Alcoholics Anonymous Step Six - Releasing Character Defects
Alcoholics Anonymous' step six is another step that can be deceptively complicated. This step feels like a respite from action following the brutal honesty and heart-felt sharing of steps four and five. This step, as the AA literature says, separates the men from the boys.
Step Six - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Members of Alcoholics Anonymous who arrive at step six will be asked to make another important decision. They will be asked to let go of ALL of their defects of character.
Step four asked members to create a moral inventory. Step five asked them to share the details of step four. The idea here is to look for patterns. A member may look back on his life and feel bad that he stole from a friend one time. Stealing is wrong and his sponsor may suggest that he plan to make amends.
On the other hand, if the AA member finds that he not only stole from his friend, but from his wife, from his employer, and from a store he should notice a pattern. Stealing once is a bad decision. Taking from others regularly is dishonesty. Such a member may need to do some work with his sponsor to understand why he behaves dishonestly.
These patterns are what step six is designed to deal with. A member of Alcoholics Anonymous who, through steps four and five, discovers some negative behavior patterns, or character defects, can work through step six. That means that he becomes fully prepared to have the God of his understanding take these defects away.
All Alcoholics Have "Pet" Character Defects
Removing negative characteristics would seem to be an obvious goal. None of us wants to be cruel, dishonest, glutinous, promiscuous, etc.
For some reason, most of us alcoholics have one or two defects that we just can't seem to let go of. Perhaps it's part of the insanity of being an addict. Perhaps it's because habits are very hard to break.
This where step six becomes hard. The step does not allow for half measures...it requires us to let go of ALL of our defects. So, for many Alcoholics Anonymous members, this step is more difficult than it first appears.
Step six does not ask us to do anything to actually get rid of our character defects...it simply asks us to prepare for the event. Making a thorough attempt here is important because doing so will improve our chances of having success in the steps that follow.
Why Should Drunks Bother With Step Six?
Step six is another chance for us to demonstrate the degree to which we have found humility. At this point we have dug deeply into the recesses of our minds. We have thoroughly searched and learned important lessons about ourselves. Despite the difficulty of the task, we have shared our shortcomings with another. Soon we will be extracting the poison that has been holding us back for so many years.
Step six is a time for us to take a deep breath and get ready for this blossoming of freedom.
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