“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
“When thinking about step six, even if your not there yet, it can be troubling. Who wants to name all of their character defects? Its not nice to point out other peoples flaws and its certainly not fun pointing out your own. Thats why I went looking for another way we can handle working through this step. Something that will give us courage but most importantly: serenity. Below you will find some adjectives that you might use to describe any number of your faults. I suggest picking a few of the most dominant traits to start with. Then there is a step-by-step guided meditation practice. Give it a look over and try it out loud first. Then, when your ready , you can really dig deep and spend some time with yourself and your thoughts. Relax and observe yourself. There is no fear, there is no tension. It’s just you and complete, utter, honesty.” -Best of luck, Robyn
List of Possible Character Defects:
- anger, hatred
- anxiety – Not as a clinical diagnosis, but as a general way of viewing things with an eye toward what is wrong, what might be wrong, what has been wrong or what is going to be wrong. Excessive worry, especially about things I cannot change.
- arrogance – Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
- closed mindedness – Contempt prior to investigation. Disregarding things and ideas just because they are new and unknown. Being unwilling to try things or follow suggestions. Failing to remain teachable. Having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments.
- dependency, over dependency, co dependency – Relying on others to provide for us what we ought to provide for ourselves. Feeling we must be in a relationship, or must hold on to others who want to move on. Letting others control us to an extreme due to our fear of being alone, abandoned, or independent.
- depression, pessimism – Not as a clinical condition, but as a way to generally see the dark side of things.
- dishonesty – Sins of omission and commission. Telling lies, hiding things, telling half truths or pretending something is so that isn’t. Withholding important information. Adding untrue details to stories and situations. Stealing, cheating, taking things that aren’t ours and that we aren’t entitled to.
- controlling attitude toward people, places and things – Trying to control others by manipulation, bribery, punishment, withholding things or tricking them into acting as we wish, even when we believe it is in their best interest to do so. Failing to be equal partners with others and to consider their knowledge and opinions.
- gluttony, greed – Wanting and taking too much: food, sex, time, money, comfort, leisure, material possessions, attention, security. Acquiring things (material things, relationships, attention) at the expense of others.
- gossiping – Speaking or writing about others in a negative manner, especially to get them in trouble or to feel superior to them and bond with someone else against the target of the gossip. When I find myself talking about someone, I must pause and check out why I am mentioning their name.
- humility, a lack of humility – Feeling better than and worse than others, and being self centered.
- impatience – Being frustrated by waiting, wanting often to be some time in the future, wanting something to change or improve rather than accepting it as it is.
- intolerance – Not accepting people or things for who or what they are.
- inventory taking, being judgmental – Noticing and listing, out loud or to ourselves, the faults of others.
- jealousy and envy – Wanting what others have, feeling we don’t have enough or deserve more, wishing we had what others do instead of them. This applies to material possessions like houses, cars, money and such. It also applies to nonmaterial things like relationships, a nice family, children, parents, friends and partners, and fulfilling work relationships. We can envy others their looks and physical appearance, their talents and physical abilities or attributes such as thinness, tallness, sports ability or musical talent.
- laziness, procrastination, sloth – Not doing as much as is reasonable for us to do. Putting things off repeatedly. Not carrying our own load as much as we are able. Letting others provide things for us that we ought to get for ourselves.
- perfectionism – Expecting or demanding too much from ourselves or others. Treating things that aren’t perfect as not good enough. Not recognizing a good try or progress.
- prejudice – Pre-judging people based on a group they belong to. Negative feelings about someone based on their religion, race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, accent, politics, economic status, physical characteristics like height, weight, hair style, clothing style, physical fitness.
- rationalization, minimizing and justifying, self-justification – Saying and/or believing I had good motives for bad behavior. Saying that I did bad things for good reasons, or that what I did really wasn’t that bad.
- resentment – The feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.
- rigidity and fear of change
- self centeredness, selfishness – Spending excessive time thinking about myself. Considering myself first in situations. Not having enough regard for others or thinking about how circumstances hurt or help others. Thinking about what I can get out of situations and people, what’s in it for me? Spending too much time considering my appearance, acquiring things for myself, pampering myself, indulging myself.
- self pity
From a blog by Lydia at Don’t Drink and Don’t Die
Step Six Meditation:Uncover and detach from our defects
1. Relaxation, Centering and Aligning with our Higher Power
- Let’s begin our meditation as before by getting comfortable and listening to our breath. Feel the clean light-filled air on the inhale filling your lungs and body with goodness and love. Exhale deeply and visualize all sickness and negativity leaving your lungs and body with the breath.
- I relax and I let go. Repeat this phrase in rhythm with your breathing and feel the tension release from your body, your emotions and your mind.
- I let go and I let God ( or use the word – Love). Continue your path towards relaxation by using this mantra as you breath. Concentrate on the words and imagine all of the day-to-day stuff that you can let go of and turn over to your Higher Power. Begin focusing on your heart center. Imagine a white light glowing in your chest that is warm and full of love. Remember that this heart center is your connection to Higher Power and to the Universe and all of the good is available to you.
- “I offer myself to my Higher Power.” Become aware of how this surrender affirmation feels and what images you can use to support this affirmation.
2. Dis-identification exercise
- “I have a body, but I am not my body. My body may find it self in different conditions of health or sickness; it may be rested or tired, but that has nothing to do with my SpiritSelf, my real ‘I.’ My body is my precious instrument of experience and of action in the outer world, but it is only an instrument. I treat it well; I seek to keep it in good physical condition, but it is not myself. I have a body, but I am not my body.
- “I have emotions, but I am not my emotions. These emotions are countless, contradictory, changing, and yet I know that I always remain I, my SpiritSelf, in times of hope or despair, in joy or in pain, in a state of irritation or of calm. Since I can observe, understand, and judge my emotions, and then increasingly dominate, direct, and utilize them, it is evident that they are not myself. I have emotions, but I am not my emotions.
- “I have desires, but I am not my desires, aroused by drives, physical and emotional, and by outer influences. Desires too are changeable and contradictory, with alterations of attractions and repulsions. I have desires but they are not myself.
- “I have a mind, but I am not my mind. It is more or less developed and active; it is undisciplined but teachable; it is an organ of knowledge in regard to the outer world as well as the inner; but it is not my SpiritSelf. Ihave a mind, but I am not my mind.
3. Let’s begin our work with one of our defects. I suggest that you select 1 defect to reflect on in each meditation. You may need to work for a number of meditations on one specific defect to help detach from it. Hold in your mind the defect that you wish to share with your Higher Power in the Sunlight of the Spirit.
- I have (this defect), but I am not (this defect.) Visualize this defect as separate and detached from you. Repeat this affirmation adding any visualizations or emotions that will help to support this for you.
- Next let’s work to replace this defective quality with a higher, positive spiritual quality. You may substitute any word for the spiritual quality or virtue that expresses the opposite of the defect into this affirmation.
- “I am the “(insert spiritual quality)” of my Higher Power in action.” Repeat it over and over with in rhythm with your breathing in your meditation. You may wish to add a visualization to accompany the affirmation that reinforces and imprints the energy of the quality within you. In this way we begin to weed out the defects within our Spiritual Garden and replace them with the fruits and flowers of our virtues.
4. I am a Spiritual Being. Imagine being free of all that is weighing you down emotionally, mentally and physically. I am one with my Higher Power, connected in my heart center, I now rest in this conscious contact and oneness with my Higher Power.
5. End your meditation slowly. Open your eyes and look around the room. Sit quietly for several minutes.
Please do not get discouraged and give up. This is practice. You will think that you are not being very productive, that you are distracted and not doing it right. Persist through this. Be consistent. You will discover the fruits of your meditation over time. The first goal achieved will be emotional balance, , emotional sobriety, a calm within the storm of our thoughts and emotions. Stick with it.
From 11th Step Mediation, The Sixth Step