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- December 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm #4192007
“If you are pointing the finger at someone, three are pointing back at you!”
We may be having difficulties with the Fourth and Fifth Steps because we do not view ourselves as transgressors, but rather as victims.
For example, take divorce. Many of us who’ve gone through the experience feel we did everything in our power to save the marraige. It was our mate who refused to change.
We point to the fact that we were self-sacrificing, patient, and understanding of our partner’s failings, that we practiced forgiveness again and again despite continued episodes that were very hurtful to us.
In taking our inventory, we admitted to the seven deadly sins only as they related to our envy of others who had a stable marraige. Our pride was simply the act of trying to put on a good public face, despite the pain we were experiencing; our greed was our desire for a more abundant and fullfilling lifestyle; our anger we considered a perfectly normal response to the treatment we were suffering.
As we work Step Five, we can begin to admit to our contributions to our life’s difficultities. We can stop being victims.
Today’s Step: I release the need to blame others for my own shortcomings.
Step by Step. Muriel ZinkDecember 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm #4192008
“When your dreams turn to dust, vacuum. Anonymous
Our identity as a victim doesn’t hold water once we begin to admit to ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs and how they have affected our relatioships. Gradually, we begin to see that, as one of our friends so aptly put it, “Every pot goes out to find a lid to fit it.”
When we can release this victim fixation, we can begin to examine our own role in the chaos of our lives. Finally, we begin to understand what led us to the admission that we were powerless over our circumstances, and that our lives had truly become unmanageable. We discover that we played a very active part in making a relationship unworkable, even though we truly thought we were doing all the right things. But we also find that much of what we did do stemmed from early conditioning and beliefs that came from our families, our cultures, and our religions.
If we are to pull ourselves out of this morass of misconceptions, it’s vital that we stop pointing fingers at others and look straight at ourselves. We’ll see clearly that we possess some characteristics that work against us in a very powerful way. Paramount among them is self-pity. Equally nonproductive is the illusion that we’re doomed to a life of pain, frustration, and lost chances. Through self-examination and self-determination we can reverse this downward spiral and open up new opportunites and admit to ourselves, God, and another human being our own part in various victime scenarios. We can trade in self-pity for self-acceptance and in the process gain positive associations with others.
Today’s Step: I can examine painful relationships and understand the rewards of honesty.
Step by Step. Muriel ZinkDecember 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm #4192004
“The bitter and the sweet come from the outside, the hard from within, from one’s own efforts.” Albert Einstein
Carol told this story about getting ready for the Fifth Step. She decided she’d type out her inventory from Step Four so it would be legible enough for her sponsor to read—-despite the fact that she’d never learned to type. However, her sponsor was a professional writer, so Carol felt it was very important that her inventory be letter-perfect.
Almost instantly she struck a wrong key. Now, Carol was in a quandary. If she erased it, her paper wouldn’t look perfect. So she searched her mind for a word that would fit the letter she’d mistyped. Needless to say, this did not end up as a searching and fearless inventory. It was, though, the best she could do at the time. Carol was so afraid of looking inadequate that she couldn’t bear to present a less than perfect paper.
Luckily, Carol’s sponsor, who had overcome her own serious eating disorder, was able to assure her that no one grades our inventory and succeeded in helping her complete a satisfactory Fifth Step.
Nevertheless, the importance of what Carol accomplished must not be diminished. Despite the fact that the job was a superficial one, she did it. She demonstrated the willingness to follow directions—a primary ingredient in any recovery program.
Today’s Step: I release the need to do a perfect inventory, and I get on with it.
Step by Step. Muriel Zink
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