Drop the Rock, Removing Character Defects, Steps 6 & 7 by Bill P. Todd W. and Sara S, published by Hazelden Foundation 2005 continues to be a good read.
Some of the lines I've enjoyed best are as follows:
"We all know individuals in recovery who have given up the booze or another addiction, yet they are staying dry or abstinent only by redirecting their intense inner misery into the lives of others. They won't work the 6th and 7th Steps"
"the process of change happens. Frequently this involves emotional pain: the pain of living the way I have been becomes greater than the fear of change. It also involves the pain of attracting obnoxious people. These folks are the mirrors of my defects."
"They have great insight, but instead of using that insight as a means to develop new and hopefully better behavior, they use it as a reason to continue with old, destructive behavior."
"They are victims. The list of people who've done them wrong is long, and the list of those people whose expectations they cannot live up to is even longer. They cling to their character defects with alarming tenacity, all the while blaming everything and everyone for their problems and never looking for solutions.
In fact, they don't see their poor behavior as character defects at all but more like genetic anomalies, such as bowlegs or thin hair, or the permanent result of improper socialization by parents (who in most cases probably did the best job they could.)"
"The majority of us are very aware of our defects of character, but often it isn't until we are 'sick and tired of being sick and tired' the e become willing to change……Acting as if the choice is already made and the changes in our lives are already in places puts the power of our will in line with the power of the universe so we can move forward more gracefully into living without defects unchecked."
"As I made my progress in recovery, I became aware of many character defects and just how blind I had been to them. Mercifully, my Higher Power showed me only what I was ready to see."
'playing God" – believing my character defects were more powerful than my Higher Power's forgiveness."
"Neither could I keep practicing my character defects and expect God to remove them."
"We fear becoming invisible if we stop practicing our faults. Moreover we fear becoming average, normal or boring."
"He felt that recovering people spent almost all their time learning to stand up and helping others stand up , but very few spent any time walking. If 'walking' in this analogy means getting on with a meaningful and purposeful life, there is some truth in his observations …. We help others by setting the example rather than telling them the example."
Now I'm at "find a ritual" p 21. It's a 90 page work book.
Here it's recommended that we list the character defects that bother us most (or bother others) ie those we wish to change and burn them individually in a candle or write them on a beach in the sand and watch the waves take them away.
I just wrote some down again and yes I'm going to do a ritual. The book is provoking that way.
I would rather rationalize and justify my character defects and research and think about them but rather slyly the book got me to write down the obvious ones. They're obvious to me. Others wouldn't necessarily note them. They'd have their own. The key thing about a character defect is that we see it so well in others but have difficulty seeing it in ourselves. I have a friend and she is extremely judgemental. Certainly I can be reminded of my own judgementalness and times of rigidity but I know she'd say that she was being "responsible" and "mature" and a whole litany of gobbly gook that comes down to "pride". She's gloriously arrogant and doesn't see how she's always right and insists on being right because she's unwilling to look at herself. But constantly judging others and talking about her own 'problems' (talking but not working on them) she keeps the spot light on others. She's also a gossip. She calls her form of character assassination, "discussion and asking others for advice." But it really comes down to gossip. She would be a much more enjoyable without these traits but then I would probably be more enjoyable for myself and others without my much loved character defects. Indeed it's the character defects that make us personalities but keep us from becoming people 'of character'. I'd rather be a "person of character" than a personality though.