June 11: Step Six

Topic for the week: Step 6

We are all invited to share on Step 6. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives.

*** Step 6 ***
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

This step is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, “Alcoholics Anonymous” (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 59). There’s more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting about page 75. And there’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

*** Where to get the books, Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ***

You can find these books at many f2f AA meetings; you can order them online from many places. And they are available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See www.aa.org/

Link to Step Six in the 12 X 12:  https://www.aa.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/en_step6.pdf **

Hi ladies, my name is Emily M., and I am honored to lead us today in our Step Six meeting.

For this meeting, I would like to “read” Step Six in the 12 and 12 together and share what most stands out to each of us, whether it’s quotes from the reading or our ESH around what we are reading or questions we have about the reading. 

These are the quotes/passages that most stand out to me: 

when I became willing to clean house and then asked a Higher Power, God as I understood Him, to give me release, my obsession to drink vanished. It was lifted right out of me.” — pg 63

This is what helps me understand God has the power to remove my defects if I have the willingness to be rid of them.

So far as we know, it is nowhere on the record that God has completely removed from any human being all his natural drives.” — pg 65

When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth.” — pg 65 

This helps me determine what’s an outright defect, what I just take a little too far, and what a natural and ok human desire is.

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.” — pg 65

So it isn’t just *poof* they’re gone and no work on my part…I need to become willing to “act as if” and practice the opposite of my character defects.

No matter how far we have progressed, desires will always be found which oppose the grace of God.” — pg 66

I am reminded of how the Big Book tells us that we are not saints, that the point is to aim for spiritual progress rather than perfection. I am also reminded that one of the major shifts in recovery is a shift toward humility. 

What we must recognize now is that we exult in some of our defects. We really love them.” — pg 66

This is what makes Step 6 a step of its own. We have to become “entirely ready” to be rid of even our most cherished character defects, and this takes some work from my experience. 

Self-righteous anger also can be very enjoyable. In a perverse way we can actually take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us, for it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority.” — pg 67

This is one of my “favorite” defects, absolutely, one I really do have to watch for each day.

few of us can quickly or easily become ready to aim at spiritual and moral perfection; we want to settle for only as much perfection as will get us by in life, according, of course, to our various and sundry ideas of what will get us by. So the difference between “the boys and the men” is the difference between striving for a self-determined objective and for the perfect objective which is of God.” — pg 67-68

This “only as much as will get me by” mindset is a big part of what got me wasted. Just do as little life as humanly possible to get on with the party. I have found numerous times, this does not do me any favors, drunk or sober. The time has passed for half-measures, after all, “they avail us nothing” and this applies to our choosing character assets over character defects, one choice at a time.

The only urgent thing is that we make a beginning, and keep trying.” — pg 68

Immediately getting “into action” does not mean being perfect at it from the beginning, it means finding the willingness to take baby steps in the right direction, the direction we feel would be cooperating versus fighting against the will and designs of our Higher Power.

At the very least, we shall have to come to grips with some of our worst character defects and take action toward their removal as quickly as we can.” — pg 69

Many of our defects, we do wish to immediately be rid of. If we are having a difficult time becoming willing to be rid of all of them, it’s at least a good start to start embracing character assets where we can as quickly as possible. 

Delay is dangerous, and rebellion may be fatal.” — pg 69

It is essential to remember why we are doing this: when running the show ourselves, acting from our egos and our disease, the show never came off as planned, our lives were unmanageable and we had realized only a power greater than ourselves would restore us to sanity. This Sixth Step is vital part of that restoration process we are allowing our Higher Power to perform. 

Please share what most stands out to you as you read Step 6 in the 12 and 12, whether it’s quotes from the reading or  ESH around what you are reading or questions you have about the reading. 

Thank you for the honor of chairing this meeting. The floor is now open for sharing.