Willingness is the spiritual principle of Step 6: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” However, when researching the word willingness, it is found mostly in the third step. In the AA 12x12 eight quotes are listed for Step Three and only one for Step Six.
Step Three embodies all the steps and as it says in the AA 12x12 on page 5, “Willingness is the key.” When I am seeking to let go of a character defect, I must be willing to admit my powerlessness, and I must be willing to go to any lengths.
In Voices of Recovery there are 21 meditations that mention willingness; 13 in For Today; the Big Book has 11.
I have seen willingness work. It is like the loom for the wool. The steps don’t work for me unless I am willing. One important thing for me to remember is the adage: “act as if.” I had to be willing to do what I heard in meetings, even if I thought it wouldn’t work.
I was willing to leave the room and pray when the craving was unbearable. I would think, “I’ll do it, but THEN I’ll come back and eat it!” But the act of leaving the room and praying took the craving away! I’d say, “Well just for today I won’t eat that, but tomorrow I WILL.” But tomorrow I didn’t want to because I felt the freedom and self-acceptance abstinence brings.
Today I am willing to take that next step in recovery. I am willing to let go of fear and self-doubt. Every step so far has granted me more serenity, courage, and wisdom.
Higher Power, I am willing.
Lesley – Region One