Dear WTS Members,
In searching the Big Book to see what it had to say about Step Five, I found the following kernels of wisdom:
(AA Big Book, page 25 - THERE IS A SOLUTION)
"Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed."
Step Five is indeed difficult for many of us. I know I certainly had issues of trust. However, my sponsor assured me that there was nothing new under the sun, nothing that he had not said, done, or heard before. I had built up a trust over a period of a few years with my sponsor, so I felt confident about my anonymity. After I had completed my Step Five with this sponsor, I was felt reassured and ' light as a feather. I had a good laugh, wondering why I had put it off so long. Step Five only got easier each time, as my physical load that I had carried for years began to melt and slowly disappear.
On Page 73 of the AA Big Book, where it starts off, "Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reson is that they never completed their housecleaning . . . ." (continue to read on to the end of that paragraph).
This is so TRUE! As your leader, I am almost ashamed to admit that I went through the steps several times (as a beginner) glossing over Step 4, making a very short list of wrongs, listing out in graphic detail what had been done wrong to me, instead. However, my sponsor caught this and said that I must be willing to look at my part in my life situations if my free will had played a role in any of the turmoil.
I must also admit that I was not able to do a Step Five with another human for quite some time. Instead, my sponsor suggested I use an empty chair (representing HP) and make the confession to my HP. I did Step Five in this manner for a few years. Over time, I came to trust in a carefully chosen few. This was an added gift in learning how to do Step Five.
So if you are having qualms about Step Five, please know that this doesn't make you an odd person. You must start where you are and let HP help you find the best way to work Step Five.
You might want to "give away" your Step Five by finding someone that you trust with the details of your life--someone who is supportive of the Twelve Step work of recovery that you are undertaking.
QUESTIONS & SUGGESTED READING
1)Pg 75 of the AA Big Book is a must-read. It starts, "When we decide who is to hear our story, we wasted no time. We have written our inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. . . "
2)How did it feel to give away your inventory list to another person? If you did not feel comfortable reciting your list to another, how did you work your Step Five?
3)You will notice towards the bottom of page 75 of the AA Big Book, that the writer has used references to "building a house" and using CEMENT. Answer the questions found towards the bottom of that page.
Note: Cement is a manufactured product made by the mixing of raw materials and firing them at a high temperature in order to achieve precise chemical properties of lime, silica, alumina and iron. The silicates and aluminates have a chemical reaction with water, causing the cement to set.
This is probably more info than you wanted to know about cement, however the writer's symbolism is very crucial. It is interesting to note that often recycled items are used in its creation as well: old tires, bits of plastic rubbish, and other odd items.
For me, HP and recovery work are my reactive ingredients, that when combined with all my "odd bits" of character: both good and bad, create a strong and solid foundation. All are part of the cohesion.
HP recycles! Isn't this the best news ever?
4)Do you feel that doing Step Five will become easier for you next time?