Step 6 is the part of transformation that allows us to become who we are meant to be. Through this transformation we become willing to let go of old ways, looking to our higher power as our guide. There’s no need to figure anything out – just get into the river and flow with it.
It doesn’t seem like any of us would want to hold on to the ugly parts of ourselves, but we do. Those ugly parts are comfortable and familiar and the ego, or ahamkara, really likes to know what’s up – even if it is “knowing” that we have done so many unforgivable things that nothing can make us better. This is the game of ahamkara.
This is where Yoga and 12 Step recovery come together. When we let go of the identification with “character defects” we can become who we are meant to be. Yoga, the state of union of body, mind and spirit, is what Step 6 is inviting us to move toward. Some say the purpose of raga, addiction, is to break down that ego enough so that we can walk through these steps and realize who we are as eternal spirit. Step 6 invites us to do just that, by asking us to let go and let God.
Although this step is very short in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, it is expanded in the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions and definitely worth reading, no matter what your addiction may have focused on. Give this step its due course in your process by listing the “defects” and considering what will replace them. Don’t worry if you miss something – the process of the 12 Steps, like Yoga, is lifelong and offers a beautiful foundation for living.
Through the Steps, we realize that we are lovable. This takes a lot of courage, but we can cultivate it with true honesty and break through denial. From there, the rewards become greater as our true selves shine through, free from the pain of raga.
Step into the sunlight of the spirit with Step 6!