By: Staci Stallings
Here are the first 4 steps we’ve talked about so far:
- Step 1 – We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
- Step 2 – Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
- Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
So we’ve acknowledged that we can’t do it, made peace with the fact that God is real and is the only One Who can restore our sanity, decided to give our life to God, begun the scary process of being completely honest with ourselves. … Now what?
Well, if you thought Step 4 was tough, let me introduce you to Step 5:
- Step 5 – Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
In Step 5, we go beyond simply admitting our faults to ourselves and begin to be honest with God and others about what we’ve done.
I have now walked this path with several of my friends. I have sat in a van in the middle of the night as a friend poured out what had happened in the past. I have listened on the phone as another friend has wept over mistakes and events that scarred her to the core.
The thing about Step 5 is that this takes TWO people. Up to now, you could do this program on your own, in your own heart between you and God. So there was wiggle room. Now, if you really take this step, the wiggle room is gone. The other person can ask questions and afterward, someone else will know your deepest secrets.
So do choose the other person very wisely. I’m convinced that this step is why there are so many counselors in society today. We NEED someone to open up to. In the past, that role has been filled by friends and family, but as families fracture and friends become temporary, we’ve lost being able to be honest with others.
I think that’s where a group like AA or its counterparts is also very valuable. It gives you a place to be open in a (hopefully) non-judgmental forum. You might also choose a clergy-person to talk with. I know at our church they have the Stephen Ministry which is a group of laypeople who agree to minister with the gift of simply listening to their care-receiver. They have been trained so that the other person has someone they can unburden their spirit to. This is quite like the camel through the eye of the needle–the needle being the entryway into the city. To get a camel through the needle, one had to first unburden the camel of everything it was carrying. Then the camel had to get on its knees to go through.
Unburdening oneself in a safe, supportive atmosphere is critical to healing.
If you are not part of AA (or other groups like it), seek out friends through Bible Studies or places of worship. Chosen wisely, this kind of friend can make a huge difference in living versus existing.