Step 6 in Alcoholics Anonymous is the following: “We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”.
We got here by looking at the worst of ourselves with another person in Step 5.
This give us a lot of willingness to say —Whoa, I want to be rid of all these defects of character and I want to ask the power that has the ability to do that—
In step 6, we just get the willingness by looking around and seeing all the worst of ourselves and realizing I want to be free of all of this, I no longer want all of these defects that we’re making drinking looks so attractive.
Step 6, is about looking at every single aspect of our lives, having a willingness to bring all of those defects to the table, and that be willing to be free of them all.
Many of us thought well I was pretty nice, or I’m not that bad, I just have a bit of a drinking problem. And maybe one or two other things, maybe a little anger problem, or maybe a little resentment.
What we discover in Step 5 is —Whoa! There’s a lot of defects going on here that made drinking look attractive to obscure those defects, defects of character like selfishness, we go through the day thinking about ourselves all the time—.
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I often made it through almost the entire day, barely considering anyone else and less, I wanted them to do something for me, in which case, I would only think about what I wanted them to do, and not what they might want to do also. And the less that would benefit me getting them to do what I wanted them to do.
We find defects like overeating, we find defects, like constantly talking and not listening to people, which leads to resentment and arguments and fights and drinking and other things.
We find our sex drives often have gotten either repressed and buried and not taken care of, or gotten completely out of control, or some weird combination of —I’m just going to put this away and not use it— or —Oh my god, this is went crazy— We find our defects of character in our work, that we dominate and try and force our will on other people and then resist the same on us or, that we’re overly submissive, we won’t stand up and assert ourselves and say what’s right.
We find so many of these defects of character that have come up in Step 4, and in Step 5. And by Step 6, we’re immersed in them and we look grounded, say I’m willing to be rid of all this stuff. For me, I’m willing to be free of all the sex problems I’ve had, I’m willing to be free of my selfishness, I’m willing to be free of my messed up diet that’s causing me to be depressed and feel bad for myself and get into self pity. And think about only myself and then want to drink.
We look at all these defects of character with another person and then we just can’t stand to go on with them anymore.
That’s the power of Step 5, and driving us into Step 6. Because as long as we have kept this stuff secret, this is who we are, and we’re not willing to be rid of our defects.
Once we expose this to the light, we become willing, just by exposing these things with another person often generates a lot of willingness and it’s our decision to amplify that willingness and to bring it to the power that can transform it.
Many of us have tried many of our lives to move on these defects of character. We’ve tried to manage our weight in our diet successfully. We’ve tried to manage our sex life successfully, we’ve tried to manage our presence at work successfully. We’ve tried to manage our drinking successfully, we’ve tried to manage our selfishness successfully. And what we see is failure consistently. Because we were just trying to basically be just as we were do just as we always had done, and get different results.
We weren’t bringing our defects to a power that has the ability to transform them. That power we have turned our lives over into Step 3, has it given courage to do Step 4, and in Step 5 is available to remove all of our defects.
I am free of defects of character today, I have no defects of character. Repeatedly working on Step 6 over and over and over and all the rest of the steps. I’m free from defects of character.
It says right now Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, that God will not render us and keep us white as snow without our cooperation.
I am free of defects of character as long as I’m consistently willing to have God remove my defects of character and consistently follow up by asking and the next step. To have God please do remove these things.
The key is, defects of character will come up again, we work these steps again and again. And again, I’m free from any selfishness.
I’m doing this out of love and imagination and excitement for the possibilities in your life and to help continue mastering this myself. And yet, it can be amazing how fast a new defects of character can come up, one that has been removed by God and yet has the ability to come up again.
The trick is to immediately work them again as soon as something slips and keep working them when things are good.
I’ve went back to Step 6 and Step 7 with so many things so many times. God I see we’re here with the ego again, I see that me being a big deal has become way too important in my life. I’m willing to be free of this defect. And that’s the essence of Step 6 is preparing us to ask because the first step to ask is willingness.
Ironically, I’ve noticed sometimes when I’ve detected things, in my defects —Hmm, maybe I don’t want to be free of this show. Maybe I’m not willing, I kind of like this one, This is who I am, this defective character is who I am, I get mad and yell at people or I drive crazy.
One of the things I became willing to ask God to remove was my crazy driving. These are things a lot of us don’t see as a big problem. —Well, so odd. I’m a little aggressive other people are jerk— Your driving could kill somebody. That’s a defect, that it’s very important to be willing to ask God to remove that one.
Now, Laura complains that I drive like a grandma, I make an intention to drive exactly at the speed limit today. And last, to do so would be unsafe. For example, driving in Atlanta and 55 miles an hour is often not very safe when everyone else is going 80.
We get willing when we see the cost of keeping our defects in place.
I remember with my diet, doing a step six, after seeing again and again and again and talking and doing a step five on my diet, talking with my uncle who’s a doctor and saying, -look, I just I don’t even know what I’m doing with my diet and it’s not working for me. I’m willing to change- Just this simple affirmation can be really helpful for step six.
I’m willing to change, I’m willing to change.
Once we have the willingness, then we’re ready to do Step 7 and actually asking set the intention that God, please remove all these defects of character, humbly ask him to remove our shortcomings.
Once we’re willing, it’s pretty easy then to ask.
However, for the purpose of this, we’re specifically looking at Step 6. Became willing, enjoy that willingness.
To be fully prepared for Step 7, we need to detect and let go of any resistance when we see a defective character. Look at it. -Am I willing to let this go? —Am I willing to be a new person? Am I willing to not even know who I am? Without this defects of character anymore? If I don’t eat hamburgers and hotdogs all weekend, when my wife is out of town and play video games? Who am I? Who am I?—
If I don’t you yell and scream at people when I don’t get my way? Who am I? If I think about other people, and calculate what they might want in my decisions, Who am I? If I drive the speed limit instead of 10 or 20 miles an hour over the speed limit? Who am I? If I give homeless people money when they asked for it, who am I? These are things I’ve all been through every single one of these transformations
Am I willing to not even know exactly who I’ll be anymore when I let this defect go?
Just recently, like a week or two ago, I was ignoring somebody at my AA meeting. And I looked at it, I went right back to willingness. And I talked to my sponsor about this. This doesn’t feel right. I’m not the kind of person who ignores people because of some idea in my head, I love every person everywhere unconditionally. And that means I don’t ignore people, because of some story I’m telling in my head that they might not like me, and maybe they shouldn’t have said this before. And maybe they will say something mean to me. And then I became willing to be free of that. And to see that I’m not sure exactly how I would interact with this person. Without that defective character, and I started praying about it. Please God, let me be myself when this person is around. Please God remove this shortcoming in defect. Where I’m somehow putting a negative energy at this person when they’re around.
I became willing to be free of that defects of character. This is a basic that we don’t get past. In fact, I just glossed over Step 6 it first. And one of the steps I most consistently come back to is Step 6.
Well, because I almost automatically now do the preceding ones, powerless over alcohol life had become unmanageable, willing to be restored to sanity and turned my life over to a higher power, do an inventory, What’s going on? talk to somebody about it. Okay, here’s what it is. Really, it’s this, wow, I still need to improve my diet. Man, I thought I was done. I’m willing to be free from this defects of character I’m willing to change I’m willing to change I’m willing to change. I’m willing to change.
Step 6 is all about being willing to change and if the proceeding five steps has told us that anything is that there’s a desperate need, or desperate need for us to change.
Once we’re willing to change, the rest of the six steps will take us as if through a vortex through the change and pop us into a spiritual awakening.
I am so grateful for being through this process so many times, have the chance to learn and master this process one day at a time.
Thank you for studying Step 6 here with me for making it through the entire post.
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I love you! You’re awesome. I wish you an amazing life in sobriety and I we’ll see you for the step seven video.