The 6th Step
By Chuck R.
After 28 years, I still remember the day I presented my 5th Step. I had spent the previous months coming to terms with my disease and myself, and I was prepared to totally reveal my inner self to God and to another human being.
I shared my resentments, the causes, the instincts affected, my fears, my defects, drawbacks and shortcomings. It seemed like an endless litany, but it came gushing out.
Upon completion of my 5th Step, my sponsor turned to me and asked, “Do you think God forgives you for any of the things about which you feel guilty?”
Honestly, I was uncertain. I was in the process of forgiving myself, but could I expect God to forgive me?
I cried all the way home. I was physically drained and emotionally exhausted, yet I had a sense of freedom like no other I had experienced before.
What I was about to do over the course of the next few hours would become a pivotal point in my recovery. It was time for one last soul-searching process.
I mentally reviewed the work I had done on the first five steps. Had I been truly honest with myself, God and my sponsor? Was I finished? Was I ready?
Then I read the following in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions:
“It is nowhere evident, at least in this life, that our Creator expects us to fully eliminate our instinctual drives… When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us.
“If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does he render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to work toward ourselves.”
To be “entirely ready” meant I needed to become humble enough to fully realize I must change. Being “entirely ready” meant I needed to ask God to help me.
I am not perfect today. I have notions that influence me in an unhealthy manner. Very often my natural tendency is to let them. The difference today is, I am aware. I work toward progress on a daily basis with God at my side.
The 6th Step helped me open the gate of acceptance and forgiveness. I was then ready for Step Seven.