Step 5 Can Be Scary!
Step 5 – Admitted to God, to
ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 5 is where we stop
hiding and begin to take responsibility for our actions. When you wrote
your 4th Step you were, in a sense, admitting to God and yourself, the
wrongs you did to yourself and others while you were practicing your
Although most people
focus on how they are going to tell someone else their inventory,
admitting our defects, character flaws, wrongs, and problems to the God of
our understanding and to ourselves is equally important.
To yourself and God
One way to consciously
admit these things to your Higher Power is to re-read your inventory in a
truly prayerful or meditative manner. Sit quietly and, without making
yourself feel wrong, offer up a prayer in your own fashion, maybe saying
something like: "Dear Goddess, here's my inventory," then
reading it either aloud or silently. When you're finished close with some
sort of thank you – for the process and your own courage.
Now, take another look at
what you've written – own it. If you find yourself trying to justify any
portion or blame it on another, just stop and take responsibility. The
goal is not to feel badly about yourself but simply to recognize that you
are the one who did those things. Know that you're in a process of change
and move on.
Yes, share your inventory with someone
Next, you'll want to read
your inventory out loud to someone. Yes, read it all. Your sponsor is a
likely candidate and is probably very familiar with the process. But there
can be good reasons to choose someone else. You want to be sure you trust
the person you choose to hold your inventory in total confidence.
Sometimes a Priest is a better selection; sometimes a pastor, minister or
other religious leader.
This inventory story should be true
I once heard a fellow
state he took a bus to the far side of town, and, after getting on another
bus and going clear to the back, he read his inventory to his startled
seat mate. He then jumped off the bus and made his way home. When he went
to his regular meeting that night, who should be in the front row but the
person he had shared his inventory with.
I have no idea if this
story is true – I hope it is! The point, of course, is to get it done,
no matter how you have to do it.
The 5th Step is scary,
but it's one of the most powerful actions we can take toward becoming
Love, peace and