Letting Go of Old Ideas: Steps 6 and 7
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
Step 7: Humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings -Alcoholics Anonymous
This weekend I will be completing steps 6 and 7, which I outlined above. When I first read through these steps, they seem like the simplest, most palatable of all the steps in the program. Seriously, if you know that you possess a character defect, then why wouldn’t you want to get rid of it? Why not just ask God to remove it?
Here is what I’m learning: you can know you possess a character defect, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you really want it removed. Case in point: I have learned, through all of my recent self-examination, that I have a tendency to be self-righteous (REALLY!?! is now the thought of all my friends and family). So… simple, right? Admit it, ask God to remove it, and bam! I am now the most humble person around.
Not so fast. It is not that easy! When I am in a moment when I know, I mean I really know, that I am right, it has proven exceedingly difficult not to beat that point into the ground. And so, just like the definition of insanity suggests, I will continue to argue my “rightness” until I am blue in the face, and does it get me any satisfaction? Generally, no. Does it improve the situation I am trying to correct? Almost never. Does the lightbulb go off over the heads of those with whom I am debating, and do they finally accept and appreciate the wisdom that is me? Sadly, I have never had such an experience, but damn if I don’t keep trying.
So, I guess somehow I will figure it out, but here’s what I do know at this point: I can see a pattern of behavior, I can accept that I have a defect, but I have to really and truly want to have it removed before God is going to work with me. So the new prayer is for God to get me entirely ready!