10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up?)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
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Karl R
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10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up?)

Post by Karl R » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:04 am

Good Morning all,

"God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

Yesterday's passage finished detailing the 5th step with "Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last. Is our work solid so far? Are the stones properly in place? Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation? Have we tried to make mortar without sand?"

Today's passage (below in red) speaks of the 6th step, built on the foundation of the 5th. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. It took me a bit to absorb that this step doesn't say that "we" remove our character defects. It also took me a bit to see that it didn't' involve having our character defects removed immediately at this point. What it did say was that we work at willingness, asking our HP to help us be willing to have these objectionable things removed from us. This has turned out to be an ongoing process for me. These defects tend to keep coming back in big and small ways-hence the value of step 10 and 11 in illuminating these defects big and small and reminding me to go back and ask for willingness.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning whether step 6 seems to be a one time or a life-long process for them?

enjoy the Tuesday Trudge all,
Karl


If we can answer to our satisfaction, we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all - every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
Last edited by Karl R on Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Oliver » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:15 am

I've shared before that I find Step 6 so difficult, largely because I find the prospect of giving up my character defects scary. It is counter my instincts, if you like. But, I think there is a difference between praying "Oh God, remove X... but not yet!" and between saying "I will NEVER let God have X". I think the 12x12 speaks of this. The first is open to the possibility of growth along spiritual lines, whilst the second is completely closed.

The key of willingness is a marvelous thing. I have to let God do what I can't do. When I do that I find that I am willing to give up more than I ever thought possible.
Oliver
"In exchange for bottle and hangover, I have been given the keys to the kingdom."

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Post by Blue Moon » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:22 am

The Step 7 prayer in the Big Book holds the key to a better understanding of Steps 6 and 7.

I submit that we do not have a clue what our defects really are. Some of the more obvious, we're perhaps aware of. But even then, not really. Even in AA, some of the angriest SOBs will die believing that it's everyone else who has the problem.

However, Step 7 is far more specific. It identifies "... every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness ...".
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Post by dwelling » Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:37 am

Hi,
This is from an interview with Dr.Paul(Dr Alcoholic Addict in the Big book 3rd edition). It reminds me of the progress not perfection concept and also not knowing exactly what God's will is for me.

"with any defect I want to get rid of, I become willing to have it removed, then I ask God to remove it, then I act like he has. Now, I know God has a loophole that says he'll remove it unless it's useful to you or to my fellows. So I tell him I'd like my defect removed completely, but he can sleep on it, and in the morning he can give me the amount he wants me to have, and I'll accept it as a gift from him. I'll take whatever he gives me. I've never done that when he hasn't removed a great deal of my defect, but I've never done it when he has permanently and totally removed any defect. But the result is that I no longer fight myself for having it.

dwelling,"Sometimes there were other women."

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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by ann2 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:10 am

Karl R wrote: Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning whether step 6 seems to be a one time or a life-long process for them?

If we can answer to our satisfaction, we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all - every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
It was a one-time process admitting that I was scared to lose my defects, because that was all I could define myself as then. It's a life-long process recognizing that feeling when it pops up occasionally, except this time I have the experience of step 7 behind me, and I know how powerfully God took advantage of the space in me that became available.

The fear of losing things became joy of the prospect of being able to put something behind me. If God willed it.

Like my sponsor told me once, don't be too quick to become perfect -- the newcomer will have nothing to identify with.

So -- I have to agree with the Dr. Paul quote (thanks dwelling) about not having to fight it. It's so nice letting go of perfectionism :) making mistakes is the most freedom I've ever known, besides not having to drink.

Ann (ann2)
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Post by martin08 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:51 pm

My experience with Step Six was that it shouldn't be taken lightly. My Sponsor explained to me that unless you've done a thorough Steps 1 to 5, then Step Six has little validity, or very much material to work with, if you haven't done a housecleaning.

When I work with my Sponsees, the explanation is passed on. To be effective, the Sixth Step must be proceeded by Five.

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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by leejosepho » Wed May 09, 2012 5:23 am

If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
We are in the process of abandoning our wills (what we want) and our lives (what happens to us) to the care and direction of another. It was here at Step Six that I took a look to see why in the world some parts of me were yet trying to cling to what *I* wanted for me or what *I* wanted my life to be like. I certainly had no good or sane reason for wanting to hang on to any defects of character, but I still had things I wanted and a certain wannabe lifestyle I hoped I might not have to altogether abandon. But then like already mentioned here in this discussion (and as we will see in Step Seven), it was here at Step Six that I found those things were only all about me and not at all necessary or truly useful in trying to fit myself to be of maximum usefulness to God and others about us.
=======================
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time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by PaigeB » Wed May 09, 2012 1:56 pm

Ironically, today's BB Study portion coincides with today's Daily Reflection
May 9

Daily Reflections

WALKING THROUGH FEAR

If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us
be willing.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

When I had taken my Fifth Step, I became aware that all my defects
of character stemmed from my need to feel secure and loved. To use
my will alone to work on them would have been trying obsessively to
solve the problem. In the Sixth Step I intensified the action I had
taken in the first three Steps -- meditating on the Step by saying it over and
over, going to meetings, following my sponsor's suggestions, reading
and searching within myself. During the first three years of sobriety I
had a fear of entering an elevator alone. One day I decided I must
walk through this fear. I asked for God's help, entered the elevator, and
there in the corner was a lady crying. She said that since her husband
had died she was deathly afraid of elevators. I forgot my fear and
comforted her. This spiritual experience helped me to see how
willingness was the key to working the rest of the Twelve Steps to
recovery. God helps those who help themselves.

Reprinted from "Daily Reflections", with permission
of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by PaigeB » Wed May 09, 2012 2:28 pm

Ann said:
Like my sponsor told me once, don't be too quick to become perfect -- the newcomer will have nothing to identify with.
^^^^^^^^^^^LOVE IT!^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Joe said:
I certainly had no good or sane reason for wanting to hang on to any defects of character, but I still had things I wanted and a certain wannabe lifestyle I hoped I might not have to altogether abandon.
This step was actually pretty easy for me, initially. I was sure to say, "I want nothing to do with these defects! So take them all to the winds forever and ever and ever!">>>>>>Too bad the reality was not so easy!

Luckily, the Step says that I am entirely ready to have them be gone. Which means I am willing to see them and learn to stop acting in a defective manner.

I am no longer under the impression that perfection follows in an instant. My ego and my fears and my thought processes have to be right-sized and retrained to fit the reality of life, with heavy emphasis on other's comfort and not my own.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by Marc L » Wed May 09, 2012 3:28 pm

Hmmm;

It would appear that my past poking, prodding,
Digging in the Dirt and yanking on old threads has provoked renewed interest in the BigBook. Cool.
Back then I caught flack for trying to do something good for this site. Go figure...

Marc
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.

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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by PaigeB » Wed May 09, 2012 9:35 pm

We have doing it daily since page 1 - and before... You got some catch up to do or join us daily now!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: 10/28/08 BB Into Action p. 76 (Willing to Give things up

Post by Marc L » Thu May 10, 2012 1:57 pm

If at first you don't succeed you can either suck a lemon or try again...
Your choice. :D

Marc
Recovery won't just happen by Osmosis. You gonna' have to work at it some.
12th Step work ain't just a job... It's an Adventure.

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