Developing a Willingness to Change Through Step 6 NA
Step 6 – “Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.”
It’s not uncommon for someone to enter into addiction recovery out of necessity rather than will; necessity, as in an ultimatum from a spouse or an employer. While there’s really no bad reason for entering addiction recovery, actually wanting to get well can make the experience that much more worth while in the long run.
By the time a person reaches Step 6 NA, he or she has had a good look at the issues and character traits that brought about the addiction problem. Learning to rely on others and a Higher Power have also been big parts of the process.
It’s at Step 6 NA where developing an actual willingness to live drug-free becomes the focus. Making a way for this willingness to develop means letting go of the “old self” once and for all.
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Letting Go of Defects of Character
According to Indiana University, Bloomington, addictive personalities in general tend to take an all or nothing approach to life. Rather than do things in moderation, a person either ends up overindulging or not doing it at all. Character defects develop out of this tendency to overindulge.
Examples of character defects include:
Each of the above traits represents a natural instinct that’s been taken to the extreme. In this respect, Step 6 NA speaks to natural instincts gone wild as opposed to basic natural instincts.
This means, having fun, sex and wanting more for your life are all good things. Letting go of character defects means letting go of tendencies towards excess. When viewed from this perspective, a willingness to change becomes possible.
Being Ready Means Being Open
Anyone who’s made the transition from addiction to recovery well knows how hard it can be adapt to major life changes. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, making that transition required an attitude of openness that can be difficult to muster.
Likewise, being ready to have your Higher Power remove defects of character entails being open to change. Much like the very first day in drug treatment, Step 6 NA speaks of submitting to your desire to live a drug-free life.
Working With Your Higher Power
While being ready to have one’s Higher Power remove character defects requires an openness to change, the recovering addict still plays an active role in the process. At any given time, a person’s actual choices prevail over anything else.
In this respect, working with your Higher Power means purposely making choices that support ongoing abstinence no matter how hard they may be.
Preparing for the Next Level
The growth potential made available through Step 6 NA naturally prepares a person for the next half of the 12 Steps process. While character defects don’t just disappear overnight, as they do fade, the prospect of developing new, more healthy ways of getting what you want out of life takes on a whole new meaning.