Spiritual principles behind Step Six: Willingness

What are the spiritual principles behind Step Six?

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

The key spiritual principle behind Step Six is willingness.

Other spiritual principles that apply to this step include honesty, open-mindedness, acceptance, and humility.

Here we become fully prepared to rid ourselves of the flaws, character defects, shortcomings we learned about in Step Five. Step Six displays character and one’s true willingness to recover.

Step Six speaks of being entirely ready to have God remove all our defects of character. Yet we find that we often cling to some of our defects of character because they give us a certain amount of pleasure.

What defects could possibly give us pleasure? Well, possibly revenge, for one. Some tend to spend quite a lot of time spinning mental scenarios in which those who have hurt them are punished. Some of us get a great deal of enjoyment from thinking that we are right about the vast majority of things – clinging to our pride and ego. At this point, we are well aware that such thinking displays defects that get in the way of being the kind of people we want to be today. That kind of thinking and behavior prevents us from treating ourselves and others with love and respect. There are reasons galore to let these things go, to surrender them – but to do this, we must become willing to lose the egotistical thinking they represent. We let go of the sick, fleeting pleasure we felt from those thoughts and related actions.

One’s recovery will remain stunted as long as one remains unwilling to give up shortcomings. If we want wellness, we must turn over our will, our lives, and our character defects to our higher power.

Are the small, fleeting, often twisted pleasures we get from living out our defects of character worth the price we are paying to keep them as part of us? If not, if we can see the potential damage and lack of growth in recovery that results from acting out on those defects, we may be entirely ready to let some of those defects go today.

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