A.A. – Step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings.

Were entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings

Oh, oh. Now we’re getting really up close and personal. To be “entirely ready” means that the negotiations are finished, we don’t want to be who we have been, we “desperately” want to be changed.

After all, when you realize who you have been, it actually makes a lot of sense to want to be changed. Logically, this is an easy step.

The problem is that we are not logical creatures. Old habits die hard. We know how to cope with the flaws and “shortcomings” that we have and they are almost like old friends.

Whether laziness or sentimentality or fear of change or the fear of letting go or something else, we have plenty of reasons to not want to face this step head-on.

Well, if you fake your way through this step, you’ll find the next several very, very tough.

But there’s more hope than you realize.

This step does you very, very well even if you’re only ready to get rid of one or two tiny shortcomings. If you can’t be “entirely ready” to remove all “our shortcomings” then take this step for the ones you are ready to let go off. Do what you are ready to do now. After all, you are also finding out why this program is a life-long program for some people.

There’s an old saying that says “you eat an elephant one bite at a time” and another that says “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”.

There’s another that says “one day at a time”.

Take the steps you can, have your sponsor push and help and support you, but don’t play games with who you have been. Remember that “who you have been” is “who you will stay” if you don’t do something different.

No, I don’t know exactly how God is going to remove your shortcomings. I expect that parts of the process won’t be very pleasant. In fact, some of it may hurt.

A lump of coal, dirty carbon.
A huge uncut diamond was found in New York State!

Did you know that coal and diamonds have the same chemical formula? They are the same thing, but one of them has gone through a lot of heat and pressure and has been changed by the process. I wonder how many people allow that process to happen, despite the pain.

In many ways, you are a “diamond in the rough” being changed. Your “chemical formula” is not going to change, but you will truly be someone new. But you have to choose whether to start the journey or to stay a lump of coal. There is no middle ground, just procrastination.

Even the uncut diamond needs an expert hand to bring out the best in it.

Also, note that we admit we can not do this ourselves, only God can remove our shortcomings. Not our husband or wife, not our parents, not our shrink or counselor or mentor. Not the bottle, the relationship, the drug of choice, not even us. That’s right, not even you or me. We can take the steps, but the results and improvements are up to God.


* The Twelve Steps are reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that A.A. has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that A.A. agrees with the views expressed herein. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism. Use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs that are patterned after A.A. but which address other problems does not imply otherwise.

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