Step Five

Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being
the exact nature of our wrongs.

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
It is time to move on to step five.

STEP FIVE: "Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the
exact nature of our wrongs."
Let us have a look at what it says here.
First the word "wrongs"
  The Big Book uses different words as synonyms.
So, character defects=wrongs=faults=mistakes=flaws=liabilities.

Next let us look at "the exact nature of our wrongs."

In the early days of AA the sponsor and the sponsee did the steps together
and that included step four and therefore also step five.
See for example Bill's Story pages 9-16, and also the story He Sold Himself
Short, pages 258-267 fourth edition.
Pay special attention to page 263.
Today most sponsees write their inventory alone and have to meet their
sponsor or someone else suitable to do step 5.
So it got to be the common custom to read the inventory to the sponsor when
doing step five.
But step five doesn't say read your inventory.
It says admit the exact nature of your wrongs (character defects).
So we have to do some written preparations in addition to our written
inventory in order to do what steps five asks of us.
I asked you to do just that in my last share on step four and called it
preparatory assignment for step 5
I will repeat it now in more detail as a writing assignment.

A) 1. Go over your step four inventory and copy all your different character
defects that appear in it.
Take your notebook and write in it three character defects on each side of
the page one under the other with spaces between them.
I suggest you begin the list with the following that appear in all inventories:
Resentment, fear, selfishness, self-centeredness, dishonesty
self seeking, inconsiderateness.

2. For each character defect write down how it manifests in your life, what
do you think you benefit from it, and what is the harm it does to you.

This is the list you should bring with you to your step five.

B. Now let us look at the part of step five that says:
"Admitted to God to ourselves and to another human being..."
How do we admit to God?
We ask H.P., to guide us and help us see our character defects clearly and
the way they affect our lives and feed our addiction.
Remember that asking is a prayer.
After asking we read our inventory.

How do we admit it to ourselves?
We read our inventory again trying to see if we missed something, and read
again our character defect list that we prepared for step five..

C. Read the first 4 pages in the chapter INTO ACTION.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions.

D). Read step five in the A.A 12&12.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.

The Big Book tells us that we can choose a suitable person to do our step
five with.
Today the prevalent custom is to share our inventory with our sponsor.
It also makes a lot of sense. Since we are in frequent contact with our
sponsor and share our life with him.
Our sponsor helps us to apply the program in all our affairs.
  The sponsor also works the program and knows about anonymity and is usually
understanding and not affected.

The Big Book stresses that we cannot skip this step since if we skip it we
jeopardize our recovery.
In fact we cannot skip any step.
It also stresses the necessity of complete honesty and not holding back any
Therefore I suggest that if you have any secrets that you planned to take
with you to your grave consider sharing them in step five.
It is said that we are as sick as our secrets so if at all possible do share
(NOT with the loop).
   The Big Book also emphasizes the necessity of not procrastination and doing
step 5 immediately after finishing to write step four.

What about the person who listens to our step five.
The Big Book says that he should "be able to keep a confidence,
that he fully understand and approve what we are driving at;
That he will not try to change our plan"
  It is not his job to judge or criticize us. It is not his job to approve of us.
It is not his job to tell us that what we share is not as bad as it sounds,
since then we may think that we don't really need to take steps to change it.

It is not his job to forgive us.
He is not God and this is not about forgiveness.
  It is about cleaning our soul by sharing with another human being, the
things that block us from God.
This is just another step on the path to recovery.

It is his job to help us see the truth about ourselves.
He does this by listening.
He does this by drawing our attentions to points that we don't see clearly.
Especially character defects that are obvious to him from what we share, but
we don't see them or recognize them.

   If you have not set up a date to do step five with your sponsor or another
suitable person do it immediately.
The Big Book says we should not waste any time.
Of course you have to finish writing your inventory till then.


1. On page 75 we are promised that certain things will happen after we take
step 5. Copy those promises. After you take step five share which of the
promises materialized or begin to materialize in your life.

2. Mark and copy the sentences on page 75 that tell you what to do after
step five.

3. Thank God that you know Him better. Why does the big book say that we
God better after step five?

4. Read every one of the first 5 steps on page 59.
For each step ask yourself if you have not omitted anything.
If you did, then complete it.

5. The big book gives a pictorial description of the steps as an arch
through which we walk to freedom from our disease
Answer the following:
Is your work solid so far?

Are the corner stones and the keystone properly in place?
(cornerstone mentioned in We Agnostics page 47, keystone in How It Works
page 62-keystone is the stone at the top of the arch)

Have you skimped on the cement put in the foundation?
(cement, two parts on page is mentioned in There is a Solution page17)

Have you tried to make mortar without sand? Remember that there are two
parts to the cement.

Is your foundation solid? (Foundation mentioned in BILL'S STORY page 12)

If you can answer all those questions to your satisfaction you are ready for
step six

Which we will discuss in my next share.

Send your answers to the assignments to:

Send your questions and comments on my shares to me at:


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Step Four
Step Five

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