“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
—Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Step Six
In Step Six, we are tasked with preparing to “step” aside (no pun intended) and allow God (or the higher power of our choosing) to take charge. We don’t take any other action with this Step (Step Seven is where we actually ask our higher power to remove our character defects).
So, Step Six sounds pretty simple, right? We just get ready to allow another entity to do all the work while we sit back and watch the results unfold. But that’s not quite the case. Entertaining the idea of being ready to let go of our character defects can be challenging for a number of reasons:
- We just feel comfortable with our character defects.
- We’re skeptical about whether a higher power could do this for us.
- Character defects might provide us with subtle gains/pleasure (for example, holding onto anger and blame might make us feel powerful).
- We find the notion of giving up control (to any other person, place or thing—including our higher power) too difficult.
Much like fear and resentments, character defects are detrimental to recovery. Below, we list some useful suggestions to help bolster your willingness to have these shortcomings removed:
- Review your Step Four inventory as a reminder of how your defects have detracted from your life and negatively impacted the lives of others.
- Make a list of how your life/the lives of those around you might improve if your defects were removed. Be specific, listing each defect and examples of how your life could change if the defects were no longer a part of it.
- Gather information from your sponsor and 12-Step support group to hear/see how the Steps have worked in the lives of those you trust and respect.
- List the character defects that you feel would be difficult or impossible to remove and describe the reasons.
By practicing the suggestions above in earnest, you’re well on your way to becoming “entirely ready” to have your character defects removed.
For further reading on Step Six, check out The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (pages 63-69).
If you’re in need of addiction treatment, First Step Recovery can help! Contact us today at 330.369.8022.