Character Defects

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     How does one deal with Character Defects?  Name It & Claim It to start with.  Know what the defect is.  If you can inventory it, and maybe discover a little of how it came about that is great.  If not, that is OK, too.  In the big book, it tells us that if we do a thorough searching inventory, and create a list as shown in the book, when finished we see where it is we struggle the most.  This comes from answering the question of, "Where was I to Blame?"  The answers being listed as Dishonest, Selfish, Self-Seeking, Frightened or Inconsiderate.  This Q & A part of the 4th actually gave us a little knowledge into how we are triggered and how we reacted.  The bringing up of the subject at all shows it created ill feelings, and some type of remorse.  Get my point?  The same thing goes along with the inventory listed in the 12 & 12.  Those IN DEPTH questions can be actually grueling, but provoke not only honest answers, but vision into pattern repeating itself again and again. 

     What if you already done your 4th step and never got a list?  Never got an idea?  Whew!  That's a tough one.  How do discover your Defects of Character?  First of all, you don't have to turn it into some type of rocket science!  If you've done your step work, then you should be aware of many of your character defects.  List them.  Know them.  Learn what triggers them.  This can be done through journaling, asking your life partners, family members, counselors, doing your daily 10th step, and listening to what others have to say.  Work with your sponsor on it, if necessary.

     Now, you know your defect, where are you gonna go with it?  Hummm...I have learned in life that it is more concrete to create a plan to do something, rather than not to do something.  Let me give an example.  I tried to quit drinking and drugging for years.  Nothing Helped!  I said, "I'll Just Quit!  No more!  Doesn't mean that I can't go around my friends, or hang out with them!  Doesn't mean that I can't have fun.  Just means that I won't drink or drug."  Again and again I failed!  Still yet, I said, "I'm not drinking next weekend!  This is tough!  I can't handle this.  All the remorse, guilt, blackouts...No more!"  It wouldn't be long before I was in need of a "Happy Fix" and off and running once again!  Then, I stated coming to the program.  They said, "Don't drink and go to meetings."  I did that.  It worked.  In the meetings they said, "Stay out of slippery places!  You don't go to a barber shop to read the newspaper!"  Made sense to me, I took that action...no more bars, no more parties.  I got a little better!  Then, they said, "Are you willing to believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity?"  I pondered, asked questions about a power greater than myself, I told my history and I thought that going to meetings, sharing and going to counseling had restored me to some sort of sanity...some sort of comfort.  I figured more of the same would work even better, so I agreed!  I got a little better.  The more actions I took, the more success I had!  This "Plan of Action" has held true for me over and over in life.  I found out I a was a diabetic.  Wow!  I love my chocolate and my pop.  I tried over and over again just not to drinking pop, or eat chocolate...It didn't work.  I failed every time.  I would wake up with severe head aches, my legs would be so swollen that you could put your finger in one and the indent would remain for hours.  Then, Plan of Action!  I eat 3 meals a day and snack 2 times a day.  Guess what?  It got better.  I searched and found a couple of drinks I like that are sugar free, it got better.  You see, creating a plan of action not only helps us to focus our energy and thought, but enables us to do what we set out to do.  This has been proven over and over again in 12 step programs.  We take the steps, one directly after another, one working into action, one taking the action.  We get better.  We got so good that this "12 Step Plan" that was created passed on to others who suffered.  Today there are more than 300 "12 Step Plan's" of action in the world.  Remember, A Plan To Do Something, Instead of Not To Do Something Is More Concrete!  Try it, and prove it to yourself.  You just might find that your defects become less and less of a daily struggle.

01/21/07  Tami

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