Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. (*)
I felt some relief once I’d completed my 5th Step. In fact, I thought I was pretty smart. Little did I realize that, at least for me, Step 6 was going to be the toughest Step for me, both in the beginning and subsequently. As I recall, I read the step in the 12 and 12, said a brief prayer like ‘God please remove my defects of character,’ and went on my merry way.
It wasn’t long before life felt like my life was going straight down hill. I wasn’t tempted to drink or use, but I got more and more miserable. I didn’t have a clue why and eventually went crying to my sponsor.
Look closely at Step 6
“Take a closer look at the 6th Step,” he suggested. Which wasn’t what I wanted to hear. A few days later I was unhappy enough to follow his suggestion.
Towel and 12 and 12 in hand I headed for the beach. I began to read, fairly sure I wouldn’t find my answer, but I did!
I didn’t want to let go
What I discovered is that I wasn’t really ready to let go and let God. Oh, I was delighted not to be drinking, but I thought that should be enough or mostly.
I’d written a 4th Step and a whole lot of it was about my relationships – my sexual relationships as well as non-sexual ones. I’d confessed I wasn’t wrapped to tightly in that area. Although I didn’t understand it then, I really expected falling in love with someone who said they loved me back would solve all my problems.
At that point all I could see was I was going to have to get rid of lust. I didn’t want to. I was sure if I asked God to remove my lust I’d end up celibate in a rehab house – you’ll hear this more than once from me.
I couldn’t sit still so I began to pace in the sand, unwilling, arguing with God. I had some sense that if I let go of everything I’d disappear – kind of like being transported to a planet in the old Star Trek series – but there wouldn’t be any planet for me to re materialize on.
Eventually I walked home feeling like I was staggering.
Willing to be willing
The way I recall it I decided I’d rather be celibate in that rehab than drink. So I asked God to remove my lust.
You know, I look back at that and wonder at my drama – but that’s how it was them.
That willingness, however, was enough. Things began to turn around – not quickly, and not smoothly. Sometimes I had to ask for the willingness to be willing to let go. In fact, sometimes I had to back up and ask for the willingness to be willing to be willing… you may recognize that.
And no, I didn’t end up celibate in that rehab house – not even close. I’ve discovered life is rarely that dramatic.
So much of this Program is about the willingness that we started in Step 3 and it’s perfectly okay if we’re not willing to begin with – we just have to somehow get willing to be willing.
It really is about progress and getting willing is definite progress.
What’s been your experience with Step 6?
Love, blessings and abundance,