During step four the work of creating a searching and fearless inventory was the goal. In Step five, we clean house. We do this by admitting to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Specifically, we are dealing with the contents of our inventory. During the inventory process we examined our wrongs and behavior patterns, which revealed deeper aspects of our disease. Much of the time, these revelations are not pleasant; however, acknowledging them and bringing them to the surface makes it possible for us to deal with them constructively. After we share the shameful aspects of our past, we can be free of them. In so doing, we can live a life of freedom in general.
During the fifth step, many of us have and will face many fears. The fear of being judged, the fear of taking up another person’s time, and fears related to trust. But, it is essential that we know what our fears are and move forward despite them so that we are able to continue with our recovery. Thus, courage and a sense of trust in the process of recovery are essential. If we have both of these things, we will be able to work through our specific fears and handle the admissions that need to be made during this step.
Admitting to each entity involved in this step is important. True recovery involves a life where the spiritual meets the everyday and the ordinary meet the extraordinary. When we admit the exact nature of our wrongs to the God of our understanding, our admissions become more meaningful. However this admission takes place is fine, as long as we are aware that we are making an admission to our Higher Power. The admission to ourselves is important as well. This is important because change will not occur until we admit to our innermost selves the exact nature of our wrongs. Once this admission is made we are more willing and better able to choose a different way of living. Finally, admitting to another human being, no matter how uncomfortable, is important. This is important for many reasons. First, the therapeutic value of one addict helping another has been proven to be unparalleled within twelve-step programs. Second, in the past, it may have been hard for us to decipher between what we are responsible for and what others in our lives are responsible for. Hearing another person’s point of view related to such situations often proves to be helpful in this domain. Third, by sharing our inventories with another person, we are demonstrating the trust it takes to make healthy relationships thrive. Ultimately, this helps us in terms of developing honest relationships. We tell the truth about who we are, then we listen to the response.
By working step five, we will recognize patterns of behavior that have lead to negative consequences. During this step, we focus on the spiritual principles of trust, courage, self-honesty, and commitment. We begin to learn to trust ourselves and others. We develop the courage to acknowledge our character defects, admit to them, and remain committed to overcoming them. By doing these things in step five, we begin to experience spiritual freedom and overcome the shame and guilt of our past! Today you can begin your quest for spiritual freedom!
(Photo by Basil James on Unsplash)