25July

With a Jewish Voice: Step 6

With a Jewish Voice: Step 6


Step 6:  Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

I don’t know about you, but the hardest thing for me to pray, is a prayer for willingness. This is the principle behind Step Six. Be willing and be ready to have God remove the defects of character. The same defects that have served so well in the past-- the drugs, alcohol, food, gambling – were not the problem; they were the solution.  

Step 12 asks us to pay it forward. To carry the message. To give back what we have been given. A friend of mine in recovery was fond of saying, “I owe, I owe…,” singing it like one of the seven dwarfs. It plays in my head every time I get back to this step. I owe it to myself, I owe it to my friends, my partner and my family, and I owe it to the addict who struggles in the plastic chair next to mine. In this season of Thanksgiving, I give thanks.

And somehow we must give that up. We have to release the voice inside that says the addict is in charge. But having the addict in charge has been a real comfort. The addict feels less awkward, less afraid. It gave us the courage to face the world.  And then it didn’t. Suddenly and without notice, it stopped working. What can we do now?

Like Noah, we know the flood is coming. We know what has to be done. The steps have helped to define the problem. But how do you switch from a place of fear to a place of freedom? What kind of an ark do I have to make? What kind of flood is coming? Sometimes I am still afraid, I am still awkward. But the tools I have used up to now are no longer the solution.

The wind is fierce, the waves are rolling and the ship is rocking. But all you have to do is hold on.  Put your faith in the God of your understanding. Hang in there and the storm will pass, and you will see the rainbow. 

God made a covenant with you. And we thank God every time we see the rainbow.   

Baruch ata Adonai, zocher ha-brit.  Praised are you. God, who remembers the covenant. 

Written by Eric Miller, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Eric Miller

Eric Miller

In recovery since 2008, Eric has a great deal of knowledge about substance abuse. He couples his experience with his observant Jewish upbringing to offer a Jewish lens to the issues of addiction and sobriety.