Here are some questions that pertain to Step 5.
You will find my answers below in purple.
1. When people first come into program, this is one of the steps that people find most daunting. What was your attitude toward this step when you first began 12 Step? What is your attitude now? If it has changed, what helped to change it?
2. What does it mean to admit? What feelings does this word bring up for you?
3. What do you think will be harder....admitting to yourself, to another or to God? Why?
4. Why do you think this step was included in the program?
5. How will you decide whom to honor with your 5th step sharing?
6. I believe it is really important that you READ your 4th step to someone, rather than handing it to them to read, when at all possible—especially for your first 5th step. What do you think the reasons behind this might be?
7. What reactions do you expect from the person you are sharing with?
8. What reactions do you expect from God?
9. What reactions do you expect from yourself?
10. Where will you go to share your 5th step?
11. How will you prepare yourself for this important event?
Some questions to answer AFTER you have made your 5th step.
1. How was the experience?
2. Which WAS harder....sharing with God, yourself, or another? Why?
3. What did you learn about yourself?
4. What did you learn about God?
5. What did you learn about the person you shared with?
6. Were there any surprises?
7. What blessings have you received through taking this step?
8. What blessings can you pass on to others, that you might not have been able to pass on prior to taking this step?
9. Macrina Weidekher said, “God, please help me to believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is.” What beautiful truths did you learn about yourself?
10. The principle underneath this step is integrity. How has taking this step given you a greater sense of your personal integrity?
Here are my answers to these questions:
When I first came into program, I was so convinced that it was the last house on the block, I was willing to do anything (as long as it didn’t include weighing and measuring and giving up sugar! LOL), so I was not daunted by this step. I had already done much work in therapy and with another spiritual healing program, so I had already hung out much dirty laundry....my biggest issue with step 4/5 was my desire to take the ‘fearless and thorough’ to heart....I had 25 typed pages and it took me about 8 months to complete....partly because I wanted to be thorough, and partly because I lost my first sponsor in the middle of the 4th step work and I had a lot of grief work to do over that before I could continue. Now I recognize that if my 4th step isn’t thorough enough, God will cause whatever I’ve missed to float up –or to smack me upside the head—so I can deal with it in a 10th step....so I am not as worried about missing something. My experience, and the ESH of others has helped me relax around this.
14c., "let in," from Latin admittere "to allow to enter, let in, let
come, give access," from ad- "to" (see ad-)
+ mittere "let go, send" (see mission).
Sense of "to concede as valid or true" is first recorded early 15c.
I am a word-freak.....I once asked for (and received) an etymological dictionary for Christmas! I love that the original meaning of admit is to allow to enter. When I admit my shortcomings to another, to myself and to God, I LET THEM IN to my reality. Heaven knows I have put much, much energy over the years to prevent them from coming in. I stuffed them down with food. I stuffed them down with shopping. I stuffed them down with fear, and shame, and false feelings of inadequacy. I stuffed them behind a perfectionist façade.
When I am willing to welcome them into my life....I am able to begin the task of re-integrating the different parts of myself that I have splintered off in an effort to control my little world. AABB says that acceptance is the answer to all our problems. I have come to learn that acceptance doesn’t mean ‘it’s ok, it wasn’t that bad, don’t worry about it.’ Rather, it means, ‘This is true. And I am no longer going to put energy into wishing it were not so, hoping it will change, or resenting that it is not different.’ To me, admitting my shortcomings to God, another and myself, is a first step to this acceptance.
For me, when I did my first 5th step, it was harder to admit to God than to myself or others, because I did not trust God to be nice to me. Since then, I have not found it to be hard to take step 5, because I recognize that both God and my sponsor listen with grace, and I am getting better and better at holding my own truths—good and bad—with grace and gratitude.
I think this step was included in the program because we are only as sick as our secrets, and when we can drag our ‘dirty little secrets’ out from under the back stairs and bring them into the light...of love, acceptance, and grace, we open ourselves to healing. It is like opening up a festering wound. Once it is open, the infection can be cleared out and healing can begin.
I will share my 5th step with my sponsor, with God and with myself. I will also share it with my spiritual director.
I have decided to share with my sponsor, because she has shown me that she will hold my truths with love and generosity, kindness and understanding. 5th step is a gift, and I would not share it with someone who would treat it as less than an honor. I have decided to also share it with my spiritual director, in person, because she and I have been working on my relationship challenges, and it will help us both get an idea of where I am with this. She understands 12 steps and will honor this work. I will also share with you all because I believe that you will honor my work, as well.
I believe it is really important that you READ your 4th step to someone, rather than handing it to them to read, when at all possible—especially for your first 5th step because reading it to someone makes it real, gives it life. If I say it, I must mean it. And I have to own it. Reading it aloud is how I share it with myself, as well as with my sponsor...Having said that, I will email mine to my sponsor, as this is the second 4th step I will have shared with her in a couple of months. My very first 4th step took 2 hours to read to her....I was hunkered down in my car, with pillow and blanket (it was November and cold)....I parked where I had a beautiful view of nature, and read and read. I had privacy in the car, and that was important. Because my sponsor lives far away, face to face was not an option, but we did fine over the phone. I will, however, go somewhere into nature and read my 4th step aloud to God and to myself, as well as share it orally and in person with my spiritual director.
I expect my sponsor and my spiritual director to be respectful, loving, encouraging, empathetic and honest.
I expect God to be the same as above.
I expect myself to be kind, loving, grateful, freed, and blessed.
I will go to the park to share my 5th step with God and myself.
I will write, pray, and dress warmly! I will share it with my spiritual director at her home during our monthly meeting.
Here is my 4th step work: