Troublesome Character Defects

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Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Mike O » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:54 am

So, what do you do with a character defect that has been recognised way back at the beginning in a 4, discussed in a Step 5, prayed on daily as a 6 and 7 but still lingers?
A degree of self-centredness still clings to me despite repeated step 4's which addressed it in its different guises.

I'll continue to pray on it and work on it using the tools.

I raise it here partly to open a discussion on difficult character defects which don't seem to want to leave.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Mary » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:02 am

We need a degree of self-centredness to live in the world as humans and not amoeba. For real.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby PaigeB » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:40 pm

"... Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help..."
That's page 63 and pg 76 says...
"... I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness..."

So I found out I was absolutely doing prayers correctly - what was the hold up? Two things I now Know...
1) Not my timing, HP timing, aka Godspeed or God's speed...
2) The defect must be useful in some way or victory is delayed until later for the purpose of aiding someone else's path.

One time a pretty religious fellow told me, "God has 3 answers: Yes. No. and Wait."

Waiting is hard. Acceptance is hard. The journey IS the lesson. You are not alone. 8)
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Brock » Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:56 pm

I think if we take these lines from the big book -
“...selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” And also look on page 65 of the 12 & 12 and we see - “This does not mean that we expect all our character defects to be lifted out of us as the drive to drink was. A few of them may be, but with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement.”

I also agree with what Mary said, and since I have seen, (and my wife has pointed out), a great reduction in the former selfishness and self-centredness, I am satisfied with the progress, I just continue to have an eye open for it as suggested in 10.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby tomsteve » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:36 pm

the way i was taught, and i believe it, is that my character defects werent removed completely from me- i still have them. if they were removed, there wouldnt be any need for steps 10 and 11.
theres a prayer in the big book
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.

notice it says,"every single defect which stand in the way...."
doesnt say theyre all gonna be gone there.

there is an opposite for every character defect.
false pride-modest

the first requirement for me is to want the defect to be gone. then be willing to act on that.
say a prayer, then practice the opposite of that character defect.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Db1105 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:46 pm

No where in the Big Book does it say our defects will be removed. We just have to be willing to have them removed. Some of mine have been curtailed, some have not. Before I am an alcoholic, I try to remember that I'm a human being.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby D'oh » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:37 am

No where in the Big Book does it say our defects will be removed. We just have to be willing to have them removed. Some of mine have been curtailed, some have not. Before I am an alcoholic, I try to remember that I'm a human being.

It is in my Higher Powers hands. If I am Entirely Ready, and He is not ready to leave me without them, then it is the way it is suppose to be.

11th Step "Where did I, Unjustifiably arose Bitterness Jealousy Suspicion, who did I Hurt?" Where did I grab the Reins again?

My HP doesn't remove a defect without replacing it with something, even a less Glaring Defect.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Mike O » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:46 am

Thanks so much, guys. All of your replies helped me today. I'm very grateful.
Good discussion though. Keep it on.

I'm guilty of impatience with God, sometimes. "I've asked you nicely. Now...why aren't you doing it??"
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby kdub720 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:26 am

We all have flaws, they are just part of us. I snowboard and can not turn off my desire to catch air. Even though my doctors and family tell me not to, I just can not help it. I can only not do so many things, I have to fulfill my soul with certain desires and that is a major character flaw. Yet it is part of me. I pray often, yet ability is a gift God gave me and I have that constant desire to use it. This is a heavy concept. THank you for sharing today.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:52 am

Actually, I tried some outside resources. A doctor worked on "neuro-emotional technique." The I followed that with a book called Mind Body Code by Martinez for ongoing meditative work. This helped my emotions alot. All character defects are emotions. All emotions are neuro-networks. We know LOTS more about the brain now than they did when the BB was written.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Duke » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:32 pm

Good topic Mike. Thanks.

I really like what Spirit Flower had to share. Frankly, the tendency to turn my defects into something other than simply my difficult emotional responses to life is strong. I give myself a lot of reminders that it's all about how I happen to feel getting in the way of my spiritual growth again. I also appreciate any reminders I get of that fact.

One thing about recognizing that, that has helped me a lot, is I've pretty much quit thinking there's something wrong with me or my program just because I have a negative emotional response to something or someone. I'm human. It happens regularly. But, if I take responsibility for it and turn my thoughts to loving action I can take now, no harm comes of it. That's why I work a lot of tenth steps every day.

I've come to believe that being relieved of my defects means being relieved of being controlled by them. It doesn't mean being relieved of having to feel negative at times. Complete freedom from all defective emotional responses to life? Maybe. On a mountain. Isolated. I don't know. I just know that as long as I'm going to be part of the flow of life and humanity, I'm going to experience emotions good and bad. I'm just grateful to have a plan for how to deal with them.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:49 pm

You do the opposite of the defect.

For example, if stealing is a defect, start giving to charity. If time-management is a defect, donate some time. If anger is a defect, practice tolerance. If spending money is a defect, make and abide by a budget.

Praying achieves nothing if we carry on doing the things we're only praying to not be doing.
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Re: Troublesome Character Defects

Postby Roberth » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:37 am

"How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Pracitice, practice pracitice!!!"
Hello Mike and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. I haven’t found the AA meeting where they sprinkle magic AA dust on my head and I become a perfect person yet. What I have found are the people that have showed me who they do selfless acts. Acts of kindness and caring for others. They showed me the more I do these thing the less self-centered and selfish I become. At 25 years I far from perfect but a lot better than I use to be. I have gone from the guys who always wanted to be in the spotlight to preferring to work behind the scenes helping where I can.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
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