Step 5 - Keep it simple

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
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Step 5 - Keep it simple

Post by Wiganman » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:54 pm

Step 5 reads; Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 5 is the step where we share the information written in our step 4 with another person (usually our sponsor). This can bring about more fear because while we had fears about step 4 that was just with ourselves. Now I have to tell another person. Human nature and self-pride will make us pretty unwilling to do this.

However, like with all the steps there is nothing to be afraid of if we keep it simple.

Step 5 is not a confession. Yes we are discussing with our sponsor our resentments, fears, sexual conduct and harms to others but the prime purpose is to find and discuss the exact nature of our wrongs - the root cause of why we acted like we did. The end columns in our step 4 (usually a tick box) where we determine which part of self made us cause the harm or played a part in the resentment. Was I acting selfishly, dishonestly, self centered or out of fear.

A sponsor isn't interested in what you have done but why you did it. My sponsor wouldn't remember the details, names, incidents mentioned on my step 4 if you were to ask him now. He would, however, remember that I was a selfish, self-seeking, very fearful and dishonest person as they came out all through my step 5. If you are not able to identify the exact nature of any wrong then a sponsor will be able to point this out to you as they can see the incident from a neutral point of view.

Step 5 is all about identifying our character defects which in the next steps we are going to start the process of removing. Unless we have a clear idea of what these are we cannot remove them. Have trust in the process and trust in your sponsor and go forth with step 5 without any fears. It is a wonderful and liberating experience.

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Re: Step 5 - Keep it simple

Post by PaigeB » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:59 pm

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
BB p. 83
and this... OHhhhh how this helped me back up the Promise on page 83
BB The Family Afterward, p.124
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have -- the key to life and happiness for others.
I remember these things were read at a meeting a day after my 5th Step. Might be the closest thing I have had to a "white light" experience. The synchronicity was too much to understand and later I figured my sister sponsee read them because she knew I had just finished my 5th Step. Either way, the effect was such that I will NEVER forget this lesson - and continue to learn from it as I journey through sobriety.

As part of the Public Information Committee, I was speaking on a panel at a treatment center. I was going through the drill of parroting information on the 4th & 5th Steps. I was interrupted by a gal (they crosstalk in treatment) who wanted me to tell them my worst defective act if all this was so important. OH! I debated giving her the line that this was something that is usually done one on one at the 5th Step - but I Intuitively Knew if I held quiet now I would be missing an opportunity to help the whole room of newcomers. A story came to my head - not my worst, but it was ugly and I will not repeat it here. I took a deep breath and said it in a plain sentence. Others on the PIC Panel looked at me and you could have heard a pin drop. It was up to me to speak next and I just went back to this: Someday all of you will have the chance to help others with your story - whatever that story is. The dark past is a great possession - my own encyclopedia ~ like the paper google lol. The laughing broke the spell and the Panel continued to the next person who spoke about the 6th & 7th Steps.

Out in the real world we also have opportunities to help others. Even out there, I stick to my EH&S and don't give advice anymore! That is a HUGE change in my personality. LOL - if you knew me then, you'd be laughing now. :lol:
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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