Step 5 | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups

Step 5

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    It’s funny how so many of us interpret this step differently. For years, I’ve heard members sharing about the “exact nature,” but when they reveal what it is they’re talking about, they always tend to mention an action or series of actions – not the cause.

    It says is IWH&W, on page 54:

    “We start to realize that there is a difference between our actions and the exact nature of our wrongs.” (Step 5)

    And on page 57, we are taught:

    “The exact nature of those wrongs is our character defects.”

    So, I’ve come to understand that the things I do (or have done) aren’t my defects or the exact nature of my wrongs.. the exact nature is the underlying reasons (or causes) I make up in my mind for why I do what I do. A few common examples include:

    Lying (action) = dishonesty, fear (defect/exact nature)
    Stealing (action) = dishonesty, arrogance, indolence (defect/exact nature)
    Cheating (action) = lust, greed (defect/exact nature)
    People-pleasing (action) = dishonesty, fear, low self-esteem (defect/exact nature)

    I truly believe it is important to understand the difference between our actions and the exact nature of our wrongs (defects/shortcomings) in steps 4 & 5 before proceeding to steps 6 & 7.



    Thanks Garry for taking the time and posting this. Your posts have helped me greatlty in my recovery. I sometimes quote you in meetings, lol.



    i will work step five with one of my sponsees next week, to be honest it is the first time in my life,do i am kind of worried, what is the simple way. i asked him to write step four in a table format, being, place/person, situation, and the feeling, any suggestions.

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