HFF Step 6

 

Hope for Freedom Society
Step Writing Guide and Worksheets

Part One

Read Step Six out of the Basic Text every day before writing. shoes

Read Step Six out of It Works How and Why.

Write down your definition of each word in the step. Then look up each word individually in the dictionary and write down what you learn about the difference between what you thought it meant and what the dictionary says it means to you.

(1) We were
(2) Entirely ready
(3) To have God remove all
(4) These defects of character
(5) What is the principal of Step Six?
(6) Write about the most profound Asset and most glaring defect of everyone you know, especially everyone you see at meetings.
(7) Look up Willingness, Rebellion and Decisively.
(8) Every day write on events that happened where your character defects clouded your ability to think logically or wasted your time and energy.
(9)

“ We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”

“ Entirely ready” is the key phrase in this step. The very act of living steps One through Five makes us entirely ready. We just need to recognize this and know that our defect can be removed. How does God remove all these Defects of Character? The answer can be found in the Third Step. Before we can use the Third Step to accomplish our Sixth Step we must do recovering addicts, as long as we are willing to provide the perspiration, our Higher Power will provide the motivation.

One way to do the ground work is to make a list of all of our defects on one side of the paper with a line down the center. Across from each defect, on the other side of the line, list the opposite of all the defects.

Intolerance – Tolerance

Fear – Courage

Resentment – Forgiveness

After we have completed this list to the best of our ability, we can focus on the assets we wish to have. This becomes our goal.

Now that we are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, we will move on to the Seventh Step. Most of us, being addicts, will say that this sounds too simple. Remember the words of the Sixth Step, “ WE were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” This is what we did. We became “entirely ready”. During the Forth step inventory we got in touch with our innermost feelings and with ourselves. During the Fifth Step we share this with our Higher Power, Ourselves and another human being. During our Sixth Step we use the Fourth and Fifth Steps to see our defects of character and patterns. We look at them and go through the work of listing them on paper. All of this adds up to being entirely ready.

Step Six
Part Two

Write about the following questions on a separate sheet of paper and return it to your counselor.

(1) What are the key words in this step and what do they mean to you?
(2) When did we become aware that we are entirely ready?
(3) How does God remove these defects of character?
(4) What do I replace my defects and their opposites.
(5) Write your list of defects and their opposites.
(6) What Spiritual Awakening did you have as a result of this step?

STEP SIX

“Were Entirely Ready to have God Remove All these Defects of Character”

When a farmer works a field, he begins by preparing the soil. The farmer will plow, disc, harrow, fertilize, harrow again, and finally plant the seeds. For a period of time the farmer is visibly active in his field. But after he plants, he stops for awhile, to allow the seeds to grow. There is nothing he can do except wait, and hope for the best.

In Step Six, activity ceases for a season. The seeds of change that our Higher Power planted, are allowed time to germinate and grow. Our emotions are allowed time to catch up with our new experiences. We have been plowed, and prepared, and now we give Gods power the necessary time to create in us an internal change. This internal change is a growing readiness and willingness to have God remove all our defects of character. We might, on the surface, think that this is an easy thing, but many of these defects are deep character traits on which we have depended for survival. To release them means letting go of more than just a defect; it means letting go of a way of life.

We work Step Six by being ready to have our Higher Power bring change into our lives. Becoming ready might not seem like a lot of work, but it is – its spiritual work. God can’t change us unless we are willing to allow it, and so far we have not asked God for change. We have only become aware of our condition, and admitted our need. In future steps we will ask our Higher Power to remove our shortcomings, and to help us set things straight. In this step, we wait for God to do some internal work, and we must be sensitive to the changes being made in our hearts.

We prepare for Step Six by quieting our minds, and opening our hearts. Steps Four and Five required a lot of hard work, and brought up some painful discoveries about ourselves. We put down the pencils, and put on some walking shoes. Taking time to be alone with ourselves, and with our Higher Power, helps us to remove the distractions that sometimes shield us from reality.

Having completed Steps One through Five, some of us may think we can stop here. The truth is, much more work lies ahead. The best results are yet to come. In Steps One and Two, we recognized our powerlessness, and came to believe in a power greater than ourselves. In Step Three, we turned our will and our lives over to the care of God. In Steps Four and Five, we honestly faced the truth about ourselves, and admitted that truth to God, to another person, and ourselves. We may have an illusion that everything’s O.K., and that the remaining steps are less important. If we believe this, we will surely undermine our progress.

Steps One through Five helped steer us in the right direction, as we built a foundation for ultimate surrender. In Step Six, we confront the need to change our attitudes and behaviors. Here, we prepare to make these changes, and totally alter the course of our lives.

The changes that are about to take place in our lives require a co-operative effort. Our Higher Power provides the direction, and plants the desire. We contribute the willingness to take the action required. Our job is to respond to our Higher Powers leadership in our journey. God never forces Himself on us; we must invite God into our lives. That is why Step Six is so important. This step provides us with the opportunity to become ready for Gods deepest work, which is yet to come.

We are not expected to remove these character defects alone. We are expected only to become entirely ready to “let go, and let God.” Step Six is not an action step. It is a state of preparation, which helps us to become ready to release our faults to God. Our willingness to surrender will increase. This enables us to reach the point (in Step Seven) where we ask God to take over and remove our faults. We do this by working the program, one day at a time, regardless of whether or not we see any progress.

We must remind ourselves that the character traits that we can’t eliminate, are often deeply ingrained patterns of behavior, developed through many years of struggling to survive. They will not vanish overnight. We must be patient while God is reshaping us. Through our new willingness to let our Higher Power be in control, we learn to trust more completely, and welcome our Higher Powers timetable for our growth.

Step Six is similar to Step Two. Both Steps deal with our willingness to allow God to work through us to change our lives. In Step Two we seek restoration to sanity by coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves. In Step Six, we seek readiness to let God remove our shortcomings. Both Steps acknowledge the existence of problems, and require that we seek our Higher Powers help in being freed from them. The fact that “we came to believe” will strengthen our capacity to be “entirely ready”.

To be successful with Step Six, we must sincerely want to change our disabling behaviors. But even this desire to change will come from our Higher Powers guidance, as we wait upon Gods will for our lives. Our past has been dominated by our self-will, rarely calling on God for help. Our life’s condition shows us that self-will has never been enough to help us. Now, honest determination to eliminate our behavioral flaws causes us to seek Gods will. Before we can accept our Higher Powers help, we must relinquish our self-destructive natures.

• Steps Four and Five undoubtedly caused you to recall the pain you have caused yourself and others. Which painful memories increase your readiness to change?

• Where is your current level of trust? Are you trusting your Higher Power to remove your defects, or are you relying on your own willpower to change? Explain:

At this point in our program, we see that change is necessary to live life to the fullest. Recognizing the need for change, and being willing to change, are two different matters. The space between recognition, and willingness to change can be filled with fear. As we move toward willingness, we must let goof our fears, and remain secure in the knowledge that, with Gods guidance, everything will be restored to us. We let go of fear by holding on to Gods love. When we firmly hold on to the fact that our Higher Power loves us, we will find it easier to change.

• Which feelings surface when you think of surrendering your behavior flaws to your Higher Power, and trusting that they will be removed?

• Which defects continue to interfere with your progress?

Our character defects are familiar tools to us. They are what we used as coping mechanisms to deal with our surroundings. The loss of these tools threatens our ability to control others and ourselves. The thought of giving up our character defects may cause anxiety. But we can trust that God won’t remove a character trait that we need. When we place our trust in God, we develop a sense of comfort. Even the smallest beginning is acceptable to our Higher Power. One sure way to hinder our growth is to think we are able to make the necessary changes ourselves. Healing requires God, not self-will.

• Which character defects are you not entirely ready to have removed? Explain why you are still attached to them.

• Explain how you are drawing near to your Higher Power. (i.e. through devotions, prayer, fellowship, journalizing, meditation, etc.)

Our ability to talk to our Higher Power is an important part of Step Six. We need to communicate in a way that shows humility, and invites intervention. When we say, “Dear God, I want to be more patient,” we are making a demand, and telling God what we want. When we say, “Dear God, I am impatient”, we present the truth about ourselves. When we pray in this manner, we exhibit humility, relinquish our pride, and ask God to act on our behalf.

• List examples of your prayers, that show you are making demands on God, instead of asking for Gods will to be done in your life, or declaring the truth about yourself.

• We show our humility before God in prayer. Write a one-sentence prayer, in which you humbly ask God the truth about yourself, with regard to a particular defect.

• List any doubts you have that are interfering with your readiness to have God remove your shortcomings.

This step requires that we look at the shortcomings that we ask to have removed. We may be unwilling to give up on some of them. They may seem useful to us, so we respond, “I cannot give up…yet”. We have a potential problem if we say, “I will never be any different, I will never give up!” These attitudes shut our minds to Gods redeeming qualities, and can add up to our own destruction. If we respond this way to any behavior, we need to admit our doubts and struggles to our Higher Power, and seek help in surrendering our will.

• What wisdom or techniques have you learned from the program, that could help you now (i.e.; to work the first three steps, to use the Serenity Prayer, to share your struggles in a meeting, etc.)?

• What do you fear will happen when your defects are removed?

As we follow the principles of the program in our daily lives, we gradually, and unconsciously, prepare to have our shortcomings removed. Sometimes, we are even unaware of our readiness to have our defects removed. At first, we realize that we are behaving differently – that we have changed. Sometimes, others note the changes before we become aware of them ourselves. Approval seekers begin to function more independently, control addicts become more easygoing and relaxed, caretakers become more sensitive to their own needs. People, who diligently work the program as an integral part of their lives, become calmer, more serene, and genuinely happy.

• What positive changes have you noticed in your behaviors, thought patterns, or relationships?

• Which defects have caused you the most pain, and need to be removed first?

A radiant, confident person lives in each of us, hidden under a cloud of confusion and uncertainty, distracted by ineffective behavior. If someone asked us if we wanted to be freed from our character defects, we could only give one answer – we are entirely ready to have God remove them.

• What does being “entirely ready” mean to you?

• Explain how seeking Gods will has helped you to become willing to change.

• Describe your confidence in God to assist you in removing your defects of character.

• Which three questions from this step would you like to share with others?

• What could someone else do to encourage you in your Step Six work, and in your recovery?

• What can you specifically do, to be of service and encouragement to others in recovery?

• What current event in your life has helped you reinforce your readiness to have God remove all your defects of character?

Key Ideas

Readiness: Step Six is a time to overcome fear, and gather the readiness we need to proceed with our recovery. We know the truth about ourselves, and what faults need to be removed. In Step Six we need readiness and willingness to allow God to change us. This step is like bungee jumping; you may be dressed to jump, and have all the facts about the bungee cord. You may even have complete confidence in the operators, but you won’t jump until you’re ready. And you won’t be ready until you overcome your fear. Your defects are a part of you. They have helped you survive. The thought of losing anything, even your damaging defects, tends to produce fear.

Defects of Character: Our defects of character are called many things in the program. They are called weaknesses, faults, shortcomings, harmful behaviors, survival skills negative traits, etc. Whatever the name, the point is the same; these undesirable parts of ourselves must be removed, and replaced with Godly character. These defects of character begin innocently in childhood, and are our means of survival. We learned to manipulate in order to have our need met, to lie to protect ourselves, and to hide our emotions in defense against overwhelming pain. In short, we learned to survive. These survival skills were tools of control. They were our ways of managing our environment, minimizing our threats, and taking care of ourselves. Eventually these coping skills break down. It is then that we realize that God is the only one able, and wise enough, to control our lives.

Willingness: Willingness is a state of mind, and emotions that propel us into action. We may have the best intentions, but until we are willing to act, we won’t. There are many singles today that want to get married, who intend to get married, and even know whom to marry, but they won’t marry because they are not yet willing. In Step Six, all of our good intentions simmer and brew until, with Gods help, we are entirely ready and willing to change.

DEFECT

Conceit
Pride
Arrogance
Irresponsibility
Procrastination
Carelessness
Intolerance
Intolerance
Resentment
Fear
Greed
Silent Scorn
Callous/Cold
Anger
Irritability
Critical
Impatient
Humorless
Depression
Self-Pity
Lust
Gluttony
Miserly
Selfishness
Possessive
Gossip
Hypersensitive
Jealousy
Ill-Temper
Sarcasm
Lying
Braggart
Envy
Lavish/neglect
Try to dominate
Self-destruction
Fear
Self interest
Superiority
False Ambition
False Romance
Fantasizing
Self-righteous
Gossip
Character-assassination
Indifference
Materialism
Cramming/Rushing
Procrastination
Rationalizes
Perfectionism
Conceit
Arrogance
Irresponsibility
Complacency
Unforgiving
Ruthless
Miserly
Uncaring/cold
Despair
Domination
Bragging
Cheating/stealing
Lying
Depressive
Self-pitying
Bigoted
Sexist
Foul Mouthed
Deceitful
Callousness
Resentful
Manipulative
Aggressive
Sarcasm
Jealous
Bottled up feelings
Blaming others
Egotism
Fearful
Mean mouth

POSITIVE OPPOSITE

Modesty
Modesty
Humility
Responsibility
Persistence
Watchfulness
Tolerance
Understanding
Acceptance
Faith
Satisfaction
Respect
Compassionate
Calm
Calm
Encouraging
Indulgent
Joy of Living
Hope
Compassion
Acceptance
Acceptance
Generous
Charitable
Surrender
Trust
Rational
Trust
Serenity
Pleasant
Truthfulness
Unpretentious
Respect
Equality
Let Go
Self worth
Faith
Concern for others
Humility
Realistic
Sincere
Reality
Humility
Trust
Friendship
Interest
Spirituality
Planning
Action
Realistic
Realistic expectations
Humility
Humility
Responsibility
Caring
Forgiveness
Compassionate
Generous
Warmth
Hope
Cooperation
Humility
Fidelity/honesty
Honesty
Cheerful
Compassionate
Open Minded
Treat people Equally
Don’t swear
Truthful
Warmth openness
Forgiveness
Respectful
Gentle
Pleasant
Trust
Fearlessness
Accept responsibility
Humility
Trust
Kindly spoken
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