mom you did it, see, I am so proud of you!" tears! I did it! God can even hold me up in this world!
The glory goes to God, this is major healing and breakthrough for me, so I thank you! Thank you for letting me know I am not alone. However I say all of this for one thing. A simple reminder, & to smash home, that unless arrested, unless you are in recovery;abstinent, serene, & working toward a healthy body weight, this DIS- EASE will kill you, it is always progressive, it always gets worse, never better. I started out as an anorexic. The weight is simply the symptom of a greater sickness. Weight is the side effect of this COE disease. I pray to God daily to survive this fatal or FAT OWWW Dis ease! I pray you too survive it, by living, living, live in the solution, or soul lution. I choose life today and not death and am DOing my part, taking the daily spiritual action, and blessed so much to breathe through this one abstinent serene day, I pray you are too friend, fellow :) I told you right from the beginning, if I could serve you at the highest level, it will be to smash home that this disease is every bit, or every bite, as deadly and as painful as a cancer!
Our emotional pain underscores the reality of our inability to manage our lives. All of recovery is pain management. I simply acted or over reacted out of pain! Out of pain from my past, (that pretty little box that I wrap up in one sentence, all about the sexual molestation, incest, violence and abandonment I experienced in my childhood), I realize now, I have the awareness, that my character defects all stem, or are rooted right there. I have insulated myself behind of hundreds and hundreds of pounds of pain, so that no one could reach me, touch me, hurt me,or love me. Well the problem with that is, I still wanted love. From having such an ultimate, all loving, all giving, relationship with my Heavenly Father God, His Son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit inside of me, is that I have a great heart and capacity to love for and care others. The insidiousness of that is I thought nobody wants to hug the fat Linda, or would want to love the super morbidly obese Linda on the outside, because man looks on the outside, but God looks at our hearts. So even though I didn't want to get hurt, I wanted love. That mental twist. and the reality from this disease, from the obsession of the mind, and the allergy of the body, have lead me, and allowed me to hurt and injure myself . Sadly so, even perhaps far more than those who injured and stole my innocence. I have stolen my own life, my own potential by turning to food; be it by restricting it, or by compulsively overeating, instead of turning to the loving care of God. This is dis ease is SO cunning, baffling and insidious, that I now see where all of my character defects. shortcomings, sins, and flaws come from.
I was just surviving all these years. A victim, and victim mentality, mindset, and self torture and self sabotage to continue in the enemy of my soul, the thief, satan, the devils plan for me all along! I was just a baby, I never grew up. From this awareness I became willing to look at my grosser handicaps, because by "Societies" standard I had become gross! However my saving grace to this day; how I can as a 500 pound woman find any worth in this life, is found through the amazing grace, the unfailing love, unending, all encompassing, and compassion found in Jesus Christ my Lord, or my HP, (Please I pray you are not offended,just use your own HP, I respect that for you as well. I am simply sharing what keeps me alive even on oxygen, fighting for my next breath then the next, it is the love of God/Jesus.. Oh how He loved me so much, me the unlovable, the gross, the outcast, me, the hideous from this insidious disease. His love reaches even me...!). When I realize I have lifted up, taken up my own hand against myself and further injured myself, that every time I lifted my elbow, and opened up my mouth, that I shoved the poison of compulsive over eating food down my throat, (for there is nothing more dangerous than an addict who loves the taste of their own poison).
Realizing I injured me severely, maimed, disfigured myself behind this disease, makes me willing to DO the possible to take the daily spiritual action required to get the daily reprieve of abstinence, this helps me take spiritual daily action to save this one life given to me, while trusting the God of impossibilities for this breath and then the next. When the power goes out, and my oxygen machine no longer works, or when there is a problem with the machine and it breaks, that is when I live on blind faith, and trust God that He even made enough oxygen to support even me, and my reality is through a daily humble surrender of my will over to the care of this most amazing, unfailing loving God, that when I put everything through surrender into His hands I see God in everything! "Put everything in God's hands, so you see God in everything!" This is the miracle of surrender to me. That even though in the natural I may truly lead a lonely, lonely life, and have no one, I have everything, and everyone I need, because ONLY God can fill that God shaped hole in my soul, left from the debris and wreckage from the pain from my past! I have tried it all in my past! I wasn't always a Jesus girl or living for Jesus. I went from being raised in a Christian home, to Christian School, Christian College, and loving and living for God and Jesus to pursuing my music career out in Las Vegas, yes sin city for 18 years. For the first ten of those years, only my anorexia was the addiction, and then with just one thought of why not, everybody else is doing it, I gave into alcohol, drugs, sex, it got ugly and sin city almost won. I told God if He wanted me out of that lifestyle of glamour, fame, wealth, success, and wonder on the outside, while insidious sinful, addictions & moral afflictions, sin and pain, were ravaging my very sou & life on the inside, He would need to close every door, because I did not have the moral integrity to give up my selfish desire, and love of music over God. So He did. I knew when my son and I came home to live with my Mother the hidden secret life of drugs and alcohol were over, and I quit cold turkey the day I pulled into my Mother's driveway. However with just one thought, my anorexia flipped to compulsive over eating and the great BINGE (believing, I'm Not Good Enough) of a lifetime ensued. I had 33 years of starving and fasting to make up for, and this Dis ease continues to be the very thing that keeps me close to God. Lysa Terkeurst, who authored a wonderful Christian Book called "Made To Crave," where she asks the question of what if God loved us SO much that He wanted us to be SO close to Him that He now uses what the enemy meant to destroy us with for good? To keep us coming back to Him over and over ALL day long, to stay filled up with His unfailing love and glory instead of eating the ashes of death, unhappiness, and empty calorie, empty life foods that destroy us? What if God uses hunger as a PROMPT to pray? To seek Him with all my heart instead of food that does not satisfy, and to finally find lasting satisfaction, FULL FILL MENT in God. These thoughts that great study put into my heart, are parallel with what Recovery and the 12 Steps teach us, that we are to maintain moment by moment conscious contact with God to maintain our abstinence. It just melted my heart more and more to fall in love with Jesus, and to confess and repent (just means go and sin no more) to confess and repent for the hours I had wasted and the pleasures I had tasted He was never in..!! Knowing that food and eating was created so we would know we need God, and come to Him at least 3 times a day for our "daily bread" or our daily feeding, sustenance, to have an awareness of our need for God through hunger and the awareness that He created everything we need to live and to not die, keeps me humble and willing to daily, humbly, moment by moment to surrender my will, food, life; all of me over to His loving care, saying Thy will , not my will be done. (The Big Book tells us to say, Thy will be done many times a day, as it is the quickest mini surrender prayer).
I share all of that to alert you to where my character defects, flaws, weaknesses, sins, or shortcomings stem from or the "ROOT" of my problem, and then all of the areas the character defects have traveled to, I call the "BRANCH" (this will count in Step Seven as we ask God to remove our character defects or shortcomings by removing them by ROOT AND BRANCH). Now back to Step Six: The Big Book devotes only a couple of paragraphs for Steps Six & Seven. I definitely want all of my character defects removed so I don't act out or overreact and hurt others or my self from all of that pain from my past. I am aware that sometimes I overreact or don't react at all out of pain and not wanting to deal with confrontation, or go over the top and demand love and respect when it just doesn't come that way, and I don't deserve it behaving in such a hurtful way to others. Oh it hurts me to hurt others! I have tried, "Acting as if." that is very temporary and acting, it isn't real. I want to be the Linda, God created me to be. I want to be healthy; body, mind, soul and spirit, and be a blessing, help and service in this life. Hurt people, hurt people. I don't want to be hurt, I want to be healed, and I don't want to hurt people, I want to help and bless people! I often ask myself, who is it that I was sent here to be, and how do I become that person? What stands in the way of it and am I willing to let go of the obstacles? I surrender my will and life over to His care and ask Him to bless me to be the Linda He created me to be, I am willing!
Emotional sobriety is so important, and frees me from anxiety, stress, chaos, fear and frenzy in my life. I want the crazy cycle of addiction and pain to end, I want God to completely heal my soul, and when He does; my body, finances and life all are healed as well. Such a miracle of recovery, and picture of God's amazing love, grace and power. I am SO happy to know God removes the character defects, no where does it say that I remove my own defects of character or work on it! (I can't, He can, Think I will let Him! I love that!).
STEP SIX: " Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."
SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE: "Willingness"
STEP SIX QUOTE ON PRINCIPLE: "Faith without works is dead, so willingness without action is fantasy!" - Anonymous
Our emotional pain underscores the reality of our inability to manage our lives. All of recovery is pain management. I simply acted or over reacted out of pain!
AA BIG BOOK: (p 76 paragraph 1)
OA 12 STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS:
AA BIG BOOK:
Willingness in this Step is indispensable. Ask ourselves are we now ready to have God remove all of our character defects that are objectionable. I f we are hanging on to something we ask God for the willingness.
OA 12 STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS:
Our character defects stick to us like glue if we try to remove them ourselves. We really just want the difficulties these defects are causing us. We are to comfortable with our old way of thinking, even though we know it is harmful.!! Being entirely ready means we turn our back on the old self destructive behaviors & make every effort to live the 12 step principles in all of our affairs. In Step Six, we we become entirely ready for this miracle of release to happen, no matter what the cost. In Step Six we are asked to become entirely ready. We dedicate ourselves to a lifetime of growth and change. Being entirely ready we allow God to change us at God's will. When and how is up to God. Our work is to do what we can to make ourselves ready. by actively reaching for recovery and putting ourselves in the frame of mind to receive God's help.
We might do this by putting each defect under close scrutiny. We need to recognize at one point these defects have been useful & have now outlived their usefulness to us and have caused harm to self and others. We must hit bottom on our eating behavior, and each of these traits and what they have cost us. Working Step Six, is alot like working Steps One through Three, we remind ourselves "We are powerless to remove these defect on our own, I can't. God can, I'll let God take it out!" A willingness to change is the ESSENCE to Step Six! No longer will we allow fear to keep us from what is best for us. After all we have done Steps One through Five. No longer do we go through life clinging to the past, resistant to the past, we are ready for the transformation God has for us. Having this attitude we cannot fail. We will become wiser, saner more effective people, as learn to cope with the good and bad times and we will grow spiritually as God intended for us all along.
NOW YOUR PART:
QUESTIONS FOR STEP SIX:
1. Where do you locate the "ROOT" of your character defects or shortcomings coming out of all of that emotional pain & the reality of your inability to manage your life from your past?
2. Do you have a list of character defects to ask God to remove, why are you clear about wanting to be rid of them?
3. What have been your excuses for not moving forward in recovery? What is holding you up now?
4. What part has fear played in your list of character defects? What fears have kept you from becoming the person God intended or the best you?
5. What would it be like if you lost those fear, arrogance, selfishness, rebellion and pride and became free to be the person God intended? Are you ready to have God remove your character defects? Also How will you react when people notice the changes whether you like them or not?
6. Who do you believe you were sent here to be, and how do you become that person? What stands in the way of it and am I willing to let go of the obstacles?
7. What is your take away or something positive on Step Six?
will make a realistic and rational evaluation or
“inventory” of my thoughts, feelings and behaviors,
both positive and negative. This is not to induce guilt and shame, but
to evaluate where my attitudes, actions and decisions were not
realistic or rational.
feel free to use the following lists as you do your Setp-work , and
also if you wanted to know what some of your character
“assets” are -.
of Character Defects
Pride (to what degree?)
of Character Assets
A 6th Step prayer:
"God, Thank you for removing my fear and for showing me the truth about myself. Father, I need your help to become willing to let go of the things in me which continue to block me off from you. Please grant me your Grace Lord and make me willing to have these objectionable characteristics, defects and shortcomings removed." (76:1)
Sixth Step Prayer
Dear God, 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. (76:1)
God bless n prayers,
The Twelve Steps