"WERE ENTIRELY READY TO HAVE GOD REMOVE
ALL THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER"
1. If we still cling to character defects that we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
2. We must be capable of enough willingness and honesty to try repeatedly Step Six on all our faults -- without any reservation whatever.
3. As we were humbled by the terrific beating administered by alcohol, the Grace of God can enter and expel this obsession to drink.
4. Step Six is A.A.'s way of stating the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job. This does not mean that we expect all the character defects to be lifted out of us as the drive to drink was. A few of the character defects may be, but with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement.
5. Practically nobody has the required degree of readiness. The best we can do with all the honesty that we can summon, is to TRY to become "entirely ready".
6. No matter how far we progress, desires, which are of the acquired false self, will always be found which oppose the will of God.
7. What we must recognize now is that we may still be harboring some character defects.
8. When we make a list of still milder defects, we will be obliged to admit that we prefer to hang on to some of them.
9. We want to settle for only as much perfection as will get us by in life.
10. Few of us would think seriously of giving up these defects, at least until the cause us excessive misery.
11. If we gain any real advantage in the use of this step in problems other than alcohol, we shall need to make a brand new venture into open- mindedness.
12. At the very least, we shall have to come to grips with some of the worst character defects and take action toward their removal as QUICKLY as we can.
13. The moment we say, "No, never!", the thinking mind closes against the will of God....
DELAY IS DANGEROUS, and REBELLION MAY BE FATAL
1) Alcoholics Anonymous (big book), Chapter 6, P. 76, 1st paragraph.2) Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Step Six
"WERE ENTIRELY READY TO HAVE GOD REMOVE ALL THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER"
In doing Step Four honestly, we have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of the character defects. Also, after we completed Step Five, the exact nature of our wrongs were then brought out into the open. Using both the lists of acquired character defects (Step Four) and the recognition of our wrongs (Step Five), we are now able to begin Step Six.
Step Six consists of two areas. The first area involves a detailed look at the acquired defects that we are aware of at this point in the A.A. program. These defects range from mild (for example -- telling only half-truths to other people) to severe (for example -- using people and loving things). As we investigate these acquired defects thoroughly, we will be able to list these defects -- ranging from mild to severe. At the very least, we must face up to the severe defects and take action toward their removal and attempt to control them. These severe defects are blocks to our uncovering the True Inner Self. They must be dealt with immediately. The milder acquired character defects may be the ones we enjoy hanging on to. Again, we must recognize these defects that we are "comfortable" with.
The second area of Step Six is becoming entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Readiness is the key to this step. We will need to make a brand new venture into open-mindedness. The acquired character defects that we are not as yet, willing to take action on, MAY BE REMOVED if we become willing to ask God to help us be willing. As we apply Step Six to all the acquired character defects, without any reservation whatever, this process expands the degree of readiness. Once again willing¬ness, open-mindedness and honesty are absolutely essential to this step.
At this stage, if we have become aware of the acquired character defects and have the readiness to have God remove them, the question -- will God remove all theses defects -- comes up. Step Six does not mean that we should expect all the defects to be removed as was the obsession to drink. A few of the acquired character defects may be, but with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement. Once we are aware of the acquired character defects (being part of the false self), then we must exercise self-discipline. Our self-discipline, when applied to the process of patient elimination of these defects, will deepen our aware¬ness that we must ask for God's help in eliminating them. Only through deeper and deeper awareness of God within us, can we hope to conform to God's will.
The purpose of writing the Sixth Step is to help us become aware of the acquired character defects -- the ones we must take action on. Also, this process develops the readiness which is the key for this step.
Go through the following examples in as thorough and honest a manner as you are willing to at this time. You are after the destructive, acquired character defects, both mild and severe.
1. Make a list of all of the acquired defects of character that you are aware of at this time. As a starting point, use the list from Step Four and the exact nature of your wrongs from Step Five. Add to it any new defects that you have uncovered.
2. What does "WERE ENTIRELY READY TO HAVE GOD REMOVE ALL THESE DEFECTS OF CHARACTER" mean to you?
3. How am I going to live Step Six on a daily basis?
4. Where do you find the inspiration to have God remove all these defects of character? What pages in Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions were inspiring to you in this regard?
5. At this point, identify the assets of your True Inner Self and the liabilities of the acquired self. (The True Inner Self is God and the false self is the acquired character defects).
from the Top of the Hill group
840 17th St.
San Diego, CA 92101
The Three major character defects of the alcoholic are:
1. Immaturity \adj : lacking complete development; not yet mature
2. Sensitivity: Subject to excitation by or responsive to stimuli
2. Having power of feeling
3. Of such a nature as to be easily affected
(Lack of sensitivity of others!)
3. Grandiosity: affectedly splendid -- pompous eloquence
Shared with love, Candy Smith, Oak Harbor, Washington June 4, 1980
Phyllis Brett, Coupeville, Washington June 21,1987