Six and Seven

I did not have any white light experiences when I took steps six and seven. I took these steps for the same reason I took the other ones -- I wanted what you had, so I did what you did. When I took my fifth with my sponsor, we identified a handful of my character defects that made it impossible for me to form true partnerships with other people and my higher power. This was new behavior for me because before this I could not admit there was anything wrong with me. I just drank a little bit too much.

In six and seven I learned that my character defects had guilt, shame, anger and self-centered fear at their roots. Since I had carried these negative
qualities of spirit deep inside all my life, they felt like a part of me
 -- like who I was. I was instructed to stay aware of these defects as I went throughout my day. I took a nightly inventory of my most glaring defects to see where they popped up during my day. I used the dictionary to discover the antonym of the defect. I prayed to be forgiving instead of indignant, calm instead of angry, and right sized instead of arrogant. Slowly, slowly I became aware that my insecurity expressing through my character defects was not serving me well.

In 2009 I had a mini-breakthrough. After one particularly angry, emotional meltdown with my wife, I heard a voice say “You don’t have to live this way anymore if you don’t want to.” After fifteen years of recovery, I had finally become sick and tired of being sick and tired of being manipulated by fear. I was allowed to see I had been repeating the same set of fearful behaviors over and over again and receiving the same crap tasting sandwich for my trouble.

I’d like to report that today, after more than twenty years in Alcoholics Anonymous and working a pretty good program, that my character defects are a thing of the past. This is not the case. They are all still there waiting to rear up if I let up on my program of action. Fortunately for me I love AA and have no intention of letting that happen.