August 17, 2012

On Second Thought, Step Six

Became entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.  

Deep breath.  First, the word "entirely."  

Maybe to be entirely ready.. is an ideal, a goal, but wonderfully unachievable.
So, I let go of entirely.  *Be willing to let go*

Let me look at the direct object again: defects of character...

In practice it is rare to not find a defect in everything natural.  A clam has the character to  "clam up."  When grit gets inside its shell, it gets irritated, but it keeps that irritation hidden inside.   Over time, this reaction creates something beautiful once the creature has shed a few "tears," to counteract the irritation. Something unwelcome becomes recognized as something rare, a pearl, only when its shell is opened. When this process of dealing with grit (or a defect) is managed by humans, such pearls  are called "cultured."

Step Six refers back to what was "brought out" from within, when we did Step Four.  That work identified wrong thinking that has irritated us, hurt us and likely had impact on others in our lives. We have gone within and then opened our own selves up to be seen clearly, sharing Step Four with a Fifth Step person

Was revealing "these [tendencies] of character" the end of the world? Not if they are simply accepted and not judged.

I have the sense today that Step Six's main thrust is that now that we know we have tendencies we don't like, we also don't go back to our old ways and "fix" them. We simply become willing to let ourselves be. Stop trying to do our old coping mechanisms.

To have "defects," "flaws," or simply foibles, in our character can simply be seen as an example of our humanity. Those are dysfunctional ways of coping with what came into our lives unbidden, that may have irritated us.  

I like to think each one of us will have have cultivated and found some beautiful pearls inside us too, if we did a "thorough" inventory in Step Four. 


  1. What an amazing post! I love the analog of the clam, beautiful.

  2. just found you. Awesome insight.....


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