Ready, set, stop. Sigh, I find myself here a lot. I think I am ready. I made plans; I check out the outcomes and possibilities. I set my goals, then hit the pause button or the procrastination button. If I despise my character defects, seeing clearly after working the first 5 Step how they are holding me back. Why wait to let them go? Character Assets and Defects List
As comfortable as that old college sweatshirt was, these character defects wear a groove in our soul. This is the time to take a step back and see how each one of our defects served us for a season.
I realized many years ago when everything in my life felt like an uphill battle–work, marriage, relationships with kids, parenting, and bills–that my soul needed space. By all appearances, the outside world was the problem. After working the steps, I realized neglecting the inside world of my heart, mind, and soul caused the issue.
One of my character defects is trying to fight all my battles at once with a big mighty sword, always to the point of exhaustion and depression.
The Secret of Step 6
When you realize that most of your problems stem from how you choose to address them, you gain power. As long as the problem stays outside of you, you can’t take ownership. When you don’t take ownership of an issue, you can’t solve it.
As long as I lay blame–I can’t because he did, that group won’t, they think–you create powerlessness. Yes, you are powerless over other people’s lives and behaviors. Step 6 reminds us to get out of their business and look at our own.
3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5
As Christians, we all nod our heads over this parable and think yes this is very wise. How many of us are ready to do something about it?
Are we entirely ready to have God remove all our character defects? I must say, I shrank back from this Step. Who will I be without these character flaws? Can I be selective and only allow God to take some? Which ones do I want to keep? Which ones still seem to serve me?
Do I Trust God More Than I Trust Myself
Do I Still Need My Character Defects
Do I trust God to protect me as I let go of such character defects, as blaming, denial, self-pity, dishonesty, and fear? All of these character defects served a purpose in my immature life, protecting me from others, from myself, from circumstances forced upon me.
Questions to ask yourself in the letting go process are:
Do these character defects serve or hinder me now as an adult?
How well did these actions keep me safe when I felt I needed to employ them?
What were the results of using them in the past? Present? Future?
Is this a behavior that brings me serenity?
Am I acting out of love when I employ these character defects?
This last question seems absurd and it is meant too. Thinking back on the start of this journey, normally deep pain and unmanageable lives start the process. What is your ultimate goal?
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. … I Corinthians 13: 1-3
We are to give and receive love. By holding onto your character defects, placing yourself in self-protection mode, not allowing yourself to love or be loved, you are not loving.
Worse, not allowing God to love you unconditionally so you can love yourself, you can’t love others. You can’t give others what you do not have.
Love One Another As Yourself
All that struggle to “help others” is wasted without a well to draw from. The true power of Step 6 is the freedom to recognize the service these character defects provided you in your life. Maybe they keep you safe in a rough situation or maybe they protected your then child mind.
Thank these character traits for their service, wish them well and move on to new positive character traits that will serve you. We put together an extensive list for you to review. Character Assets and Defects List
You can pick a few new ones each day to explore. How could you employ more character assets to fill the void left my character defects?