Step 6 ! Oh, yes, please remove these defects!

Okay so I think we lost some momentum on the 12 steps. And I believe we're on step 6 . this states that 

"We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."  You can replace god with whatever source or higher power you would like.

After taking time to do our inventory and coming up with some Character defects and sharing that among each other, of course we are ready to have our higher power remove them. Of course!

How is everyone doing with the things they'd like to work on? Character defects? 

I think I've been doing pretty well. I think my biggest thing I'm contending with is getting on track with something and kind of getting compulsive with it or obsessive. Meaning I will just stick with that thing and keep going and going, and if I don't watch it I'll let other things slide. So I have to mentally talk to myself, and say no, stop doing that and get those other things done that you need done. Then you can do that.

Does that make sense? 

Anyway, I think step 6 is great and it also gives insight into the idea that sometimes we need a little help . maybe surrender to something or someone greater. We will never reach Perfection, but we are after progress.
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  • While I could let others chime in and see where the philosophical momentum takes things, I'll instead jump right in with my stubborn resistance and Type A: A--hole personality.

    There is nothing in this step that does anything for me, and no way that I can do anything to make it do anything for me. On previous Steps I was able to frame and reword so that I had faith in and was motivated by a "higher purpose", and that helped at least keep me in the same philosophical area as every one else.

    No matter how I phrase it, this Step comes back to being translating my head as me sitting back, crossing my arms, and going, "Ok god, cronus vishnu, allah, zeus, flying spaghetti monster, the agnostic laws that govern the universe, my higher purpose, or my higher calling, change me! Make with the presto chang-o no drink-o!"

    Obviously that is a plan that will end up with me sitting in the chair for a while, then getting a beer because I am bored.

    Even in @dominica's example, there is a lot of talk of her doing things and making the efforts, not so much other sources. I concur that we all need a little (ok, maybe a lot) of help sometimes, but I go back to my stubborn idea that the prime driver and motivator for recovery comes from within. The desire to change, and the tools to make it happen. Maybe this Step is intended to be a safety net for those still harboring concerns about their journey? It can give them the idea that something has their back, so they can leave their comfort zone?

    As for me and my laundry list of character defects (though my engineering and acquisition time has taught me that there are no such things as defects, only "features"), I'm entering a new phase of my career, and  taking a more active role in things that I don't have a lot of experience in, and depending on others to do the work for me to simply review, format, and coordinate to higher management. It's requiring me to be more attentive to my snarky comments. I am seeing my initial email chains getting pushed up to higher and higher people, so the initial snarky comment about something is still there at times. I am also learning to be more patient, and slow down to build consensus rather than just pushing things through. I'm also becoming more aware of my foul mouth. I am trying to dial it back or at least control it, but I see that I need to describe things/people as "clown shows" not "sh-t shows", things aren't "f--ked up" so much as "non-ideal", ect. It's a slow process. All of these things require identification that I am even doing them, then finding a workable solution that fits my office persona, then, breaking the old habits and making new ones. It is another recovery.
  • @Leaker,,
    My take on this is that we"ll maybe agree to disagree on this particular issue.But that's OK,too because we can have different opinions and still work towards a common purpose,I guess.There are no right or wrong answers here,just different points of view.
    As for the conscious efforts that we need to put to achieve a goal ( I think this is what you are trying to say here) it's true but on the flip side of it,in most cases we have come to the decision to make some changes after a certain breaking point where we say to ourselves "No more of this! Something has to change!" Question is what you believe to have triggered that breaking point,whether you believe you've reached it because you are not "perfect",meaning you put the blame for your miisfortunes on your "imperfection" or you believe the Universe is trying to teach you a lesson by putting obstacles in your way,meaning you see problems as coming from outside you but in both cases ,no matter your belief about the causes, whether it is an internal or external reason for the need to change,the change itself has to be conscious (maybe this is what you mean by coming from within,that we consciously choose to and do things to change ourselves.
    I can only tell you my own experience ,I have been listening to J.Stevenson guided meditation "Surrender" and for me it works perfectly because at one point I leave my worries behind at least for some time,calm down and return to them with a clearer head and more balanced approach,thinking that, sometimes even if we try our hardest to achieve certain things,theyjust don't turn out the way we expected or something comes up at the last moment which prevents us from reaching the end result,these are things that we cannot control or choose,they just happen out of the clear blue,or so it seems to us but later on it is obvious the end result in some cases is better for us than our previous intention.I believe this goes to show we cannot be in total control of the outside circumstances all the time but just let things take their course.
    The example you give of your behaviour only shows what maybe most therapists would say,that we control our behaviour,our responses to circumstances but the circumstances themselves we cannot control,we cannot predict whether our flight is cancelled due to bad weather conditions and we get fired because we have missed an important meeting and lost a contract or something like that.
    What I am trying to say is that let's imagine you are on a plane and it starts going down due to malfunction,would you say to yourself "Let me go out and find some help!"What you would probably do is hope for the best outcome but not because you can contribute to it in any way but because you hope some source outside of us humans can come to your aid.Even the most skeptic and resilient people would react in this way. In the face of grave danger we cannot help  but hope for some assistance from another power,it's just our human nature.
    So,in my view,some people who are still vulnerable and insecure need to rely on some outer source for help,then they become stronger and more confident in themselves,they know they are never alone in their struggle, they maybe have the comfort that "If I am not strong enough to make it on my own,I can always turn to......"(whatever they choose to believe in) and they feel brave enough to keep giong and make the changes they want for themselves.
    Well,I'd agree that the word "defects is a bit disconcerting and not flattering for our fragile egos ,I'd like to think of them as "small imperfections" or "not so perfect features of character " :) that we can sometimes use to our advantage in certain situations,but whatever term we use ,they are part of us and we can choose how to deal with them— if we choose to get rid of them in a certain kind of way and think of ourselves as better people, why not if it brings us peace and contributes to our development?Or we can learn to live with them and still be happy (not meaning addictions,of course).When @Tommy was talking about his "stubbornness",it can be understood in two ways,either as a positive or a negative feature,depending on the thing you are stubborn about.
    Enjoy your weekend!
  • @Leaker @changeyourself ;Thank you for your feedback on this. I believe that there is really no right or wrong way to look at this, and each person can have their thoughts and views on it. For those in the religious camp, looking to God for help is advised . For those and the spirituality of Consciousness camp, perhaps co aligning with the universe or something to that effect can be helpful. 

    To each their own, and we must remember that Alcoholics Anonymous is largely influenced by Christianity. And that's fine and it works for many people.

    I think once we get through the 12 Steps perhaps we will look at smart recovery and their principles. They do not talk about the Christian God , and I don't even think they're Christian Centered that all. So we can look at different paths and several different programs.

    @Leaker, I am glad that you are growing in various ways. That's' great!!
  • @changeyourself, great points, as always!

    Concur, with addiction and recovery there is always a breaking point, a "no more!" moment. I think for most people, myself included, right around that point is the realization of, "How the heck did I get into this mess?". For someone, that might extend to, "I don't know how I got here, so I don't know how to get out!". For me, it was more like, "The stakes are too high. The answer is somewhere in my messed up nugget, I just need to find that spark of inspiration and nurture it". I think ultimately it then comes down to the two philosophies of, "It's in god's hands, I'm going to listen and follow", or "I'm going to be pigheaded and find my own way out". To each their own, and concur, there is no right or wrong answer. Whatever works, keep up with it!

    @dominica, life is short, but long enough to be very boring if we don't keep trying to find new ways to experience it better, and growth is a keep part of that. A great story on that comes from my grandfather. He was an engineer, and towards the end of his career in the 1970s, he was an Industrial Engineer before the modern concept of the role really materialized. He'd be hired by failing companies, and look at their processes, identify their wastes,
    streamline them, get them profitable again, and then be promptly fired. One of the things he did was employee interviews. He said he'd get people that would say, "I've got 20 years of experience!" with pride. My grandfather would correct them and saying, "No, you have 1 year of experience 20 times over". He'd let those people go, and develop the guys that had less depth of experience, but more varied, since those were the people who demonstrated they could learn and adapt quickly.
  • @Leaker,
    Pleasure talking to you,as always! :) 
  • Thanks for this post on Step 6, @dominica. Lord knows, we all have character defects, don't we?? I know I have more than my fair share. But I am working hard at change. Really wish I had a magic wand!

    By the way, I love your insight, @Leaker and @changeyourself. And yours, too, Dominica. :)
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