August 20, 2012

Step Six (+ Seven) Leaves Me with Everything I Need

I had a wonderful Skype discussion with an EA member last week, that was less concerned with the D.O.C. concept of Step Six, as it was on a personal resistance to the idea that it is good and right to ask for part of ourselves to be removed.
I came across a reading from Courage to Change (listed in the index under Character Defects) that I have shared with that person, and am sharing here. Food for thought.
Open to your perspectives/thoughts/questions.
"When I first started working the Steps, the thought of having my [character limitations] removed made me very nervous. I thought I would end up like a chunk of Swiss cheese, full of holes. But I wanted to get better and I was continually assured that the Steps were the key to my recovery, so I went forward in spite of my fears. I had to take the risk and act on faith before I could receive the gifts my Higher Power held out to me.
Nowhere in Steps Four through Seven do we ask God to take away the things we do not need. I found that every single character [limitations] had been hiding an asset.
[This meant, in allowing an apparent limitation to be removed] I didn't lose myself at all. Instead, as I let go of the things I didn't need, I made room for my strengths, skills and feelings to become more fully a part of my life. I take comfort in this, because it reminds me that everything I need is already present. But I couldn't be sure until I worked the Steps and found some relief from my shortcomings.
Today's Reminder
God knows exactly what I need and has already given it to me. My job is to keep it simple and ask for God's help in relieving me of the extra stuff--the shortcomings that keep me tied down."
"Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised." American proverb ( I love this quote! How appropos!)

1 comment:

  1. Re-reading this I realize how closely linked Step Six and Seven are, even after doing diligent work to consider each Step independently of the other.

    No wonder my original Sponsor told me to make it simple and consider them done, after we did our Fifth Step together.

    Yet, I see that this post is really about Step Seven.

    In the words of AA's Twelve and Twelve, Step Six is really about going "beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay—and pay handsomely."

    Step Six's being "entirely ready" is about exactly such thoroughness.

    "Let us think of some of the subtler [habits which can] sometimes be quite as damaging. Suppose that in our family lives we happen to be miserly, irresponsible, callous, or cold. Suppose that we are irritable, critical, impatient, and humorless. Suppose we lavish attention upon one member of the family and neglect the others. What happens when we try to dominate the whole family, either by a rule of iron or by a constant outpouring of minute directions for just how their lives should be lived from hour to hour? What happens when we wallow in depression, self-pity oozing from every pore, and inflict that upon those about us?....When we take such personality traits as these into .. the society of our fellows, they can do damage almost as extensive as that we have caused at home."

    Could it be that we need to rest awhile in Step Six, so that we have "decided exactly what personality traits in us injured and disturbed others?"


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~