STEPS SIX AND SEVEN INTRODUCTION
The previous Steps give us the ability to take Step 6 and 7 where change really begins. In Step 1 we saw the problem, in Step 2 we saw the solution, in Step 3 we make a decision and in Step 5 we re-examined those things blocking us from our Higher Power.
The basis of our change is based on the principle of whatever we practice we become good at. To change we must practice the opposite of what we are trying to change.
Once we recognize and discuss the things that block us off from our Higher Power, strange as it sounds, sometimes we’d rather sit in today’s pain and suffer than take a chance of doing something different. We are used to the pain and know what it’s like and we’re learned to deal with it in our own ways–but we don’t know what the future will be like without the pain. So, often, we’d rather suffer with what’s familiar than take a chance of changing.
Also, many of us don’t want our defects of character/shortcomings/wrongs removed because they are fun and exciting. They cause us trouble and they lead to restlessness and discontent instead of peace and serenity–but because they’re fun and exciting, we’re unwilling to have those things that have been blocking us from our Higher Power removed so they can be replaced with character strength: love, honesty, courage, unselfishness, the will of a Higher Power, peace and serenity.
Our Higher Power will not remove our character defects until we ask, Step 7. Our Higher Power can do things we can’t–but won’t do things for us that we can do for ourselves. We can’t remove our own defects of character; all we can do is ask our Higher Power to take them away. But what we can do is practice living in a way that’s different from the way we lived when we were ruled by our shortcomings. We can try to live according to some principles–the principles of unselfishness, honesty, courage and considerateness.
Once we’ve asked our Higher Power to remove our selfishness, then with that Power’s help we can practice unselfishness instead, slowly, our old mental habits can die and can be replaced by new ones which will take time and work on our part.
Once we asked our Higher Power to take away our dishonesty, then with that Power’s help and our sincere effort we can be honest. This might be difficult at first, but as our Higher Power slowly takes away our dishonesty and we practice being honest, our old habit dies and is replaced with dishonesty’s opposite.
Once we’ve asked our Higher Power to remove our fear, then with the help of our Higher Power, we can start to do those things we’re always been afraid to do. After a while, we’re find courage beginning to replace our fear.
Once we’ve asked this Power to take away our inconsiderateness, then with our Higher Power’s help and our own efforts, we can start being considerate of others. Slowly, over time, through repeated practice, the old habit of inconsiderateness dies and the new habit of considerateness replaces it and becomes natural.
As we practice unselfishness, honesty, courage and considerateness, something amazing will start to happen. The old us will disappear and die and a new personality will take its place. And we’re find that this personality and the new way of life that goes with it are far, far better than the personality and way of life we used to have.
Following the principles is a much less stressful too. For one thing, these principles don’t cause shame and quilt or remorse. For another, we feel a lot better about ourselves–and we don’t have to worry about getting caught doing things that land us in trouble. We will also get along a lot better with people.
Step 7 isn’t something we just do once and get it over with. We have to practice it regularly, on a daily basis. At first this may mean making ourselves do what we don’t want to do. But as we establish this new pattern of thinking, acting and living, we resist less and less and eventually we want to do all those we’re doing. Then we don’t have to make ourselves to do anything anymore.
We just do what we know is right, and when we’re not sure what’s right, we ask our Higher Power for guidance.
Overview of the Steps: Author unknown.