February 15, 2013

AA Step Six - Were Entirely Ready

AA Step Six - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

How do I complete this step, when my higher power maybe the group, the program, or a tree? Or just faith! I struggled with this step in the beginning because I do not have a defined Higher Power that is a God of any religion, so it is hard to ask “God” for help. But, I have learned that the willingness to be humble and willing can come from any concept or any other idea that takes into account the fact that I am not in charge and that there is a larger, greater being than myself.
So in Step 6 I ask, do I really want to give up my character defects? After all, some of them have been around so long, they are like old friends. They have been comfortable. So I need to ask my HP to help me, to let me be willing, so I can let go of these defects. Here is a list of my character defects:
  1. Resentment
  2. Egotism
  3. Fear
  4. Self-justification 
  5. Self-pity
  6. Gossip
  7. Impatience
Resentments are of course number one! Ha, why do I get angry at people and carry that anger without them even knowing it! LOL! "It's like drinking poison and hoping that the other person will die." - my sponsor says. And the ego follows closely after, which I have to keep in a constant check. And how about self-justification?
"Self-righteous anger also can be very enjoyable. In a perverse way we can actually take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us, for it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority." – AA 12 and 12, Step Six, pg. 67.   
Certainly, self-pity is in a pretty high ranking! I sometimes like the feeling of being a victim and I do not want to give it up. I enjoy staying in that victim role for a while, so I can get all the attention! Unfortunately this one also brings me back to resenting the people that pity me. ugh.
SO, when I finally become willing to abandon all or some, of these old behaviors and ideas, and the habits connected to them, I am entirely ready to have HP remove all these defects of character. I am ready to be open enough to recognize them, when they are happening and be able to change them. And the real work that brings about the actual change will always be up to me.
“But in no case He render us white as snow and keeps us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work towards ourselves.” – AA 12 and 12, Step Six, pg. 65.
This step is continuous and it doesn't have to be done perfectly. As long as we are never saying "No, I will not let go of that!" we have a chance to get rid of the character defects that rule and dominate our lives.


  1. Ah Step 6 - probably one of the most underrated yet most powerful of the steps. You're right, step 6 is not something that is done to perfection...none really are (well, they say the step 1 needs to be 100%...but hey). The most important factor for me is the part of being *entirely* ready. So that means to me that if I am clinging on to something, then I am not entirely ready. And if that is the case, I pray to have the willingness to be entirely ready. Big difference. I too, like most of us, have those little shiny little character defects that I feel that still serve me...self pity being a big one for me too.

    But here's the kicker - we are not in charge of deciding what gets removed from us! There are some things about me that I might feel that are character defects, but my HP might see as an asset. Let's say I think I talk too much. But my HP might see that as an asset and put me in situations where my verbosity is needed and is useful. Who knows.

    I was taught that I start acting *as if* the defect has already been removed! And that helps me in fears and resentments too. Step 10 helps me with those, mostly. But it's worked for some things...others I need help!

    Anyway, I am blabbing (see above, talking too much!), but I love seeing this step being talked about here. It deserves more discussion.

    Thank you very much!!


    1. Really great point about the "kicker," thanks for reminding me!

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