Thursday, July 2, 2009




This past Monday evening, I decided to break another mold in which I had been stuck for a large part of my sobriety. I attended a "Men's Only" meeting. Over the years, sure, I have slipped (bad word!) into Men's meetings and kept hidden there for a few months. I can be as unobtrusive as a newly sober person. But I don't like all-one-gender, or "One-Purpose" Groups. So I never joined those groups.

It seems men like to cuss. So do I. But I don't save it all for a one-hour men's meeting --grin! So this past Monday I sat with 67 other men. I still "feel like" a boy, sitting with all these tired old men, no enthusiasm, no bounce...ya know what I mean? I'm really older than most of them and am being judgmental here, shame on me.

The meeting topic was Step SIX! "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character" Well, even after lo these many years, I gotta LOTTA work left, I can see. (sigh!) Will it ever end? I hope not! The more work I do here the less I'll have as carryover....many years from now???

Step Five ends with pulling our Big book down from the shelf, carefully going over the first five steps, making sure we have omitted nothing. Then we move onto Step Six. There is no vacation prescribed between Steps Five and Six. It is almost as if Bill W knew that many would stop as they finished Step Five (many DO!). And we all know what happens after that. "Well, I tried AA and it just didn't work for me, boo-hoo"....

"Were entirely ready..." Entirely is a big word here. I could not just will myself to be entirely ready, like when I AM (at all times) entirely ready to eat a HERSHEY bar. In fact, I was not "entirely" ready when I first arrived in an AA room. I never did drink again, but I did not know what 'ready' meant, much less 'entirely'. I had to forcefully 'hurt' my way into entire readiness to stay sober.

For Step six, I again had to (through certain behaviors) make myself hurt, all the way down to becoming entirely (almost? No! ENTIRELY!) ready to Let God do His job with my cooperation. God's job?..."Remove my Character Defects, Step Seven...", as I humbly have asked Him to do.

Humility, another BIG word, because I usually would have thought, "I can do that. No problem!" HA! Come again? God help me! God save me--from myself.

"God, I will be patient, and in Your time these removals, painful as they are, will take place." (My Seventh Step prayer--sometimes!)

Enough! I don't want to write a book, as I'm prone...or did you not know that?

After the meeting Monday night, it was still early enough to have a nice half-hour chat with a friend, as I stood out in the parking lot of the 24-Hr Club, by my bike, in the cool of the evening. Thank You, God, for friends, near and far!


RAINDROPS won't form in perfectly unpolluted air. Without rain, no grass. Without grass. no people. We owe a lot to pollution.

On that polluted note, I send you my true unpolluted wishes for peace in your lives. Also I send you my Love, from
Steve E

Trivia taken from L.M. Boyd's "Curiosity Shop", Page 127


Prayer Girl said...

I absolutely love this blog.

It's my turn to say I think this is one of your best.

I can't think of anything else to add - I think your post says it all for me about Step Six.

AND I'm still laughing over RAINDROPS.


clean and crazy said...

you know i thought i was done for the night, then i saw i had an email and there you were. so here i am. glad i stopped by.
funny how god works huh, tonight i heard that a freind of mine relapsed. his clean date was 8-1-05 mine was 1-8-05 we were clean time buddies.
we haven't spoke much as of late, he was walking a different road of recovery from mine. i was wanting to call him and tell him how angry i was at his behaviors, to me it seemed he had become a predator in meetings, you know picking up women with his words of wisdom?
in all this time he had never completed a service commitment and his behaviors haven't changed. i just finished my 6th step, i am very thorough. i know i have changed a lot and i see more change to come and it gets me excited for recovery. then i see the sickness, and it continues to grow and i have tried to be there but i am powerless to change anyone but myself. i know how quickly this disease will get me to believe the bad. i am still here , i am still clean, when it seems like everyone else around me is not.
why is it that some of us are entirely ready, and some not. i don't believe this man was not ready, i believe he chose to continue his bad behaviors, and that led him to a relapse. i remember when he first walked in the rooms, i was there. i know if i don't change my bad behaviors then i too am headed for a relapse, so why does it feel like i am alone in this thinking. why is it that so many choose to cut their possible recovery short?
i am so glad i read this, it is exactly what i needed to hear. i am entirely ready, just for today, so while i am i thinking about it i will start reading my 7th step. happy 4th steve. thanks for lending me your (ear)reading glasses, i feel comfortable to share what i need, funny how that works, huh

Mary Christine said...

Nice post.

But how did it rain before pollution? I know it rained on Noah - a lot! And I don't think they had yet figured out how to ruin the air.

Tall Karen said...

It is just so cute that you both post on each others blogs. It makes me smile every time!

Yea, and I don't care for the entirely willing sometimes either. Besides the fact that my life always gets better when I quit fighting everything!

Does that make sense? Total space cadette today-No butts-Day #2! Yeah!!

garden-variety drunk said...

I love step 6 and 7, mostly because they continually remind me that there's more to go for and I can't do any of it on my own power (or I would have perfected myself long ago!)

Lou said...

So true, some people take a vacation between the steps.. and forget to come back. Keep moving is my motto!

Why do people have to swear for "effect." It actually detracts from the message.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I'm learning more about step 6 all the time, there is nothing like practical experience with an open mind (Thanks to God for at least putting small cracks in my stubborn exterior) to show me more truth about myself in many many situations.

I also thank God for putting just the right people and experiences around me so that I am 'forced' by his creative nature working with my stubborn willful nature to experience both consequence and grace, consequence and lesson, consequence and submission, consequence and learning,
consequence and growth...

I get to experience life on God's terms.

Gin said...

Wow! So I guess...let's hear it for pollution!

Patrick said...

Some pollution is natural, the ash from a forest fire, dust from the wind. This is fine. It is car and other fossil fuel emissions that will be the end of life here, if we do not take action.

Loved the post on the meeting and step six.

Not all men cuss, though. 8-)

Indigo said...

I love that about you. At the very least you're willing to try something different, change things up and see what falls out. If only everyone knew enough to approach life witht the same energy you do. (Hugs)Indigo

Just Be Real said...

Well done Stevie.

Does not cussing and spitting go together?


Steve E. said...

Just Be Real--cussing and spitting go together, only when combined with drinking and puking. I've had more than my share of all those!

Ed G. said...

Nicely said, Steve...
I managed to squeeze that hour between steps 5 & 6 into about a year long process one time through the steps. May or may not have had anything to do with the program of AA but I am REALLY clear that I was DONE with my character defects. I couldn't imagine life with or without them but I was ENTIRELY ready and willing for them to be removed.

Now I'm just ready for that step that says "and then they were pure as the driven snow...".

...oh, yeah...

Blessings and aloha...

Zanejabbers said...

Yeah. I'm alway entirely ready for that Hershey, fudge, chocolate cake, cookies, etc. Good reminder and walk through step 6. Thanks.

Andrew said...

I have been working 11-15 hour days since I got back from Annie's and reading blogs and forums keeps me grounded since meeting with others is out of the question when working these hours every day. Of course things will slow down again and I will be able to reconnect with the body's I know, but for now it is people like you who write like this that keep me in touch with what is real and important.

Thank you Steve.