Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
The Spiritual Principle behind Step 6 is Willingness. (Let go of the old and let God bring in the new)
Prayer: “God give me the courage and strength to know who I really am, to act accordingly in my life, and to refrain from diverting my time, energy, and interest into my character defects.”
“I may be powerless over my addiction, but I am not helpless, I can still make choices.”
It is important to realize that the Sixth and Seventh Steps are not just about abstinence from sex, alcohol, overeating or any other addiction or medicator; these steps are about putting my life in alignment and making better choices.
“My personality is not my character defects.”
- Pride as opposed to humility. Humility is knowing God and others are responsible for the achievements in my life. I make judgments based on my perceived social and economic status as compared to theirs. I look down on others and feel good about where I am and where they are. In others words, I cannot feel good about my accomplishments unless “I’m winning” and “they’re losing” at the game of life.”
- False Pride. In order to make up for feeling less than, I learned to exaggerate and lie and blow my accomplishments way out of proportion in order to feel some value. I take false pride in my accomplishments and feel I have nothing left to learn. I am eager to tell everyone how much I know. This is a sure way of closing my mind that desperately needs to be wide open. Humble pride acknowledges the guidance of others and faith in a Higher Power whom we call upon for inspiration and motivation.
- Anxiety as opposed to patience. Patience is accepting a difficult situation.
- Fear as opposed to boldness. Boldness is the confidence that what I have to say or do will result in lasting benefit. The chief activation of my defects is self-centered fear. Mainly fear that I would lose something I already possess or that I would fail to get something I want.
- Attitude. It’s been negative for far too long. I’m not exercising a positive choice to have a good attitude. The sixth and seventh steps are all about making choices ~ positive choices. If I don’t consciously check my attitude, it makes it hard for me to stay present and open to surrender and acceptance, and ultimately, making a choice between a character defect or a new way of acting. If I’m only in recovery because I’m afraid of returning to the old way of life, I’ll never pay attention and open my heart to learn about the new.
- Anger as opposed to meekness. Meekness is yielding my personal rights and expectations to God. My anger normally stems from frustration, but most often, behind the frustration is fear and lack of control. Almost always my feelings of anger go unexpressed and then become part of my resentment towards another.
- Blame. I like to blame people, places and things for my shortcomings. I have trouble accepting personal responsibility. My challenge is to accept who I am.
- Resentment. For me a by-product of unexpressed emotions esp. fear, anger and perceived or real humiliation.
- Apathetic as opposed to enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is expressing with my spirit the joy of the soul. I seem to lack real enthusiasm for anything.
- Manipulative. I always seem to have an agenda, even when I’m not consciously aware of one. The agenda is me! Whatever I can do to tell the world about me, my problems, my successes, my everything, I will manipulate the situation or person involved. You are being manipulated now!!!
- Artificial as opposed to sincere. Sincerity is the ability to be free from pretence, deceit, and fraud. I feel like I’m always deceiving people . . . not in a large way, but on the fringe. I fear that if they truly knew me, they would not accept me for who I am. This means I have low self-esteem and low self-worth.
- Callousness as opposed to sensitive. Sensitivity is exercising my senses so that I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me.
- Backstabbing. Backstabbing (calumny) reveals something about another person that is false and harmful to his or her reputation.
- Cowardice as opposed to courage. Courage is responding to danger without thought of retreat.
- Giving up as opposed to endurance or perseverance. Endurance is the inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish my best. Perseverance is holding fast to a purpose or course of action. My interest wanes too easily. I have trouble staying the course. Hard work requires great confidence in my skills and talents. I lose confidence quickly and constantly struggle with staying faithful to the task and myself.
- Envy. Envy is sadness in response to another’s success. Envy is fear! I fear I won’t get the “good things” and resent when others do. Part of having things is the believable lie that external things make me okay.
- Jealousy. Envy is a mask for jealousy. Jealousy makes me believe that the world owes me much more than I am able to earn by my own best efforts.
- Judging. In the past being judgmental was a good offense. It kept my own feelings of inadequacy and self loathing hidden from me. My judgment does nothing but make them wrong so that I can be right.
- Extravagant as opposed to thrifty. Thriftiness is the economical prudent management of my time and resources. I piss away time. I procrastinate. I have trouble making decisions. I put too much emphasis on how people will react rather than acting according to principles and doing what’s best for all.
- Gluttony. I have trouble finding balance in my dietary habits. I have eating problems and they are affecting my health. I have not examined the mix of exercise, nutrition, and spirit that is necessary to formulate a plan for living that provides energy, health, strength, and endurance.
- Gossip. I don’t gossip for the sake of gossiping, unless I derive a feeling of “better than” when I hear of others struggles and problems
- Guilt vs. Shame. Guiltis I made a mistake; shame is I am the mistake. This stems from low self-worth learned from the shame I bear from my childhood and my adult acting out behaviors.
- Responsibility for Self. I’ve always felt that I have had to earn my worthiness. I could not accept myself for who I am, it was always about what I did. I need to learn to take responsibility for my thoughts, word and actions.
- Evasive as opposed to frankness. Frankness is the freedom in expressing one’s real thoughts, opinions and feelings with tenderness. I have trouble expressing my true feelings. It seems I have a public persona and a private persona. What you see is not what you get. My challenge is to be comfortable and confident in who I am and what I think. I need to find the moral courage to express myself and be free of the value I place on others thoughts of me.
- Lying. Lying has help me maintain the image of who I was to the world for so long. I still lie when I find it helpful to maintain this false image. But I’m more aware of it now and catch myself ~ which ultimately will help me make better choices.
- Presumption as opposed to faith. Faith is visualizing what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it. I don’t need faith because I have everything already figured out.
- Promiscuous as opposed to virtue. Virtue is moral excellence and integrity.
- Immoral Thinking. Lots of these thoughts . . .
- Self-absorbed. It’s always about me ~ need I say anything more?
- Self-centeredness as opposed to available. Availability is making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving.
- Self-indulgence as opposed to self-control. Self-control is the trait of resolutely controlling my own behavior.
- Self-justification. A defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise. I am the Master of defending the indefensible. I cannot admit faults ~ that would be showing weakness
- Self-pity as opposed to joyfulness. Joyfulness is being in harmony with God and knowing that no matter what, I will be OK, because I’m in the loving care of my Higher Power. My self-pity is based in feelings of worthlessness and inferiority to those around me.
- Self-righteous. I become very dangerous to myself and others when I am right. Being right was a free check to treat a person who is “wrong” any way I chose.
- Skeptical as opposed to trusting. Trust is the ability to have faith in others and expect the best from them. People have to earn my trust. I do not freely give it, and once earned, it must be continually earned.
- Unconcern as opposed to attentive. Attentiveness is showing the worth of a person by giving sincere attention to their words. I struggle with this especially with my wife and children. I am rarely present when they speak to me.
- Unproductive as opposed to efficient. Efficiency is the ability to do things without waste of time or energy.
- Vague as opposed to precise. Precise is the ability to be exact in what you do or say so that the desired results are achieved.
- Vanity. Vanity is an inordinate desire to show off one’s own excellence to others. It is also love of praise.
- Analytical as opposed to illogical. The ability to place the parts of a whole in their proper sequence. My personality profiles test suggested that I am extremely analytical.
- Carefulness as opposed to carelessness. Giving adequate thought to what one says or does.
- Conscientious. I am always trying to do my best.
- Courteous as opposed to insolence. Thoughtful behavior that gives due regard to another person.
- Courageous I’m being courageous in my recovery.
- Dependability as opposed to inconsistent. Fulfilling what I consented to do even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
- Desire to change.
- Diligence as opposed to laziness. Using all my energies to accomplish personal or professional tasks.
- Discernment as opposed to blindness. Seeing through a surface problem to root causes.
- Enterprising as opposed to unassertive. The ability to conceive, plan and initiate a project.
- Friendliness as opposed to hostility. The ability to make another person feel comfortable in my presence.
- Generous. I am generous with my time, talents and resources.
- Gregarious as opposed to aloofness. The ability to enjoy the companionship of a group of people.
- Helpfulness as opposed to detrimental. To give or do what is needed or useful.
- Initiative as opposed to apathy. Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I’m asked to do it.
- Knowledgeable as opposed to oblivious. Having a broad based interest and understanding of the world around me.
- Kindness as opposed to meanness. Showing the extra generous, genuine sympathetic attitude or action toward others.
- Leadership as opposed to obstruction. The ability to influence the thoughts and actions of people toward a specific purpose.
- Methodical as opposed to haphazard. Carrying out an assignment or task in an orderly, systematic manner.
- Orderliness as opposed to cluttered. Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency.
- Persuasiveness as opposed to contentious. Guiding vital truths around anothers mental road blocks.
- Practical as opposed to theoretical. The ability to solve a problem or respond to a situation in a realistic manner.
- Politeness as opposed to rudeness.Having and showing appropriate courtesy and consideration in any given situation.
- Punctuality as opposed to tardiness. Showing high esteem for other people and their time.
- Respectfulness as opposed to insolence. Giving due esteem and honor to another.
- Responsible as opposed to unreliable. Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting of me.
- Seriousness as opposed to frivolousness. The ability to give deep thought and purpose appropriate to the situation at hand.
- Tender Heart. I’m just a big softie . . . ask my wife
- Thoroughness as opposed to superficiality. Doing all that should be done to complete the task with excellence.
- Trustworthy. My word is my bond.
6th Step Prayer
Dear God, I am ready for Your help in removing from me the defects of character which I now realize are obstacles to my recovery. Help me to continue being honest with myself and guide me toward spriitual and mental health.