Steps 6 & 7
Once through the first five steps of the 12-step program (A.A., N.A., G.A., etc) it is time to look at clearing the way to develop healthier behaviors, attitudes and beliefs.
Step 6: Becoming willing to remove those things about you that get in the way. Defects of character is what Alcoholics Anonymous calls them. When we complete Steps 4 & 5, we uncover aspects of self that are a problem, that get in the way, such as patterns in our life that are destructive or troublesome. Much as picking up that drink, drug, or other addictive behavior, our way of thinking, anger, jealousy, greed, fear, and other attitudes interfere with a productive and healthy lifestyle.
Step 7: We ask our Divine power to take away all that stands in the way of our new lifestyle. Much as we asked our Power to remove our cravings for drugs, alcohol, gambling, over eating, and other addictions.
Neither of these steps is a done and over with process. You cannot uncover everything about your old way of life that is a problem now. Patterns run deep and were well established by this time of your life. Recovery is an ongoing project.
We take life one day at a time, one minute at a time, each breath brings healing and release. The Divine Power in your life will do for you that which you cannot do for yourself.
When followed, each step brings you one more closer to a Divine relationship. Recovery is about removing that which still keeps you locked into the prison of addiction or isms as many like to say.
We developed a way of life that allowed us to survive and come to this day. Choose to move beyond survivor and become a thrivor.
Many 12-step groups use the Serenity Prayer as a part of Step 7. The author is Reinhold Niebuhr, tho many do not use his full version of the prayer, only the first half, it is common to hear the Serenity Prayer called the 7th Step prayer.
It is suggested you read this prayer every day or when you find a difficult moment use the short version, the first paragraph. This short paragraph has a way of bringing peace to another wise difficult or stressful situation.
The Woman’s Way through the 12-steps discusses many ways a woman may find her way with the language of these steps. We often take on more than our fair share in any situation and have difficulty in understanding our good traits. Many of us were diminished for those wonderful traits and have learned not to trust ourselves.
By now you should have a woman that is a strong, loving support in your life. Take the time to dive into these steps and learn to understand, be patient, and loving with self. Honor your “defects” they go you to today, but now you can trade them for more useful loving traits.
Bless you this day on your journey. I am available to discuss step work, finding a sponsor, and recovery lifestyle changes.