Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
There is a reason for each one of the twelve steps. I cannot pick and choose the ones I want to take and skip the rest. The thought of doing steps four, five and nine have made many a brave soul quake, and I am no different. But my longing to change my life is stronger than my fear. Like other oppressed people, I must gather the courage to face the forces that oppress me - childhood pain, old ways of thinking and responding learned long ago.
June 19. OA "For today".
Taking these steps is an ongoing process, revealing new truths each time around. It is an interesting search, and a rewarding way to live.
For today: All the promises of recovery can be mine if I want them. This program shows me what to do.
Please read the following;
- Open your diary/notebook and write the step 5 sentence.
BB: Chapter 6 "Into action", stop at page 75 (3.edition) "Have we tried to make mortar without sand?".
OA: Step 5
AA: Step 5
While reading, take 3 colours of your own choice.
1. colour underline everything that you recognize in yourself,
2. colour underline everything that you find important, and
3. colour underline everything that you can die from.
Daily exercise for diary:
Daily powerlessness list
Daily gratitude list
Daily surrender list (with motives included)
Pray this 5th step prayer or one of your own choice;
My inventory has shown me who I am, yet I ask for Your help
in admitting my wrongs to another person & to You.
Assure me, & be with me, in this Step,
for without this Step I cannot progress in my recovery.
With Your help, I can do this & I will do it.
Talk to your sponsor everyday!
If you think you have "nothing to say", write her/him anyway!
This is a step for integrity. The confession part of the 12-step is one of the most important tasks we do, to be free of our addiction, one day at the time. You know learn who is the real you, behind the disease.
Make an appointment with the "another human being" who will listen to your 4th step inventory. Do as suggested in the Big Book. Find the right time and place to share, without disturbance of any kind. Find time AFTER to be ALONE and rest at least for one hour. Find the things that you need before you start, pillows, napkins, water, no back and forth, seek peace. You may light a candle to remind you of Gods presence, or put an empty chair beside you.
Tell God what you did and how you felt, and how you feel today (He already knows it, but say it out load anyway).
Talk to God! The "other person" is just a witness to your confession to God! The "another human being" may let you share freely and in your own way, and ask questions in the end if something is not understandable, but not why did you do that or why did you feel like that? God knows anyway what it was like. You are telling to be free of the secrets and shame.
Seek to find WHY you feel resentments, fear, jealousy or anger. Seek to see how our self centeredness and jumbo EGOís has changed our way of looking at things, so that we though everything was ALL about us. Seek to understand how feeling "different and special" has kept us lonely and resentful. Have we been living in fantasy and soap opera like lives? Expecting the impossible and resenting everything less than perfect? Disliking anyone that was in our way?
I suggest sharing this step IN person, LIVE with a real person. If you cannot (impossible "I live on the moon") find a live situation (human being), then telephone is ok. If no telephone consider IM chat, but please not just normal e-mail. Sending this list in a click is NOT the same as sharing LIVE. Confess means "say or admit often formally or tell formally (to a priest)"(dictionary). Please find a real person to talk to, and tell with your own words what you found out about yourself in the inventory. You have no idea what you're going for, if this is your first 5th step. It is marvelous!
- We admitted - can you be 100% honest? No hiding, no justification?
- To whom did you admit? How did God react? You? Another human being?
- How was it to share this list?
- Resentments occur when things are not how we would have liked them to be. Why is it like that?
- When people do us wrong, do we have the right to feel resentful? What does it change?
- What do resentments "do" for us? Short time and long time?
- When can you tell the difference between sound disliking and unhealthy resentments? Are you aware of your own personal boundaries?
- Do you respect your personal boundaries? How and in what way?
- We have now come to understand and accept that we are ill, we have a disease called addiction and we find that we have a physical, mental and spiritual illness. Can we accept that those who hurt us also might be ill in any or all of these ways also?
- Would you become willing to forgive those who hurt you, knowing that they were spiritually sick also and did "their best" even if it was a lousy job?
- If no, why can you not forgive this person or this act?
- The person you resent the most, can you vision him or her in a wheelchair? Can you see yourself being angry at a person in a wheelchair for not just "stand up straight"? Is this how we see at other peopleís behaviours, that they could change if they just knew what we know, or understood what we understand? Can you pray for those emotionally or expressive handicapped who hurt us the most? And come to forgive them slowly one day at the time, because you want to be free from it?
- Are you aware that as long as you keep resentments this person owns you, by holding you back and keeping you hostage, in your own head?
- Can you accept both good and bad in life, as experiences and learning?
- That life it self may be test of acceptance and using the tools?
- Can you admit that our pain stems from non-acceptance? How is the best way to cope with emotional pain?
- Burn the pages of inventory or tear them apart saying "this belongs to the past, god knows me and god loves me". If you worry about the 8th step, don't worry. Delete/burn/destroy your inventory. Itís history!!
- Can you forgive yourself? Ask for willingness to do so? And do it?
Step 5 guarantees: You are now free from the past; God has already forgiven you, now you can forgive yourself. Your life is here and now, one day at the time you can be free of dysfunctional behaviour, with the help of God and this program.
All the best to you,