Step 4, Step 5, and My Character Defects


(Photo credit, Matt Vaughn.  Camp Eagle and Nueces River)

I mentioned yesterday that I met with my sponsor to do my fifth step (reading my fourth step to her).  She was here for 5  hours.  About 30 minutes of that was eating lunch, but the rest was doing my fifth step.  It was amazing!!

I learned so much about myself.  The “character defects” we came up with are pride (BIG one), fear, doubt, envy, impatience, justification, intolerance, control and impulsiveness.

Now the goal is to work through these defects and work on overcoming them!

For obvious reasons, I’m not going to talk a lot about my fourth step on my blog… but I’ll share a few things that I learned about my character defects.

The biggest thing is pride.  I care WAY too much about what people think of me… I care too much about others’ opinions of me… and if someone says anything negative about me, it greatly affects me.

Two other big ones that kind of work together are justification and intolerance.  This surprised me.  I always thought of myself as a non-judgmental and tolerant person.  I always thought I loved others just as they are.  But there are a few individuals that I have been intolerant of, and I try to justify it.  I’m going to have to learn to let some things go that bother me that shouldn’t.

That brings me to another BIG one… control.  I try to control everything.  I want to control others, and if I can’t, it deeply affects me.  Others’ decisions (if they aren’t great or if they aren’t what I think they should do) affects me.  Deeply.  I want to be able to control my kids, my husband, the outcome of situations, my friends, my parents… the list could go on and on.

As I mentioned in my list, there are more.  But these are the ones that affect me (and others) the most.

Changing these character defects is going to be a long process.  But I know that many of these cause me anxiety (pride, intolerance, control, fear, etc).

I’m looking forward to the work that is coming up.  It’s hard work, but it’s good work. AA is an amazing program.  I am so glad that I’m part of it.

I was thinking last night that being part of AA and eventually becoming a sponsor is almost better than becoming a counselor.  I will be able to truly affect others’ lives as I meet with them weekly, talk with them daily, and go through the twelve steps with them.  AA has changed my life (and my sponsor is so amazing)!  I want to do be this for others.  The twelfth step is to carry the message to other alcoholics.

I keep thinking I want to learn more, I want to grow.  I can do that by studying more about AA, the Big Book, and The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book.  I can also learn more about addiction, alcoholism, and mental illnesses that often accompany these.  Things are just beginning for me.

I have full trust that God is going to use me and be glorified through my work with AA (I love that God is throughout the whole Big Book!).

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