Step 5 | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups - Part 2

Step 5

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    Gmoney wrote:
    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.

    My sponsor helped me to realize this. Only when I listed “dishonesty” and “impatience” on my list of defects in Step 6, the light bulb came on for me. When she pointed out I needed to identify the actions behind the dishonesty….that’s when I realized my step 5 work led me right to this. I posted a reply under step 6 on another page here having to do with this very thing.




    5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.



    After completing my 4th Step I took on the task of continuing my recovery by writing and sharing my 5th Step. In the 5th Step, I found that there was much more to be done than simply reading my 4th Step again. This step required me to admit and accept why I did the wrongs to myself and others, not just restate what I had done. It required me to get honest (especially with myself) on a different level than I had experienced in the previous four steps.

    I’ve heard members mention “the exact nature” so often in meetings, but really had no clue as to what it meant until I heard an old-timer say that, “When I can no longer answer ‘why?’, I’ve probably reached the exact nature.”

    For me, the 5th Step isn’t about confession: sharing with God and my sponsor the reasons for my past and present behavior. It’s about awareness, acceptance and action – getting out the broom so I can clean my side of the street because now I have a clue as to why it‘s dirty. It’s about preparing myself to change and let go of excuses once and for all. Letting go of the things that keep me in destructive and self-defeating behaviors.

    And I must say that it wasn’t so easy having no one else to blame. Yet, the freedom that came with admitting and accepting my defects was worth all the work because I gained a new level of awareness and humility.
    Through honesty, willingness, courage, open-mindedness and humility, I was able to admit (probably for the 1st time) to God, myself, and another human being the exact nature of my wrongs. The nakedness I felt wasn’t comfortable, but the risk of revealing the truth about me to someone (as well as to myself) was well worth the reward. I became closer with my Higher Power and my sponsor, and I learned a lot more about me. As I began to share some of my secrets with other members, I found we had much more in common than I previously assumed. Simply put: I’m just as human as anyone else. Also, having this newly found awareness about my shortcomings gave me something to work on so that I could try to become the person I need to be. This step helped me to see where the problems are so that I can find solutions for them.

    No, I don’t agree that the rooms should be a forum for doing a 5th Step (check out Just For Today, page 250), but this step helps me to understand how my secrets can keep me sick when I don’t share them with at least one person. And I’m not just talking about the action or event; I’m talking about the real reason behind my thinking and behavior.

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