Eliminating Limiting Beliefs in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 Step groups

- 36 Tips
for working the
12 Steps

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Step 6 Is The Tough One!

Step 6 – Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

I remember the relief I felt when I completed Step 5. Little did I realize how difficult Step 6 would be! I did read it and thought that should be enough. Oh, I may have even said a brief prayer saying something like, Ok, God, please take away my defects. Then life sort of went down hill.

I was going to as many meetings as I had; I didn't want to drink or use exactly – I just kept getting more and more miserable.

Why, I wailed to my sponsor. Shouldn't I be feeling better, not worse?

Really work Step 6

Several times he suggested I work on Step 6; I was sure I'd done it, but I was going downhill fast. Finally, not knowing what else to do, I took a copy of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the beach and spent some serious time with the Step.

I wasn't ready to let go

What I discovered that day is that I was far from entirely ready to let go of any of my my problems, let alone all of them. I was delighted not to be drinking and thought that should be the end of it. Life, I felt, owed me feeling better or something.

I thought I was different

I dug a little deeper and realized that I didn't believe God would help me. I was totally comfortable with God helping everyone else, but not me! Talk about poor self-worth and that horrid inverted pride that makes some of us sure we are worse than anyone else!

I had to get willing, really willing

At some level I recognized I had to get willing and I walked the beach praying for enough willingness to let go of lust, which was what I was focused on at the moment. The whole idea of letting go of lust scared me to death. I was sure that if God removed lust from me – I at least knew I couldn't do it myself – I'd become asexual and a dried up old prune.

Ok, admittedly my attitude toward myself and the world was way way out of balance, but there you have it.

As I recall I sort of staggered home, lost in confusion and self-pity and finally decided that I'd rather be a dried up old prune than drunk and, with something close to terror asked God to remove my lust.

The room didn’t light up – as I remember it, the kids came crashing in demanding dinner. I didn't know it then, but I had turned a corner on willingness. I didn't loose all sexual desire. In fact, at first nothing much changed. But gradually a shift really did begin there.

Hindsight has shown me that my character defects (we'll look closely at that rather archaic term next week) had been so much a part of me for so long that I couldn't imagine myself without them. I didn't know who I was, or even if I was, under all those layers of self-deception. Those defects or tendencies or habits become so much a part of us we think they are us, and letting go, as Step 6 demands, is a real venture into trust.

I sometimes still struggle with faith and accepting myself and letting go from time-to-time. It has, however, gotten not only easier over the years, but more natural – not exactly automatic but not a last ditch effort either. The Program has allowed me to get to know the real me – a trip worth taking.

Love, peace and abundance,


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