June 2: Step Six

Topic for the week: Step 6

Dear GROW sisters,

My name is Teresa S. I am an alcoholic, gratefully recovering, on day at at a time.  I am grateful for this opportunity to be of service. I ask my HP to help me with this share so that the words may help others.

By the time I got to my first Step 6, I was “entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”  I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”. My own ways did not work to relieve me from the pain and suffering I was living. I had no idea I would need to work this step over and over again…and now, I know, it is a daily step except on the days when I am perfect!   LOL.  

It was while working this step that the obsession to drink was lifted. By the Grace of God, I have not used alcohol since 12.21.1993. Little did I know, there was much, much more work to do. With no alcohol to hide behind, I had the choice to be honest and willing to look at what I had become. Working with my sponsors, some times quickly, mostly slowly, I began to change.  I recently (last 8 months) and finally realized I was placing unreasonable demands and expectations on others. My HP/God has freed me from this character defect and has created space for me to grow and help others. This is a life long program, I am still growing!

Today, this step teaches me…

1. I have to be willing to let go of thoughts, actions, and words that make me feel good, superior to you, or right….”we ask God to help us be willing.” BB pg. 76

2. I have to allow God, not me, my therapist or my best friend, to remove ALL my defects of character. 

3. I have to know and name my defects of character. Easy to find on the list in my Step 4 inventory. Some of my favorites were bitterness, resentment, self pity, selfishness, self-righteous anger, blaming, remorse, worry, self-deception, procrastination (“sloth in five syllables” 12×12 pg.67) and a fear. These fed my desire to feel better. In the past I used alcohol combined with behaviors that were damaging to myself and others, especially those I loved most.

4. I do not have to rush or hurry God; healing, repairing, recovery and progress take time. Patience, love and tolerance will/have replaced the above listed defects until they creep back into my daily life. (Remember on my non perfect days 🙂 “No matter how far we have progressed, desires will always be found which pope the Grace of God.” 12×12 pg.66.  Thus, postponement and rationalization of my alcoholic mind will not help in my recovery, as this has been a trick from my ego to not take responsibility for myself and return to blaming and more character defects.  Thus, I must not dilly dally and “take action toward their removal as quickly as I can.” 12×12 pg.69

5. The smallest changes will allow me to grow if I continue to work. Like my garden, if I pull the weeds, my vegetables and flowers have space to grow strong and beautiful, as they were created to be. Like us, we can become as we were created to be “the image and likeness” or our Creator.  

 6. Freedom means clarity and the right to choose. In Step 6 I am entirely willing to aim toward perfection.  I can still say to myself:  “This I cannot give up YET… but we should not say to ourselves, “this I will NEVER give up!” Delay is dangerous, and rebellion may be fatal. 12×12 pg. 69

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience, strength and hope as it relates to working this step.  Progress, not perfection!   


T. 12.21.1993

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/