Thoughts on Recovery – No. 50 – Steps 6 and 7 – Becoming a New Person
” All the change that comes about through God’s working in our lives is by our consent and permission. All the growth that happens happens through our will and our consent. We have to make the decision. we have to become willing and ready, and we can see it building to the point of change “. (from the Steps We Took).
I believe these steps are the pinnacle of the program and the prior steps are designed to be able to change through working steps 6-7. Step 6 is about willing to let go. Step 7 is asking God to remove them. If God removes them they are automatically replaced by the opposite characteristics.These steps are worked side by side continuously for the rest of my life. These are the tools of change.
I accumulated my defects of character over years of practice. My personality was nothing more than a pattern of mental habits that I accumulated and practiced and made into a pattern. Now I have examined my personality in step 4 and seen the result. This makes me willing to practice something different. I am now willing to let go of the characteristics that I have found objectionable. I want to change. I begin to practice something different to take the place of my defects and unproductive attitudes. I will change my personality by using the principle of change. This principle is that if I want to change I can’t if I am still practicing selfishness, dishonesty, fear, inconsideration, judgement, intolerance, and anger to name just some of my character defects.
I want to override my old way of thinking and acting by replacing it with a new way of thinking and acting. By willing to let go of my old way and asking God to help me practice the opposite way I can change my personality. But to be successful, I have to practice this new way of thinking and acting and thus develop a new personality. It doesn’t happen immediately but over time with God’s help I see a change and development of new habits.
As I begin to practice honesty and see the results I don’t want to practice dishonesty. The same applies to my other character defects. The more I see the results the more objectionable they are and the more willing I am to let go and practice the opposite.
However there is a warning! I can’t blame anyone for how I feel and act anymore! I am responsible for my day and how I feel and act.
By being willing and with God’s help I can develop a new personality. We are given a gift in AA by working these steps we can live two lifetimes. We can be reborn. I cannot emphasis the power of these 2 steps to transform any of us from a life of selfishness to one of service to others resulting in peace and serenity. Try it and see the result!
The 3×5 index card you suggested carrying as an experiment in a prior podcast on these 2,steps is starting to work for me in situations where I’m “”disturbed”. Very nice relief. It has worked for me even when I cannot immediately identify the specific. character defect I’m bringing to that disturbing situation. Seems like God knows. And by pausing, then saying the prayer then seeing the situation the opposite way—as God would have me see it—I do immediately and almost automatically identify my character defect. Thanks for this suggestion.