After going through the grueling process of working Steps Four and Five, you might think that the worst is over. But it’s Step Six that AA’s Twelve Steps & Traditions book calls “the Step that separates the men from the boys.” (Or, the women from the girls!)
Step Six truly begins the process of bringing the program into action.
For it’s not enough to just identify and admit your character defects, as you did in Step Four and Five. In Step Six, you become “entirely ready to have God remove” them.
In some ways, that sounds simple: OK, I’m ready – let’s move on to the next Step!
But once you find out what it takes to TRULY let go of those defects, you might realize that you’re more dependent on them than you thought.
Your sponsor will walk you through the process of working this Step, but it usually starts by coming up with a list of character defects. You’ve probably already identified these in Step Four, as you looked at the wrongs you did in your life.
Looking at the list, you might feel totally ready to give up on lying, cheating, blaming, or other negative traits. But in order to make a real change, it’s important that you think about what you’ll REPLACE them with.
If you’ve spent your whole life scamming to get by, how do you just stop? Deciding to live a life of honesty and authenticity in every moment will give you a roadmap for the future. It will replace your old tools with new ones.
And it might even start as small as vowing not to lie to your boss, or to stop using your neighbor’s wifi!
It’s also sometimes helpful to come up with affirmations you can say each morning, too. Looking at each character defect, you can come up with positive versions of each. For example, if you’ve had trouble blaming others for your own misfortunes, you might say, “I feel better when I accept responsibility for my part in each situation.”
At the end of the day, all that you can really do is identify the defects you need to give up, and make an attempt at sketching out how you’ll do it. Here as throughout the rest of the Steps, the concept of progress, not perfection is key.
Your defects definitely won’t disappear overnight, and might not ever disappear at all!
It’s an ongoing conversation with your Higher Power, and every day along the path of recovery provides a new opportunity to stay on track.
For more about how to walk the road to recovery, call us today!