Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
A couple of days ago, I posted “That Terrifying Fourth Step” and discussed how there is a palpable fear associated with Step Four. I never understood that because Step Four is just writing it all down. Writing down my searching a fearless moral inventory was somewhat unsettling since there are things that come up I never thought were in my head. But I was okay with writing! I mean, I am a writer and writing about myself (an egomaniac with an inferiority complex) was right up my alley.
Step Five is when I shared what I wrote with my Higher Power and another human being. Think about that for a second. I shared with God and another human being (my sponsor) the exact nature of my wrongs. All the people I had harmed, all my character defects, all my fears; all of the anger and sadness inside of me had to come out.
The most rewarding aspect of Step Five was the honesty with myself. I had been lying to myself and justifying behaviors for decades. I never thought that being honest with me would be a stepping stone to freedom.
Sharing my wrongs with God was easy because my perception of my God changed after I entered AA and began work with my sponsor. My God had always been a punishing God and I always felt so dirty after any wrong act or thought I ever did or had because I felt that my God would hate me. Any ill will that came to me was because I was a bad person, did bad things and deserved to be punished.
I talked to my sponsor about my concept of God and she told me I could change my concept of God to what worked for me. My God did not have to be an all-watching eye in the sky bent on punishing me, but could be a loving God capable of forgiveness.
When I had to share my inventory with my sponsor, I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I was a people pleaser! I was who I had to be at any given time; would go to painstaking lengths to achieve the role, no matter how it made me feel. So sharing all the awful things, terrible thoughts and ideals I had been a little unnerving.
Step Five is no walk in the park. But the sense of accomplishment and self-confidence I felt after completing Step Five was amazing. I felt lighter and, believe it or not, loved by my God for my honesty with Him, my sponsor and myself.
Have you ever had to tell on yourself? How did you feel afterwards?