The 6th Step and Becoming Ready to Have God Remove Our Defects

Step 6 comes after we have made a full inventory of our flaws and admitted them before ourselves, others and our Higher Power. After all you and others have suffered as a result of your addiction, and the deep and unforgiving self-examination of the previous steps: there should be plenty of things you want to change about yourself!

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Becoming Ready to Have God Remove Defects of Character

At this point, we “were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” This is the natural progression from the admission that we are powerless over our addiction and the acceptance that only our Higher Power can help us break the hold addiction has on our lives.

In this step, we do not demand that our Higher Power remove our defects. Rather, we simply become and remain ready for the removal of our flaws. This means we vow to do the best we can to improve ourselves and to stop sabotaging ourselves with self-destructive behavior.

Of course, change does not happen magically overnight. We must be willing to patiently and slowly improve ourselves, with the help of our Higher Power. But we may be surprised at how much difference our willingness makes. After all, our Higher Power wants the best for us. It is our obstinate clinging to a destructive path which hampers recovery and makes us cling to our worst flaws.

Our Most Destructive Characteristics

A strange thing happens when we think of surrendering our worst flaws. We resist. For years we dressed up our flaws and pretended they were harmless quirks or charming foibles.

These characteristics, destructive or not, seem to form an integral part of our identity. A large part of us will cling to these defects. However, as we focus on the removal of our defects, we realize that by holding on, we are blocking the will of our Higher Power and our path to recovery and happiness.

We will never achieve perfection in regard to our readiness. But we still can do our best. When we run into a flaw which we are not willing to relinquish, we can revisit it again and again from different angles. Weakening its hold on our spirits as we become more honest with ourselves about the harm our cherished flaws cause and our inexplicable attachment to them.

Your inner dialogue matters a lot in this regard. If you find yourself unwilling to surrender on a specific point, do not exclaim that it is impossible, or you will never be ready to give up this flaw. Rather admit you are not ready just yet. And try again further on down the road. But of course, do not use this as an excuse for delay and procrastination. Put flaws aside only when you are completely unable to remove them currently and come back to them promptly and with full intention.

Ultimately this step is about intention rather than perfection. So, work on your willingness and even eagerness to remove flaws. The results will be sure to come.

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