Step Six

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step Six Outlined

Six and Seven are perhaps the most unnoticed, unused, mistrusted Steps in the Twelve. They are also some of the most powerful. These are the Steps whereby we become transformed. These are the Steps that actually change us."


"... this philosophy doesn't give anyone permission to continue to harm themselves or another person, but it seems more compassionate."

"Whether we call them defects of character or our protective devices, what are we looking at in this Step? What are we becoming ready to ask God to heal us from? What are we becoming willing to let go of?"

	"Our tight grasp on people	
	Our fears
	Old feelings that may be clogging us up
	Negative, limiting beliefs
	The need to blame our pain on others	
	Waiting to be happy"

"We become ready to let go of our fear of being controlled - which for many of us is as great, or greater than, our desire to control or manipulate another. We let go of allowing others to control us, our lives, or our happiness."

"We become ready to let go of our caretaking - our tendency to focus on the problems, issues, feelings, needs, choices, and lives of another; the underlying belief that we are responsible for others."

"We become willing to be healed from the issues underlying caretaking: weak or inappropriate boundaries or limits; an unclear sense of self, self-responsibility, and the responsibilities of others."

"We become willing to be healed from the belief that others, or ourselves, are incompetent and cannot take care of us."

"We become ready to let go of:"
	"Low self-esteem
         Our self-neglect, and the belief that we aren't responsible for
         ourselves and cannot take care of ourselves
	 Our desire to have others take care of, or be responsible for, us
	 Lack of self-trust
	 Lack of trust in God, life, and the process of recovery
	 Our trust issues with people - inappropriately placed trust and not
         trusting when it is appropriate
	 Our addictions
	 Shame - that pervading sense that who we are is not okay"

"We become ready to let go of our inability to own our power, to think, feel, be who we are, take care of ourselves, and enjoy life. We become ready to let go of our difficulty with setting appropriate boundaries and limits with people."

"We become ready to let go of our reluctance to feel and deal with our feelings:"

       "Our difficulty dealing with and expressing anger
	Our inability to experience joy and love
	Our negativity, hopelessness, and despair
	Our fear of joy and love
	Our fear of commitment
	A closed mind, or a closed heart
	Our attraction to unavailable people and dysfunctional systems
	Our need to be in dysfunctional relationships and systems
	Our need to be perfect
	Our abuse from childhood
	Our need to be victims and our participation in our own victimization"

"We become ready to let go of our fear of intimacy and closeness, and our relationship- sabotaging behaviors. We become willing to let go of our problems and fears with sexuality."

"We become ready to let go of our blocks and barriers to joy and love, even when we cannot name those blocks and barriers. We ask God to take away everything that stands in the way of us having all we deserve in our lives. We ask God to show us the blocks or defects we need to be willing to let go of, and help us become willing to let go of them all."

"We become ready to be healed from our pasts, from unresolved feelings of guilt, anger, hurt, and grief over the many losses we've endured. We become ready to let go of the negative beliefs that we latched onto as a result of our pasts: that we're unlovable, a disappointment, a burden, not good enough, stupid, unworthy, a problem, and a bother."

"We become ready to let go of all of our "don't deserves": don't deserve love, happiness, success. Don't deserve a new hat, a new coat, a new car. Don't deserve to be heard, cared for, have fun, or enjoy life."

"We get ready to let go of the entire codependent package. Whatever we uncovered in our work on our Fourth and Fifth Steps, whatever we become aware of during the daily course of our recoveries, whatever we don't like, don't want, can't stand, feel helpless about, and want to be done with, we become willing to let go of."

"Anything that is no longer useful; any behavior or belief that gets in our way - these are what we become ready to release."

"The deeper we're willing to go, the deeper the healing we will receive."

"Do not limit the use of this Step to defects. This Step works on feelings, and feelings aren't defects. If we get stuck in a particular feeling, especially fear, anger, resentment, grief, or sadness, we can become willing to let go of that."

"There is no behavior too large or too small to be worked on in this Step. When we take this Step, when we become entirely ready to have God remove our protective devices, we are on the way to becoming changed."


"If there is any struggle to recovery, if there is a difficult, frustrating, grueling part, it can be when we become aware of the devices that once protected us but have now become self- defeating. It is when we become ready to let go."

"We may have spent years behaving in a certain way without having any awareness of, or experiencing noticeable consequences from, this behavior. Then, suddenly, it becomes time to change. We begin to notice that behavior. We bump into it, over and over again. We begin to feel the pain from that behavior, the helplessness, the hopelessness, our own inability to change. And we wonder how things will or can ever be any different."

"That's when it's time to remind ourselves that we are changing. Right now, we are in the process of becoming changed. That's how this program of recovery works."

"That's how we become ready. We bet pelleted, sometimes bombed, by awareness. That's how life gets our attention. Awareness. Acceptance. And change. Our part in this process is becoming ready to let go, becoming ready to have God take it from us."

"We can start where we are and with who we are, and that is good enough for this program to work. We can ask for help getting ready to let go."

"Becoming ready to let go is not something that can be taught. But it is something that each of us can learn, through practice. Don't worry. If we stay in recovery circles long enough, we will."

"The readiness will be worked out in us."

"We can rely on the Step. We can trust what happens when we take this Step. If we aren't ready or willing to let go of our defects or any person or anything, we can ask our Higher Power to help us become willing and ready."


"This is not a do-it-ourselves program. We are not abdicating self-responsibility. But we are learning to trust God, trust this process, and trust ourselves. When it is time to change, we will become changed. We will receive the power, help, and ability to do that. For now, our part is becoming ready to let go."

"Lessons don't go away. They keep repeating themselves until we learn. In fact, when it's time to change, it becomes harder to stay than it does to change."

"This Step gives us permission to relax, trust, and become willing. It gives us permission to be who we are and let this process of change happen to us."

"Alcoholics Anonymous (the Big Book) suggests that after doing our Fifth Step, we seclude ourselves and ask God to remove our defects of character, our shortcomings. It's important to take this Step, and take it big, after doing a Fourth and Fifth Step."

"This is the letting-go Step. It is the beginning of transformation. It begins the process of receiving what we want and need from our Higher Power. Become ready to let go of all that stands in our way, of all that bothers, troubles, defeats, or perplexes us, of all that we cannot control. Become ready to let go of what we don't want any more and what we truly desire. Then, move on to the Seventh Step and watch what happens."

The Source for this Step Six outline: Melody Beattie's: "Codependents Guide To The Twelve Steps"

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