keithb

Step 6-A FAITH TEST

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Step 6/Twelve Steps

 

Each year I like to run through the 12 steps as written in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps were an adaptation of many works before them, and are a universal truth for all people who want to enjoy good mental Hygiene and an abundant life. They have been adopted by some 150 self-help groups, and in the words of my favourite forensic psychologist, are the best basis for mental health around IF worked and lived.

 

I am not a step guru, and like to keep things as simple as possible. Step 6 reads:

 

Were entirely ready to have god remove all these defects of character.

 

On first blush, this appeared to be a no brainer. Upon reflection, there is more to this than at first appeared.

 

By this stage of the journey, I had found a higher power that I could feel and even trust some. I had not had a drink or used in a while, and I had no cravings to do so. This had started to happen when I decided to turn things over.

 

In having god remove all my defects of character, would this not make me perfect? And I always tongue in cheek remember what happened to the only perfect person I had read about.

 

Upon reflection, I realized that there were none of the defects that had been identified that I would mind having removed. I could well live without them. If it were my higher powers will for me, or if I could abdicate from self will, then that would be great. My trust level and faith were at a point I was ready. Nothing in the Step says that my higher power would wave a wand and poof, all defects would be gone. Having things entirely ready is a perfect ideal. From what I had witnessed, it likely would not come to be 100%, but if it did, I was ready.

 

I was one of the fortunate ones. I had no defects I would not be prepared to give up. Some I know have had things they swore they would NEVER give up. Funny, in hanging on to their will so desperately, they never seemed to get the life they truly wanted.

 

Readiness, in practical terms, has come in stages. As the journey progresses and my conscious contact with my higher power continues to deepen and evolve, I become ready for things to change in different ways. It truly is work in progress.

 

In step 6 I was asked to have faith, and be ready for change. A talk with myself in the old tool, the mirror, told me I was ready to have my higher power remove my character defects. My best efforts had at best, limited success. I was ready to change.

 

You cannot do this step without some rudimentary faith in a higher power.

 

-- keithb

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For me, Working Step 6 has Proven a Difficult Task. I could Honestly Write about how Hard it's Been for me to work this step considering the amount of Character Defects I have on my List. BUT, when talking about Step 6 with my Sponsor, he helped me realize that Even though "We were Entirely Ready to have God remove all these defects of Character " that doesn't mean God is gonna Remove them from me in my Timing.. There Goes that Self Will Creeping up on me Again and trying to Rock the Boat. It's like the Big book Says about how, "So many times Addicts have sought the rewards of Hard work without the Labor." Most of us can relate the the fact that even though we are willing to let go and let our Higher Power of our own Understanding step in and His Will Not our Will take over, it's like how we found ourselves stuck in a cycle of Insanity that Only He could do for us what we couldn't do for ourselves. I've found myself clinging to my fears, doubts, self-loathing or hatred because in some sick way I've found a certain distorted security in familiar pain. It's HARD to Let Go and move into the unknown. I can Honestly say With ALL My heart that allowing myself to finally Let go of the wheel and allow a God of my own understanding take control and his will be revieled in my life has been the Best decision I've ever made! God has made me Humble, Grateful, sustained in the unknown Future that lies ahead of me. I'm Ready to Face Life on Life's Terms. That doesn't mean that I Don't Struggle Every day with my Character defects. They are like a Zombie that is constantly trying to resurrect in my head just like my addiction. I can beat it down and keep moving on with my life, but the constant threat is always there. If I stop seeking God & going to meetings, surrounding myself with Like minded people, places and things, I'm destined for Failure. If I allow my self-centered behavior to rise up again which is at the Center of my sickness, I'll For sure fall short. It's about letting my journey continue without my input or Will to lead me off course again. I work step 10 Daily to help with this process. " We Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." Always working on bettering myself & allowing God to work with me on my Character Defects. It doesn't happen overnight like most of us want. But, I'll tell you this much.. I moved mountains to get Dope from the Dope man! I Did whatever needed to be done to get my fix and to maintain my habits! In like manner I'm Gonna Do Everything I have to do, No matter how hard, painful or what people think about me to Stay the course and Chase down my Recovery Daily to Remain Clean! Plain & Simple! Readiness, in Practical terms, has come in stages. As my Journey Continues and my conscious contact with the God of My Understanding continues to Evolve and Grow, I become Willing for things to change in different ways! It TRULY Is work in Progress. I Thank God for this Program & the Treatment center that brought about this change of heart in my Life. I'm gonna continue to work Steps 6/7 with Everything I have in me to continue my journey in Recovery. I'm thankful for another day Clean! Sorry for those who read this expecting a breakdown of Step 6. It's more of me expressing how I'm feeling working this step and the HOPE I've found in NA & the God of my understanding! Thanks for letting me Share. 

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