By Tammie K., Renascent Alumni
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God/our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
My Sixth Step experience was beginning to happen in my life long before I began working through the Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous without me even knowing it. My Higher Power was doing for me what I could not do for myself.
Shortly after hitting rock bottom, I found my way into the rooms of AA. I had no prior experience with the Steps, but I knew everything in my life had to change. I was a shattered mess. I could not stay sober. I was suicidal, obese, and about to lose my husband, and my children. I hated myself.
I was so tired of how I was living…it simply wasn’t working for me anymore. Of course I knew I needed to get sober. But I also needed a psychic change. I drastically needed to change the way I lived my life. Working through Steps 4 and 5 with my sponsor helped me see unhealthy patterns in my life that I knew existed, but writing them down and actually sharing them with her was a very humbling experience. I began to see the faults in my way of living and began to see the role that my character defects, or shortcomings had played in my life.
Fear, anger, pride, gluttony, jealousy, dishonesty and wilfulness are some of my biggest character defects. There are many others! It was easy to see I had to let go of them, but how? It was really difficult for me to accept that so many of my problems were due to my own actions. So many of the things I had to look at seemed so justified. Things like my independence and strength were labels given to me by others. These things were good, weren’t they? Step 6 showed me that I had to let go of it all, even the things that were really hard. It turns out pride is one of my biggest character defects!
Step Six in 12 Steps and 12 Traditions states that “any person capable of enough willingness and honesty to try repeatedly Step Six on all his faults – without any reservations whatever – has indeed come a long way spiritually…”
I was READY. And as I go along in my recovery from alcohol addiction, as well as food addiction, I appreciate how Step 6 extends to every aspect of my life. I am ENTIRELY ready to be a better person, to love and serve others to the best of my ability, and I couldn’t be more grateful that AA is giving me the tools for this personal growth and healing.
It was humbling and sometimes painful to let go of some of my character defects, especially the ones that had served me for so long. But there is nothing better than the peace I feel knowing that I can let go and trust that I will be OK without the things I thought were serving me and that I am safe. Being willing to understand that I didn’t have all of the answers, and that my Higher Power would help guide me to a new way of living was truly life-changing.
I know I will never reach the end of learning through the 12 Steps. Every day I try to be entirely ready and open-minded to see what else will be revealed. Learning to trust my Higher Power that things are going to happen as they are meant to is such a blessing in my life.