The Step that Separates the Men from the Boys—Why? By Jamie Moon

Jamie Moon addresses step 6 and separates the men from the boys.What’s up with Step Six “Were entirely ready to have God remove our shortcomings?” What the heck was Father Dowling talking about when he made that statement? Well in order to answer that question we really have to know what “shortcomings” (character defects and our wrongs—same thing) really are. Are they “bad things?” What exactly are they? Oh and ladies we know your resentment at the wording.



So, we could just as easily said “The Step that separates the girls from the women.” Or, “The Step that separates the child from the adult.” But, to get into that conversation is to miss the point completely. The point being this is a much more difficult Step to take than the Big Book gives credit. It only provides slight acknowledgment, with the single paragraph of five short sentences. That which it has devoted to Step Six does not come close to the actual difficulty of the Step.

I personally suggest that this Step is not difficult at all—it is impossible. These so called, defects are actually our defence mechanisms. We created them, usually in our early childhood, to protect ourselves from painful trauma—real or imagined. Thus, what are we being asked to do? We are being asked to be willing to let God strip us of all our defences. The defences we have used to protect ourselves from all manner of perceived danger. Who among us is truly willing to do such a thing? No wonder even in that short paragraph it says if (now there is an understatement), “If we still cling to something we will not let go, we as God to help us be willing.”

Right here in the middle of the Steps can be a huge roadblock. How often have we seen (myself included at one point) those with long term “sobriety” still raging at group conscientious’? Or, many others have held on to—maybe even other addictions than their original. I mean I certainly did—over-eating, debting, over-spending, workaholisim, and and and…

In my long and troubled experience it is clear to me that Steps Six and Seven are to be practiced daily. I personally don’t believe that there is any of us that only has one addiction. I mean even worry is an addiction for many people. Oh, and I repeat what I have said in an earlier article, “All addictions are chemical in nature.” Thinking that a particular addiction, like being a compulsive debtor, makes your addiction special and different—it just isn’t so.

Jamie M

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