Dual Recovery Anonymous: Step 6
"Step 6: Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all our liabilities."
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6:- “Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all our liabilities.”
IN OUR OWN WORDS:
Members share their thoughts on the Sixth Step
Once 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 for 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.
I 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 change.
God, 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.
I first 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 are there, but it’s up to me to take the responsibility to put it into practice and use it. I have to walk the 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.
Even though I was clean and sober for a while, I still was filled with self-defeating thoughts and behaviours, 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 counsellor 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.