I talked to a friend the other day about going to meetings. She has recently returned to her 12 Step program and doesn't feel that it really pertains to where she is now. She said the exact same people were there telling the exact same stories and she had issues with the Six Step.
I get this and have taken my on breaks from meetings myself over the years. I don't feel the same about the Steps as I did when I first started. It was simpler in the beginning because I had serious issues to deal with and a big pile of debris to clear away. Today my issues feel less like a crisis and more like obstacles to happiness.
Back when I started I was dealing with a lifetime of denial and I could barely function. I like the Steps because they were simple and straight forward which when you are on the edge is all you can handle. Luckily I have matured in my life and my program and every crisis is not life or death. Denial still is a problem in my life it has just become a little more sophisticated. It is more like a light veil across my face instead of the iron curtain of the past. I am still good at hiding things from myself that I don't want to own up to.
When my friend called she said the meeting was about the Six Step "ready to have defects of character removed" she didn't like the idea of defects and didn't think that sounded too loving towards oneself.
For myself over the years I have had to reinvent the meaning of the Steps for where I am now in the program. In my mind Four, Five and Six are about identifying what is still holding me back from the freedom and happiness I am looking for in my life. Four is about seeing where my thinking is screwed up, Five is talking it over with someone that I trust and Six is about accepting once again that it is still my thinking that is the problem.
What I am working on now is that I have realized that I am not the driven person I once was and therefore I am not reaping the benefits of working non-stop. The defect isn't that I am not driven, it is that I haven't accepted that I am not that person anymore. I am not willing to do the work to be the first to the finish line and so second place has to become more comfortable.
I know my approach to the Steps is unconventional but it works for me so take what you like and leave the rest. As far as people repeating themselves in meetings and being stuck their story I didn't have an answer for that if you attend the same meeting for a long time this is bound to happen. The information might be just what a newcomer needs to hear. Sometimes things bother us because it is reflecting something in ourselves we aren't ready to look at.