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?