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Post Info TOPIC: Working Step Six, On The Question About Pride


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Working Step Six, On The Question About Pride

Good Afternoon My Friends, I am currently working on step six with a question about pride if anyone has any esh on step six or pride i would sure love to hear from yah.

Step 6 - I become entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character

(Question One)

Make a list of good and bad ways that you see pride in your life

1) Most times i have to much pride to ask for help allthough this has much improved

2) I have allotta pride when it comes to my abilty to stay unfeeling which is coming unraveled now for some reason

3) I have much pride about my abilty to be controling which im noticeing is not such a grt thing to have pride in

4) I pride myself on being analitical i like this about myself

5) I have pride that i see myself as being an inteligent woman

6) I have pride in myself for the changes i have made in my life i love this at times

7) I have pride in my determanation

8) I have pride in my recovery such as it is at this moment in time

9) I have pride in the fact that i can do something to help others

10) I have pride in my abilty to understand and comprahend things

(Question Two)

How has your pride effected you and your recovery?

my pride in bad situations has made me self centered and self absorbed most times i only think of Serenitys needs and wants. i know that being this way has not only hurt others but it has hurt me also. being pridefull has also effected my abilty to be in loving stable realionships and it has destroyed some of my friendships as well.

My pride in good things has bumped up my self eestem and helped me to push forward because when something changes for the better in my life i become more confadent that more good things can happen if i work for them. i have gained some pride in the fact that Serenity is a good person who deserves to be loved, wanted, needed, and cared for, i know that i am a worthwhile person with alot to offer humanity.

Hugs, Serenity

Much Love, Serenity

MIP Old Timer

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Posts: 2087

Pride covers a lot of ground--Serenity-And involves a big area. Good and bad. If we throw in the ego, and false pride and self centerednes-we have enough for a few books.:)

The following is a definition of pride.PRIDE: 1: an over high opinion of oneself. 2. haughtiness; arrogance. 3. dignity and self-respect. 4. satisfaction in one's achievements. 5. a person or thing in which pride is taken. '“pride oneself on, to be proud of.

As you see by the definition it can go from one extreme to the other.

Self centeredness is the very thing we try to rid ourseves off. All the controlling of others is another one. Insecurities within ourselves cause us to control, be rigid, and demanding of others. Or we can put up walls not letting others in, or ourselves out.

Notice how the definition moves from arrogance to dignity in just four definitions? Here the emphasis is on the idea of too high an opinion of oneself. Can you ever feel too good about yourself? Well, again it depends on the attitude. Where is this source of pride coming from and why do you feel this way?

I've notice that some people who are arrogant are trying to cover up a deep inferiority complex. They bluster their way through proclaiming their greatness or how 'good' a person they are to accomplish a thing only hoping that someone will recognize their work. Now let me tell you that an arrogant person who is not recognized, thanked, or praised for the little that they do creates a hurricane of anger and resentment

Im going to put the sixth step on here for you--from the Twelve and Twelve book.
Maybe that will give you a better understanding and insight. Im also adding the Seven deadly sins at the bottom of the step six chapter. That should keep yu going for a while. (smile)

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

"This is the Step that separates the men from the boys." So declares a well-loved clergyman who happens to be one of A.A.'s greatest friends. He goes on to explain that 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.

Of course, the often disputed question of whether God can--and will, under certain conditions--remove defects of character will be answered with a prompt affirmative by almost any A.A. member. To him, this proposition will be no theory at all; it will be just about the largest fact in his life. He will usually offer his proof in a statement like this:

"Sure, I was beaten, absolutely licked. My own willpower just wouldn't work on alcohol. Change of scene, the best efforts of family, friends, doctors, and clergymen got no place with my alcoholism. I simply couldn't stop drinking, and no human being could seem to do the job for me. But when I became willing to clean house and then asked a Higher Power, God as I understood Him, to give me release, my obsession to drink vanished. It was lifted right out of me." In A.A. meetings all over the world, statements just like this are heard daily. It is plain for everybody to see that each sober A.A. member has been granted a release from this very obstinate and potentially fatal obsession. So in a very complete and literal way, all A.A.'s have "become entirely ready" to have God remove the mania for alcohol from their lives. And God has proceeded to do exactly that.

Having been granted a perfect release from alcoholism, why then shouldn't we be able to achieve by the same means a perfect release from every other difficulty or defect? This is a riddle of our existence, the full answer to which may be only in the mind of God. Nevertheless, at least a part of the answer to it is apparent to us.

When men and women pour so much alcohol into themselves that they destroy their lives, they commit a most unnatural act. Defying their instinctive desire for self-preservation, they seem bent upon self-destruction. They work against their own deepest instinct. As they are humbled by the terrific beating administered by alcohol, the grace of God can enter them and expel their obsession. Here their powerful instinct to live can cooperate fully with their Creator's desire to give them new life. For nature and God alike abhor suicide.

But most of our other difficulties don't fall under such a category at all. Every normal person wants, for example, to eat, to reproduce, to be somebody in the society of his fellows. And he wishes to be reasonably safe and secure as he tries to attain these things. Indeed, God made him that way. He did not design man to destroy himself by alcohol, but He did give man instincts to help him to stay alive. It is nowhere evident, at least in this life, that our Creator expects us fully to eliminate our instinctual drives. So far as we know, it is nowhere on the record that God has completely removed from any human being all his natural drives.

Since most of us are born with an abundance of natural desires, it isn't strange that we often let these far exceed their intended purpose. When they drive us blindly, or we willfully demand that they supply us with more satisfactions or pleasures than are possible or due us, that is the point at which we depart from the degree of perfection that God wishes for us here on earth. That is the measure of our character defects, or, if you wish, of our sins.

If we ask, God will certainly forgive our derelictions. But in no case does He render us white as snow and keep us that way without our cooperation. That is something we are supposed to be willing to work toward ourselves. He asks only that we try as best we know how to make progress in the building of character.

So Step Six--"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character"--is A.A.'s way of stating the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job. This does not mean that we expect all our character defects to be lifted out of us as the drive to drink was. A few of them may be, but with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement. The key words "entirely ready" underline the fact that we want to aim at the very best we know or can learn.

How many of us have this degree of readiness? In an absolute sense practically nobody has it. The best we can do, with all the honesty that we can summon, is to try to have it. Even then the best of us will discover to our dismay that there is always a sticking point, a point at which we say, "No, I can't give this up yet." And we shall often tread on even more dangerous ground when we cry, "This I will never give up!" Such is the power of our instincts to overreach themselves. No matter how far we have progressed, desires will always be found which oppose the grace of God.

Some who feel they have done well may dispute this, so let's try to think it through a little further. Practically everybody wishes to be rid of his most glaring and destructive handicaps. No one wants to be so proud that he is scorned as a braggart, nor so greedy that he is labeled a thief. No one wants to be angry enough to murder, lustful enough to rape, gluttonous enough to ruin his health. No one wants to be agonized by the chronic pain of envy or to be paralyzed by sloth. Of course, most human beings don't suffer these defects at these rock-bottom levels.

We who have escaped these extremes are apt to congratulate ourselves. Yet can we? After all, hasn't it been self-interest, pure and simple, that has enabled most of us to escape? Not much spiritual effort is involved in avoiding excesses which will bring us punishment anyway. But when we face up to the less violent aspects of these very same defects, then where do we stand?

What we must recognize now is that we exult in some of our defects. We really love them. Who, for example, doesn't like to feel just a little superior to the next fellow, or even quite a lot superior? Isn't it true that we like to let greed masquerade as ambition? To think of liking lust seems impossible. But how many men and women speak love with their lips, and believe what they say, so that they can hide lust in a dark corner of their minds? And even while staying within conventional bounds, many people have to admit that their imaginary sex excursions are apt to be all dressed up as dreams of romance.

Self-righteous anger also can be very enjoyable. In a perverse way we can actually take satisfaction from the fact that many people annoy us, for it brings a comfortable feeling of superiority. Gossip barbed with our anger, a polite form of murder by character assassination, has its satisfactions for us, too. Here we are not trying to help those we criticize; we are trying to proclaim our own righteousness.

When gluttony is less than ruinous, we have a milder word for that, too; we call it "taking our comfort." We live in a world riddled with envy. To a greater or less degree, everybody is infected with it. From this defect we must surely get a warped yet definite satisfaction. Else why would we consume such great amounts of time wishing for what we have not, rather than working for it, or angrily looking for attributes we shall never have, instead of adjusting to the fact, and accepting it? And how often we work hard with no better motive than to be secure and slothful later on-- only we call that "retiring." Consider, too, our talents for procrastination, which is really sloth in five syllables. Nearly anyone could submit a good list of such defects as these, and few of us would seriously think of giving them up, at least until they cause us excessive misery.

Some people, of course, may conclude that they are indeed ready to have all such defects taken from them. But even these people, if they construct a list of still milder defects, will be obliged to admit that they prefer to hang on to some of them. Therefore, it seems plain that few of us can quickly or easily become ready to aim at spiritual and moral perfection; we want to settle for only as much perfection as will get us by in life, according, of course, to our various and sundry ideas of what will get us by. So the difference between "the boys and the men" is the difference between striving for a self-determined objective and for the perfect objective which is of God.

Many will at once ask, "How can we accept the entire implication of Step Six? Why--that is perfection!" This sounds like a hard question, but practically speaking, it isn't. Only Step One, where we made the 100 percent admission we were powerless over alcohol, can be practiced with absolute perfection. The remaining eleven Steps state perfect ideals. They are goals toward which we look, and the measuring sticks by which we estimate our progress. Seen in this light, Step Six is still difficult, but not at all impossible. The only urgent thing is that we make a beginning, and keep trying.

If we would gain any real advantage in the use of this Step on problems other than alcohol, we shall need to make a brand new venture into open-mindedness. We shall need to raise our eyes toward perfection, and be ready to walk in that direction. It will seldom matter how haltingly we walk. The only question will be "Are we ready?"

Looking again at those defects we are still unwilling to give up, we ought to erase the hard-and-fast lines that we have drawn. Perhaps we shall be obliged in some cases still to say, "This I cannot give up yet...," but we should not say to ourselves, "This I will never give up!"

Let's dispose of what appears to be a hazardous open end we have left. It is suggested that we ought to become entirely willing to aim toward perfection. We note that some delay, however, might be pardoned. That word, in the mind of a rationalizing alcoholic, could certainly be given a long term meaning. He could say, "How very easy! Sure, I'll head toward perfection, but I'm certainly not going to hurry any. Maybe I can postpone dealing with some of my problems indefinitely." Of course, this won't do. Such a bluffing of oneself will have to go the way of many another pleasant rationalization. At the very least, we shall have to come to grips with some of our worst character defects and take action toward their removal as quickly as we can.

The moment we say, "No, never!" our minds close against the grace of God. Delay is dangerous, and rebellion may be fatal. This is the exact point at which we abandon limited objectives, and move toward God's will for us.

The Seven Deadly Sins are those transgressions which are fatal to spiritual progress. You probably commit some of them every day without thinking about the rich tradition of eternal damnation in which you're participating.








Easy Does it..Keep It Simple..Let Go and Let God..

Senior Member

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Posts: 376

Good Morning Serenity and Phil,

I don't look upon pride as something we have, as such. To me, it is something we take. It comes from an exchange and is only ever momentary and in relation to whatever we are directing our attention or focus on. Last week I spent a whole day in my garden, weeding, mulching, repairing garden boxes,etc. When I completed it and later led a friend along the path through my garden - I took pride in it and from it, I took that sense of pride from the beauty of my garden and evidence of my efforts.

Yesterday, I saw another friend along the same path. I was unable to take much pride from my garden during that stroll, because I'd put nothing into it all week. Since my flurry of activity the previous week, I'd done nothing about it and weeds had quickly returned, a pony had busted another garden box etc. It isn't possible to take pride in things we don't put our own energy into. Pride is momentary.

But sometimes we delude ourselves. We like to fly on the magic carpet of other peoples efforts. And call them our own. We can fill ourselves up by focussing on our tiny contribution to things and magnifying them.

I can recall many moments when I have felt a surging sense of pride in others. When my dyslexic daughter first stood and read a poem for an audience of several hundred, I was overwhelmed with pride. I felt proud that after we together put such a lot of effort into building her self esteem and extending her skills till she was able to stand and read confidently, and when she turned to ask for help half way through, without hesitating, I felt proud. Yet it wasn't pride that brought me to joyful tears, it was humility. Because, ultimately it was her effort, not mine that led to that progress. It was her gain. She had developed the skills, faith and belief in herself, and those around her to tackle the task, and I was (as I had always really been) merely a part of the audience.

When we have rightfully, honestly and openly been a part of progress, we take pride in our contribution and we can recognise the accomplishments of others, without robbing them - but still we gaurd against dicing with ego. Ego superimposes their progress, and we are tempted to try and 'own' others progress and effectively rob them of their accomplishment, or at minimum lessen it, which only detracts from progress for all concerned. It would have been very easy for me to run off with "I did that! I made her! Ra-ra-ra" but I didn't do it. She did.

Just as we take pride - so can our pride be taken away. By others, and by the God of your understanding.

When we accept that every human foible (all the sins, as Phil refers to them) exist in an exchange... They don't take place as isolated emotions or events... They take place in relation to interactions with other human beings or consumables. When we see this exchange, we may be more inclined to offer than take, because the need to take decreases. We suddenly find we actually already have enough of what we have been trying to take all along. We arrived here perfect. The journey of life is a constantly evolving series of exchanges. How we maintain ourselves and progress through those exchanges, determines how we see ourselves and what we have to offer.

Proud people struggle. Pride is seen in struggle. Those who don't ask for help struggle alone. No-one knows or understands their pride. It is there's - they own it - and they have no wish to share their progress. When we begin communicating our struggles, we begin to experience shared pride. We enter into the exchange of life. We are able to both offer and take pride, and we hold no resentments when it is taken away, because it was meant to be. That's the exchange.

When we move the focus from how we have pride to how we take pride, it is sometimes easier to see where we can offer it. If we take pride in such simple things, like our presentation, our intelligence, our home, our families or relationships, it seems they would be an obvious place to start when offering it (through acknowledgment) to others.

Thankyou for sharing your pride in your progress with us, Serenity. I think you're doing great and have heaps to take pride in. I love your spirit and hope you might consider sharing more with us. You have given me heaps to relate to, and helped me focus my thoughts this morning. I am now off to take on todays too long list of tasks. First up - the pool. (Struggled with a green pool for two weeks, before I finally decided to snap out of it, and let the others know I was having a hard time. Funny how we just forget to ask for help! Two days, and it now needs one more vaccuum and she'll be sparkling!) All the best,


Such is life
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