Step 6 – Episode 28

Wow!Step 6 says “[We] were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” What are “defects of character.” What does “entirely ready” mean? How do we become entirely ready? What if we like some of our defects? How can we become ready to have them removed? Spencer, Kelli, and special guest host Melissa talk about these questions and others, sharing our experience, strength, and hope on the topic of Step 6.

What are “character defects”? This term seems very negative. A more positive view is that they are traits that block us from becoming the person we want to be. Or, paraphrasing the 7th Step prayer from the AA Big Book, they “stand in the way of our usefulness to God and our fellows.” Many of our defects are old attributes or coping schools that once served us well, but are no longer helpful.

For many of us, Step 6 seems to not require any action on our part. But if we just sit there, how do we become “entirely ready”? Melissa says that for her, there was a lot of writing and prayer involved. We also found that it involves self-acceptance, and acceptance of our faults. Ok, that’s good, but how do we get there?

Our reading spoke of “the 6 P’s”: perspective, pain, prayer, patience,process and payoff. Looking at the pain that a particular defect causes us, and the payoff that it used to give us, or perhaps continues to do us, can help move towards acceptance. If we are often late to meetings and appointments, the pain might be the disapproval of those we are meeting, while the payoff is that we are not “wasting time” by being early. By identifying the “payoff”, maybe we can find something to do that will avoid that feeling of wasting time, and will make it easier for us to actually arrive on time or early. Then we are ready for this defect to be removed.

We might be afraid that if a particular defect is removed, there will be nothing to replace it, and we won’t be the same person any longer. We can look back at the assets that we identified in Step 4. We will continue to have those, and maybe some of them will expand to fill the “void”. Or, a new positive asset will replace the defect. We can have faith that our higher power will replace the defect with something better. A listener wrote that she views the changes that will result as “a welcomed adventure, exploring the new me.”

What changes have we seen in ourselves as a result of working this step? Listen and find out.

Our topic for next week is progress, not perfection. Do you struggle with perfection?  Have you learned how to be accepting of your achievements even if they aren’t perfect? Please call us at 734-707-8795, use the voicemail button, or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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Anonymity – Episode 27

Our 12th Tradition says “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions…” Why is anonymity important? What does it mean to be anonymous? Does it mean that we actively hide our identity? Is it about only sharing our first name (and initial?) Or is there something deeper here? What can we share about ourselves? What can we share about other people in our lives? And especially, what can we share about the alcoholics and addicts whose behavior has so deeply affected our lives?

We were prompted to this topic by a listener, who wrote, “I would like to make a show suggestion: can you do a show on Anonymity? It’s another thing I struggle with. How much about my life can I talk about in my share? Should I keep details like what I do for a living or where I go to school to myself? When I have heard the most profound thing at a meeting and want to share it, can I tell someone what I heard? I some times feel like al anon is shrouded in mystery, where are the boundaries of the secret?”

Kelli, Swetha, and Spencer, with some help from our friend Mark, discuss these questions and other aspects of anonymity in the program.

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Our First Meetings – Episode 26

What it was like when we first came to Al-Anon? What do we remember about our first meeting? Did it “click” right away or did it take some time? When did we realize that the program was right for us? How did that happen?

Spencer, Kelli, and Swetha, along with 7 other Al-Anon members talk about their first meeting, or meetings, and how they came to believe that they could find help in Al-Anon. For some of us, the first meeting was transformational and enlightening. Others of us just didn’t get it at first. Some of us went away for a while, but eventually came back and “got it.” From our stories, we identify some things you can do if you’re new to the program, and some things we longer-term members should do to help new members feel welcomed. Listen to our stories, and we think you will find something to identify with, and hopefully something to keep you coming back.

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Sponsorship – Episode 25

letting go of caresAt my Home group meeting, we say “in this program, we encourage sponsorship.” What does that mean? What is a sponsor? Why would you want one? How can a sponsor help you? How do you get a sponsor? What is it like to be a sponsor? How does being a sponsor help your program? Spencer, Kelli and special guest Lynn discuss these questions and others.

What is a sponsor? Someone who can guide us through the steps. Someone who can call us on our craziness. Someone who knows our story, so we can call them with a question without having to explain the whole situation first. Someone who is “not me.”

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This Too Shall Pass – Episode 24

Have you ever been caught up in a situation? Have you ever found yourself easily dismissing happy situations? Have you ever found yourself feeling hopeless about a difficult situation? Do you find yourself wondering if this too shall pass? Kelli, Swetha and guest host Patrick talk about it.

We often think of “this too shall pass” as a reminder that bad times won’t last forever. Patrick points out that it’s also useful to remember that good times will pass, so we should enjoy them while they are here, and to be OK when they are inevitably over.

Our topic for next week is sponsorship. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email feedback@therecoveryshow.com with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
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