The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous: Step Six

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

In Step Five, I was ready to admit I had been wrong. In Step Six, I became ready to have the defects of character I had discovered in Step Four removed.

A key concept in Step Six is entirely ready. By August of '93, I had "hit bottom" all the way. Such is not always the case when people first encounter the Twelve Steps. In other words, I had done the maximum amount of damage I could do in my life. My life was beyond the help of human intervention. I was beyond the help of self-discipline. My life and my relationships needed divine intervention and healing.

Had I sought to work Step Six before hitting bottom, I would not have been entirely ready. Only partially ready. God brought me to Step Six after careful preparation.

A second key concept is that only God can remove my defects of character.

I could not cleanse myself of my past, my failures, or my character defects. Once I admitted my mistakes, I also had to admit that I could not overcome them using my own willpower. I admitted I needed God's help. (Part of my ego problem had been the idea that I did not need God's help; that attitude put me beyond God's help.)

By hitting bottom intellectually, emotionally, financially, socially, mentally, and spiritually, my over-inflated pride and ego were humbled. My self-sufficiency was exposed as an insane lie; my power was shown to be powerless; and my self was shown to be nothing more than vague shadows of my work, my toys, my status, and my abilities. All that I had created to protect my ego in my proud, self-willed, fragile little world was shattered. I was alone, helpless and broken before God.

Once I was entirely broken, I became clay in God's hands, to be reshaped according to God's will.

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next: The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous Step Seven

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 1). The Twelve Steps of Co-Dependents Anonymous: Step Six, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: August 7, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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