I often hear people in the Fellowship say, “It’s hard to discuss Step 6 because it is only one paragraph in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.” For me, Step 6 is a process that began at Step 1 when I was able to fully concede to my innermost self that I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable. Once I completed Step 5, I went back to the first five proposals, starting with Step 1, to ensure I had been thorough. The reason I believe Step 6 is a process is because I have to learn about my defects before I can become willing to ask God to remove them. I have to learn how my life is unmanageable. I have to look at the insanity of the drinking and what causes the drinking the spiritual malady which, for me, is the agent of my alcoholism. I had to be willing to believe a Power greater than myself could solve my problem. Then I look at what causes the spiritual malady: my selfish and self centeredness. If these are the root of my troubles, then what are they planted in? The soil of fear because I’m living in ego consciousness. I’m trying to play God with or without the drink and I take a look at that in Step 3. God is in all of us but all of us are not in God and that’s where we suffer. I see the “self” is going to kill me. I look at the “self” in Steps 4, 5 and 6. I learned about resentments in Step 4 and that process holds the key to my future. I learned about the ego in a way I had never seen before. I found that it is the lack of understanding that causes suffering. Things started changing because I started to develop understanding, and with understanding comes compassion and with compassion comes forgiveness and with the power of forgiveness I can experience the Divine. Awareness is like the sun; when it shines on things like a flower, it becomes transformed. Without the Sunlight of the Spirit, or awareness, nothing is going to change. That’s what I was able to see in Step 4 and then talk about it in Step 5. My sponsor helped me in Step 5 to have a deeper understanding of my “self” so by the time I get to Step 6, I’m willing because I don’t want to be the same guy I’ve been a tornado that causes a lot of problems. On page 456 in the 4th Edition in the story “Safe Haven”, it says, “I have found that the process of discovering who I really am begins with knowing who I really don’t want to be.” I become entirely ready for
Step 6 by following the first 5 steps.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions.
AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Before there was a "Big Book", Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, the "AA Grapevine" or General Service -- before there were meetings, clubs, conventions or any AA literature -- before there was an H&I committee, there was a visit to an Akron hospital where "one drunk talked to another."