Step 5 says that we “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”. Why is this important? What were our fears and concerns? What was our experience? Join Spencer, Kelli and Swetha for a discussion of this step.
A common reaction to approaching Step 5 for the first time was a feeling of fear, of exposing ourselves to another person, in all our embarrassing detail. Kelli visualized Step 5 as a dump truck, into which she could pile all the dirt she found in Step 4, so it could be hauled away and dumped.
Why do we have to tell God? Doesn’t God already know? It is the action of telling God that is important. We actively decide to be open, clear, and clean with our Higher Power. It is similar to the concept that “prayer doesn’t change God, prayer changes me.”
What about telling ourselves? What does that mean? For Spencer, it was the process of going through his 4th step and making a list of his wrongs. Getting them all into one place, where he could see them all at once was important. Swetha noted that it was easy for her to “compartmentalize” when doing her 4th step, that she could list a character defect but then ignore it. For Kelli, writing them down was important to making them “real.”
How can we trust another person enough to tell them our “deep, dark secrets”? Kelli notes that by working with a sponsor through the previous steps, we develop that trust. Some people may choose to tell their therapist, minister, or priest, who they already trust.
Why or when might we choose to do another 5th step? Basically, because we have new (or newly discovered) character defects that we wish to “dump”. The acceptance and humility we get from working Step 5 enables us to go forward into Steps 6 and 7 to ask our higher power to remove them.
Are Steps 4 and 5 really as big as we sometimes make them out to be? Swetha found Steps 6 and 7 harder. Spencer thinks that the hardest steps for him were probably Steps 2 and 3, accepting and giving his life into the care of a higher power.
We reflect on our experience receiving someone’s 5th Step. Kelli states that it’s vital to be a focused and active listener, to give the other person her full attention. It’s also important to pick a location that won’t be distracting, and to be sensitive to the other person’s need for privacy. In other words, a coffee shop would not be a good place for a very private person to do their 5th step, while it might be fine for someone else. Swetha found that she was able to have compassion for someone else, and hopes that she will be able to give that same compassion to herself the next time she takes her own inventory.
Our topic for next week is the slogan “this too shall pass”. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the show
Norah Jones – If the Law Don't Want You