5 | Step 7
"Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all our
|A core principle behind the Sixth
Step is that we review what we have done in the first five Steps and
decide if we're ready for the new life offered in dual recovery.
Being ready involves a clear decision, a commitment. We must be
willing to let go of our old ideas to make way for new ones.
IN OUR OWN WORDS: Members
share their thoughts on the Sixth Step
I got done with my inventory and Fifth Step, I felt really different about
some things. I actually felt a desire to grow and change that went way
past just keeping clean and taking my meds. I think it was because I had a
direction to go and things to do that were solidly based in reality and
really, I figured most of it out by my own efforts. Not by myself--but it
was my work. No one did it for me.
The Sixth Step was hard for me.
I had such a habit of saying "Yes but" to any suggestions for
change or anything new. I always seemed to have an excuse why something
wouldn't work for me. There is a certain comfort in old familiar patterns
and ways of thinking. Letting go of things that I knew didn't work was
really a challenge for me. So when it says, "entirely ready"
that was a big deal for me. I could know intellectually why something
needed to change but getting it to sink in on a deeper level was hard
work. I had to go back and use Step Three a lot for each little thing that
needed changing. Interestingly though, it was at this point that I
quit having cravings and drug dreams all the time. I knew I was moving
ahead in spite of my fear.
had a hard time figuring this Step out until one day when the topic of our
meeting was The Serenity Prayer. One member shared how she used it to
align her will with that of her Higher Power which she called God. This
little prayer I felt, could be just the tool to help me get ready to
grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
thought that Steps Six and Seven were about miracles. Like somehow if I
was ready and willing enough, God would simply remove my liabilities. But
it's really about me becoming willing to do the legwork it takes to follow
His will for me. The wisdom and guidance is there, but it's up to me to
take the responsibility to put it into practice and use it. I have to walk
Step Six boils down to getting
sick and tired of being sick and tired. You can't live with the
consequences of your old ways of thinking and doing things anymore. The
problems were made perfectly clear in the earlier Steps so now you have
awareness. Awareness makes it even more uncomfortable. So you become
willing to change. In fact you become willing to go to any length
necessary to change. I guess the other option would be to go back to
drinking and drugging till you aren't aware any more.
though I was clean and sober for awhile, I still was filled with
self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, resentments, and mistaken
beliefs about the world and myself. I was still afraid of feeling a lot of
things and of my own emotions and reactions. All these things left
me very vulnerable to relapse and symptom flare-ups. In Step Six I
realized just how much work I still had ahead of me. I stopped and
reviewed the first three Steps, talked at length with my therapist, my
sponsor and a counselor at my church. I knew I couldn't change everything
all at once but I needed a plan. I needed some way to break all these
things down into manageable portions that I could deal with. That's
basically what my Sixth Step was. Oh, and lots of praying for willingness
and strength to stick with it.
5 | Step 7
*Adapted from the Twelve Steps of
*The Twelve Steps of AA are
reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services,
Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that AA has
reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with
the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only -
use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities that are
patterned after AA, but that address other problems, does not imply otherwise.
THE SIXTH STEP OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS* 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step Discussion Booklet - This is a printable booklet of this Step
Discussion section of the web site in Adobe Reader (PDF) file format.