Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Alcoholics Anonymous World Service (2014-01-05). Alcoholics Anonymous (Kindle Location 1182). . Kindle Edition.
Now this step is a bit hard to figure out. How exactly do I go about “being entirely ready”?
I had to ask myself, Do I want God to remove my “defects of character”? Who is God? What does that mean “defects of character”? Will God remove them? Do I want them gone?
The defects are often thought of in terms of the 7 deadly sins: pride, lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath and envy, which covers things pretty well. Most everything I liked fit into one or another of those categories.
I did know that I wanted to be sober, and I understood that lying, cheating and hurting other people in my selfish pursuits were “defects of character” and I wanted them gone. But there were other things that might need purging that I wasn’t so sure I wanted gone. What about those? Could I keep those? In AA the answer is simply whether or not the “defect” would cause me to drink. Over the years I have found that all of the “deadly sins” cause me trouble, and can lead me to drink if indulged in excess. Well, I really liked them all, my preferences being sloth and gluttony. I despaired at the task of ridding myself of these defects, and I didn’t know if I could.
Lucky for me, Step 6 does not require me to get rid of all my defects, but only to be willing to have God remove them. What a relief!
Still, being willing is not as easy as it sounds! I found myself resisting change on a regular basis and balking at new behaviors. I was so fortunate to have the great sponsor I had in the program. She told me that I need only be willing to be willing. When I told her I wasn’t sure of that either, she asked me if I was willing to be willing to be willing. That opened up a whole new world of hope for me! This was how I completed Step 6.
While I do admit that there were some times when I could only be willing to be willing to be willing to be willing to be willing, I was willing enough to move on to Step 7.