A toddler running through a sprinkler in golden sunshine

A Sparklingly Shiny New You

Mike Mather

Step Six

“We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” 

“This is the Step that separates the men from the boys.”

So declares a well-loved clergyman who happens to be one of A.A.’s greatest friends. He goes on to explain that any person capable of enough willingness and honesty to try repeatedly Step Six on all his faults—without any reservations whatever—has indeed come a long way spiritually, and is therefore entitled to be called a man who is sincerely trying to grow in the image and likeness of his own Creator.


A young naked man eyes shut and immersed in water

Photo by Hisu lee on Unsplash

Recovery and Higher Power

Interestingly, our relationship with our flaws is complex. Sometimes, we see them as charming idiosynchronicities deeply ingrained in our self-identity. However, as we move forward, we begin to realise that these very characteristics might hinder our path to recovery. Recovery refers to the process by which addicts work to break free from the grip of substances or behaviours that have controlled their lives. This can involve various methods, all with the common goal of improving life and regaining control. Learn more about recovery.

Acting against the wishes of our Higher Power, we face the challenge of not only identifying these barriers, but also genuinely being willing to let go of them. Perfection is not the goal; rather, it is about having a persistent intention and making earnest efforts to become better.

At sunset two male surfers give high fives on the beach

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Healing Journey

Step 6 plays a pivotal role in our healing journey. By engaging with this step and its accompanying questions, we hold up a mirror that reflects both our flaws and how we have unknowingly integrated them into our lives. It prompts us to acknowledge these imperfections, not just on the surface, but by delving deeper into why and how we have clung to them for so long.

Understanding our flaws is only half the battle. Recognising them means confronting the pain, fear, or comfort associated with them. By identifying what we want to eliminate from our lives, we take a crucial step towards self-improvement.

However, mere acknowledgement is not enough for true recovery. The next equally important step is actively seeking to overcome these flaws. This may involve seeking help from our Higher Power, seeking guidance from trusted individuals, or actively working on personal strategies for self-improvement. Step 6 is about setting intentions for change and taking proactive measures to bring about this transformation, paving the way for a more balanced and fulfilling life.

We continue to pray that our illusions will fade away. God slowly erodes them from various angles, hoping they will crumble. However, we often find ourselves trapped in what we consider to be normalcy—“the way things are.” Our lives then revolve around solving problems, fixing things, explaining ourselves, and taking sides between winners and losers. It can be a circular existence, even nonsensical at times.

Fat beam of light hitting a country road through dense forest.

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

Buddha Dharma says

In October 2013, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche taught the practice of self-generation of Vajrayogini in Cascais, Portugal, and I had the privilege of being there. This sacred practice aligns perfectly with Step 6 and its principles of growth and transformation.

About the Author Mike Mather

Mike was born in 1963 which technically makes him one of the youngest of the Baby Boomers. An Australian with Indigenous and European heritage, he has been an avid and required student of Buddhism and alcoholism since 2008.

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