In Loving Memory of Vic

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Step Six

Step Six

“We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

The insight we gain from Step Five regarding the exact nature of our wrongs, while Bayou bowl, is only the beginning of the striking changes that take place in our lives as we move on to Step Six. That mission we made of the nature of our wrongs, our character defects, is necessary if we are to be ready to have them removed. Deeply shaken by our part in the past, we can expect our attitude to be profoundly changed by working the Sixth Step.

Although some of us have not understood the critical importance of the Sixth and Seventh Steps, they are essential actions that must be taken if we expect to make any significant and lasting changes in our lives. We cannot simply say, “Yes, I’m ready. Backspace, God, please remove my defects” and go on to Step Eight. If we gloss over the Sixth and Seven steps and go on to make our amends, we will only wind up owing more amends by repeating the same destructive patterns as before.

The lifelong process of the Six Step is just that — a process. We started the process of becoming entirely ready, and we will strive to increase our readiness throughout our lifetime. Our job is to become entirely ready and to open our hearts and minds to the deep internal changes that can only be brought about by the presence of a loving God.

We’ve already had experience in the Third Step with what we must do now in this Sixth Step. Just as we surrendered our will and lives to a care of a Power Greater than ourselves because we could no longer go on managed in our own lives, now we prepare to surrender our defects of character to a loving God because we have exhausted our chance to change our own willpower. This process is difficult and often painful.

Our growing awareness of our defects often causes us pain. We’ve all heard the expression “ignorance is bliss,” but we are no longer ignorant of our character defects, and this awareness hurts. All of a sudden, we will notice the wounded look in the eye of a friend after we’ve acted on one of our less endearing triads. We’ll hang our heads in shame, mumbled apology, and probably beat ourselves inwardly for being so callous one more time. We feel sick inside; knowing our actions adversely affected the people in our lives. We are sick and tired of being the people we have seen, but this filling compels us to change and grow. We want to be different than we have been in the past, and the good news is that we already are. Being able to see beyond our own interests and being concerned about the feelings of others are striking changes, considering that are raging self — obsession is at the core of our disease.

We are likely to feel very frustrated as we noticed that our defects are getting in the way of our recovery. We may attempt to suppress them ourselves by either denying their existence or hiding them from others. We may think that if no one knows about them, are more an unattractive characteristic will go away. What we must do, rather than try to exert power and control over our defects, is to step out of the way and allow a loving God to work in our lives. One part of this process involves becoming responsible for our behavior.

When we are confronted with her character defects, either by our own insight or by someone we have hurt, we begin to take complete responsibility for our actions. We don’t avoid responsibility by saying something like, “well, God has a remove that defect yet” or “I’m powerless over my defects, and that’s just the way I’m going to be.” We accept responsibility for our behavior — good, bad, or indifferent. We no longer have our drug use or our ignorance as an excuse to be irresponsible.

When we honestly admit our wrongs, we find humility. The humility we experience as Step Five grows as we again since our humanness and realize that we are never going to be perfect. We accept ourselves a little bit more, we surrender, and our willingness to change increases dramatically. We have already experienced remarkable changes in our emotional and spiritual nature to our continuous efforts to live by the principles contained in the previous steps. Despite our lack of familiarity with the realm of the Spirit, you must remember that, and Steps One through Three, we were given the basic tools we need to negotiate the path of recovery. We carry with them as the honesty it to the to make our initial surrender, the faith and hope we rebuilt in coming to believe in a Power Greater than ourselves, and the willingness and trust required from us when we make our decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God. Our hearts were touched by the humility of believe in that Power.

On the spiritual foundation we lay the principles of commitment and perseverance as we work to Sixth Step. We need the willingness to make a commitment to pursue a recovery despite the continued presence of character defects in our lives. We mustn’t give up, even when we think no change has taken place. We are often blind to our own internal changes, but we can rest assured that what’s happening inside as is evident on outside to others. Our job is to keep on walking, even though it may feel as though each step requires more strength than we can muster. No matter how difficult our process, we must preserve. We can make use of the sheer grit and tendency it takes to maintain our active addiction by being steadfast and strong in our efforts to sustain our recovery.

Haven’t written our inventory and shared it with ourselves, the God of our understanding, and another human being, we become aware of our defects of character. With the help of our sponsor, we write a list of those defects and focus on how they manifest themselves in our lives. Our character defects are based human traits that have been distorted out of proportion by her self — centeredness, causing enormous pain to us and those around us.

Take a defects such as self — righteousness, for example, and imagine it again is normal, an inflated state — confident belief in one’s own values. Strong, confident, and well-rounded people have formed bayous and principles to live by and believe deeply in their rightness. Such people live what they believe and share those bullies with others in a non— critical way when asked. Confidence in our belief is essential. Without it, we would be when she — watching, unsure of our decisions, and probably somewhat immature in our dealings with the world. Confident beliefs become ugly self — righteousness when we insist that others live by our values. Attempting to enforce our instances live manipulating or exploding others makes this defect even uglier.

Or consider fear. The absence of fear in the face of a personal attack, catastrophic illness, or potential injury would signal insanity rather than serenity! We all have fears — a being alone, of not having our physical needs met, of dying, and many others. But when our fears become obsessively self — centered, when we spend all our time protecting ourselves from what might happen, we can no longer deal effectively with life in the here and now. As we work to Step Six, bridging the vast gulf that lies between fear and courage requires a great deal of willingness and trust on our part. Our fears of what we will be like without relying on the destructive behavior of our past must be overcome. We will need to trust our Higher Power to remove our defects of character. We must be willing to take a chance what lies beyond the Sixth Step is going to be better than our current stock of fears, resentments, and spiritual anguish. When the pain of the remaining of the same becomes greater than our fear of change, we will surely let go.

We may wonder what will happen to us without the use of what we may see as survival skills. After all, interactive addiction, our self — centeredness protected us from feeling guilty and enabled us to continue our drug use without regard for those around us. Our denials protect us from seeing the wreckage of our lives. Our selfishness made it possible for us to do whatever it took to continue in our insanity. But we no longer need these “skills.” We have a set of principles to practice that are much more appropriate to our new way of life.

As a writer list of character defects and see how they have been at the root of our troubles, we need to open — minded about how our lives would be without these defects. If one of our character defects is dishonesty, we can think about situations in our lives where we normally lie and imagine how it would feel to tell the truth for a change. If we put some effort into this exercise, we may feel a sense of relief at the possibility of a life free from having to cover small deceits within major fabrications and all the complications inherent in dishonesty. Or, if we find that defects based in laziness and procrastination, we can visualize leaving behind our marginal existence and move on to a life of realized ambitions, new arises, and unlimited possibilities.

In addition to our hopes and dreams for the future, we may find in our sponsor or other news recovery we admire more concrete examples of those assets for which we are striving. If we know members who are exhibiting the spiritual assets we want to obtain, we can use them as an example for ourselves. What we hope to become as evidenced all around us and recovering addicts living by spiritual principles. Our sponsor and other members share the freedom they have found from their defects of character, and we have faith that we wanted for them will also happen for us.

Even so, we may still go through a period of mourning over the loss of our illusions and old ways. Sometimes giving up those outdated survival skills feel like giving up our best friend. We do, however, need to surrender our reservations, excuses, rationalizations, and self — deceptions and go forward into recovery with their eyes wide open. We are completely aware that there is no turning back, because we can never forget the miracle that’s begun to happen to us. Our bruised and battered spirits have started to heal in the course of working the steps.

Part of the process of becoming entirely ready and involves practicing constructive behavior. Because we now understand and recognize our destructive behaviors, will find a willingness to practice constructive behaviors instead. For instance, if were hurt somehow, we don’t have to grow up in a ball of self — pity, complaining about how what a rotten deal we got. Instead, we can accept what is and work toward finding solutions. The more we do this, the more we form a habit of thinking constructively. It becomes natural to begin examining alternatives, setting goals, and following through in the face of adversity. We don’t have this band sulking or pointlessly complaining about circumstances beyond our control. We may even surprise ourselves with our cheer and optimism at times, and it’s no wonder, considering how foreign such attitudes add the end to most of us!

There may still be times when we fill that entirely too much is being asked of us. Many of us have exclaimed, “You mean I even have to tell the truth about that?” Or “if only I could still lie, steal, or cheat, it would be so much easier to get what I want.” Were torn between the unprincipled ways of our addiction and the character — building principles of recovery. While, at first glance, it may seem easier to manipulate outcomes or avoid consequences, we know that we can’t afford the price we would have to pay. The resulting saint, regret, and lots of spiritual contentment would far outweigh any thing we might possibly gain by compromising our principles.

Group holding the principles of recovery, we seek a life of harmony and peace. The energy we once put into the care of feeding our character defects can now be put into neutral and theme are spiritual goals. The more kids we focus on our spiritual nature, the more it will unfold in our lives.

We will not, however, that achieve a state of spiritual perfection, regardless of how diligently we applied the Sixth Step to our lives. We will most likely see the defects we deal with today manifest themselves in variety of ways throughout our lifetime. Even after years of recovery, we may fill the vast hated at the reappearance of some old defects we thought had been removed. We are humbled by our imperfection — but let there be no mistake; humility is the ideal state for an addict to be in. Humility brings us back down to earth implants or be firmly on the spiritual path we are walking. We smile at our delusion of perfection and keep on walking. We’re on the right path, headed in the right direction, and each step we take brings new progress.

We gain more tolerance from the defects of those around us we work the step. When we see someone acting out on a defect that we have acted on ourselves, we fill compassionate rather than judgmental, for we know it does exactly how much pain such behavior causes. Rather than condemning the behavior of another, we look at ourselves. Have an experience in accepting ourselves; we can escape compassion and tolerance to others.

We ask ourselves if we’re entirely ready to have God remove all of our defects — every single one. If any reservations exist, if we feel the need to clean to any defect, we pray for willingness. We open our spirits to the killing we found in Narcotics Anonymous and use the resources of our recovery to do our best each moment. Although the process lasts a lifetime, we only live in the present day. We’ve taken a giant step forward in the process of recovery, but it must be followed with another to be truly lasting. With the readiness we have at hand, we go on to Step Seven.

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