Step Six

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

“'This is the Step that separates the men from the boys.' So declares a well-loved clergyman who happens to be one of A.A.’s greatest friends. He goes on to explain that any person capable of enough willingness and honesty to try repeatedly Step Six on all his faults -- without any reservation whatever -- has indeed come a long way spiritually, and is therefore entitled to be called a man who is sincerely trying to grow in the likeness and image of his own Creator."

Will God, as you understand Him, actually come through? Yes. If one is truly willing to do the work. Just ask any A.A. member who’s successfully taken Step Six and they’ll readily concur.

We’ve rid ourselves of alcohol and drugs; now we must eliminate what drove us to drink and drug in the first place. So we heed the help of a Higher Power.

Many of us will see difficulties in removing even our most glaring defects. To seek removal of all our defects might seem insurmountable. But fret not: Step Six is about betterment, not being perfect.

"Only Step One, where we made the 100% admission we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals to which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress. Seen in this light, Step Six is still difficult, but not impossible. The only urgent thing is that we make a beginning, and keep trying."

Tradition Six, in contrast, ensures that A.A. operates without defects of character.

“An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”

It wasn’t always that way. A.A.’s earliest days were rife with great expectations for the brand, as it were. (How could it not? The organization consists of alcoholics!) A.A. would build hospitals, fund education programs, reform prisoners. You name it. A.A. thought it could transform the world.

But those adventures implanted a deep-rooted conviction that in no circumstances could we endorse any related enterprise, no matter how good. We of Alcoholics Anonymous could not be all things to all men, nor should be try.

We at Recovery Boot Camp have found though that A.A. can help the alcoholic and addict be the man they were meant to be. And that’s more than enough for us!

(Inspired by -- and taken from -- Alcoholics Anonymous' Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.)

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