Am I entirely ready?
Damn, what kind of question is that? Step 6 tells me that I must be ENTIRELY READY to have God/HP remove my defects of character. By the time I arrived at Step 6, God had indeed removed my obsession for drugs and alcohol. I had been sober nearly a year when I found myself trying to become "entirely ready" for God to take away my shortcomings. My drinking and drugging were so evident, such a tangible quantity, that it was simple to understand why I needed to stop once I hung around AA for awhile. And I felt so good at meetings, I eventually came to a point where I was ready to surrender to the fact that alone I couldn't control my drinking. And so I gave it to God and begged for His Grace and it came. I'll never forget the feeling when I realized I hadn't thought about drinking or drugging for a couple days! He HAD removed my obsession to drink and use drugs!! Maybe (and that's a big maybe) he CAN remove my defects of character...
But, these shortcomings of mine are so much more subtle, and really... are they all that bad?? Even after multiple 4th and 5th Steps, it's still easy to rationalize some behaviours. My first sponsor taught me to pray for the willingness to be a better person. He said (and so does the 12X12 book) that I ought to look to God's perfect ideal as a model of how to live, and set myself off in that direction. Just because I reach a point of being completely sick and tired of being sick and tired, doesn't mean that a switch is thrown and I become pure as the driven snow.
However, I believe that I cannot improve myself and change my behaviours unless I come to a point where I am entirely ready to be done with my shortcomings. At that point, I'm now ready to amend myself and think, act and behave in a new way. That's the point at which Step 6 begins working in my life. It's still a process, it will always be a process. Thankfully, we can live this program one day at a time.