Now, taking this step does not mean we will wake up the next morning and they will magically be gone. No, this step is all about the Willingness to have them gone.
The 12 & 12 (12 Steps & 12 Traditions book) tells us, “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.“
As painful as it may be to admit, but recognizing and confessing our character flaw in steps 4 & 5 did not necessarily mean we were ready to give them up. At times, we may have realized we still automatically wanted to go back to our old ways of reacting to and coping with stresses in life when a situation arises. We have to fight those urges but with practice is will get easier until they are eventually gone.
For those defects that we deep down think are fun we need to remind ourselves that in Step 3 we turned our will & our lives over to the care of God. Would he approve of those defects we don’t want to let go?
Some of us have had these defects with us for so long they had become so ingrained into who we are that we can’t see ourselves without them. We wondered, “how can I function at work or at home without this or that defect? Who will I be?”. These were the fears that kept making us second guess taking this most important step.
In my opinion, this is the most important step of all 12 Steps. Previously we have taken a moral inventory, confessed the nature of our wrongs to another human being, admitted and acknowledged our shortcomings. Now we have a choice to make, a huge choice, either live in misery with our defects of character or ask God to remove them.
Do we take the easy way and do nothing to change our circumstance or do we have the courage to make changes so we can be a better person and closer to our Lord?
Which would you choose?