Step six of AA’s classic twelve steps to recovery includes the following; “We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

Understanding AA’s 12 Steps: Step 6

Addiction is something we developed in life due to a series of choices that led down the wrong path.  To get on the right one, we first admitted that we can’t do it completely alone, released control to the Higher Power that guides us all, and confessed our personal flaws to a friend. Now we ready ourselves to let it happen.

Up until now in the process we have been examining and probing ourselves.  We have found many of our problems and set a solid foundation for fixing them.  Step six is not about making defects magically disappear.  It is about giving our defects over to the higher Power.  We must be fully prepared to give up all of the thoughts and behaviors that contributed to to addiction so we can be free to live a sober, purposeful life. That Power greater than us that is more equipped to deal with them than we are, must be the force that truly destroys the addiction.  We are showing our true willingness to recover.  If we want to be a part of destroying our flaws it often an excuse to hang on to them. Change at a fundamental level is not easy.  Many times our moral defects may fall into comfort zones we do not want to leave.  It does not matter that these things are harming us.  It takes strength to admit that the higher Power is what is needed to remove our faults completely.

This is the step where we must come to grips with the fact that ridding ourselves of addiction is a lifelong process.  We don’t just call on our higher power once and then all of our defects are just removed with a poof.  No genies allowed as higher powers.  On an ongoing basis we will call on our higher power when old behaviors patterns or triggers arise.  Perfection is not the goal.  We’ll never be happy if we constantly chase that ideal.

Many people are discouraged when they do not overcome their defects in a very short period of time.  We have to trust in the process.  We celebrate all of our progresses more than we beat ourselves for our shortcomings.  We deal with our failure in the same way we remove other defects.  Give the shortcoming over to the higher power.  That is why this is an ongoing process for life.  If we cannot commit to that the road to recovery is nearly impossible.

Attitude is everything when it comes to step six.  Keeping our attitude positive is our goal.  We have to look forward at all times.  Leaving our shortcomings and defects in the past for our higher power to take care of.  We trust the higher Power to keep them in the past and not repeat.