Thursday, June 26, 2008

The six P's

At a recent meeting, there was a discussion on Step 6. I like Step meetings because it gives a chance to hear different perspectives on working the steps. One of the things that I shared was how the six P's apply in working this step through Al-Anon.

Perspective--This is something that I've gained from having a better understanding of my character defects. These defects were actually traits that I developed over time. This doesn't mean that I'm a particularly bad person to have character defects but indicates my humanness. And just as I have defects, so does every other person. That gives me perspective on understanding others.

Pain--Because the character defects were developed to enable me to adapt to situations in my life, my awareness of them and readiness to have them removed can be painful. I may think that I need to hold on to character defects because I thought that they were a comfort during difficult times. In reality, my defects have caused me a lot of pain.

Prayer--It is important for me to pray to do God's will and not mine as I do Step Six. Through prayer, I let my HP know that I'm ready to have Him remove my defects.

Patience--I didn't acquire my character defects overnight. They have been with me for a long time. It's going to take time for me to become aware of them and to not have them rule my life. They will be removed in God's time, not mine. My job is to be patient and not castigate myself when a defect comes up.

Process--Working the steps is a process. Having Step 6 come after steps 1-5 is a logical process. If I admit that I am powerless, come to believe in a HP, become willing to turn my life and will over to my HP, make a moral inventory, tell my story to another, then I've used the process of the program to become ready to address my character defects.

Payoff--And finally there is the reward of recovery, of having a feeling of freedom, of having my spirits uplifted, and having a great weight lifted from me. I can accept who I am, enjoy being in my own skin, and look forward to this day. What better payoff could there be?


  1. Ahh, patience, yes, not something I have in abundance. I can always relate to the reading in Courage to Change, on April 12th, which speaks of wanting instant change in ourselves, once we become aware of our defects. Berating myself for my character defects keeps me focused on them, instead of my Higher Power. Surrender and acceptance work wonders in this area.

  2. Wonderful list, I am printing it!

  3. Nice clear explanation once again for us newcomers. Thanks a bunch!

  4. great list. loved the bit about patience!
    SO valuable for the long haul as I always want more than I have right now. but its in gods time not mine..

  5. I am so grateful for this discussion and these posts, starting with Syd's. It is so helpful for me to be able to break down this program into managable simplified pieces and parts. Life feels so overwhelming sometimes,emotions take over, then I open up this page, read a clearly articulated paragraph or two on a step that I need that day, listen to everyone else and thier thoughts and I can finish off the day. I love Step Six. Thanks EVERYONE.

  6. That's a great list, Syd. I've never heard Step 6 expressed this way and I'm printing it out too.
    I tell myself and my sponsees that we had to learn our bad habits, so it only makes sense that we can learn good habits to overcome them.

  7. great bunch of p's. i have not come across them before. thanks for sharing the knowledge...

  8. Excellent. I like Step 6!

    After reading your description I find I am in better shape than I thought I was in. Thank you.

  9. I'm loving the payoff, Syd. I didn't expect it to start so early for me. Even though I still have bad moments and sometimes bad days, the payoff moments are far greater and simply wonderful.


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