Week 13 – Into Action – Step 5


[READ: Page 72 → Page 72, Paragraph 1]

Note that in this Step, it says: the exact nature of our wrongs.” But here in the narrative, Bill uses the word defects for Step Five. A little later on, in Step Six he will use: All the things we have admitted are objectionable.” Then in Step Seven, instead of using shortcomings, he uses defects of character. He used those words in the Steps, but here in the narrative he was not concerned where these words fall.  People always asked Bill, “What’s the difference between a wrong, a defect, and a shortcoming?” Bill said, “It doesn’t make any difference what you call them, they are all the same.”

[READ: Page 72, Paragraph 2 →  Page 73, Paragraph 1]

There is a statement which messed us up in Step Four, because we read, “all your life story” then we went back and began to write our whole life story.  But as we have seen, 95% of our life story doesn’t really have anything to do with our drinking. What does have something to do with our drinking are: Resentment, Fears, and Harms Done.  If I am listing all my Resentments, I am listing my entire life story as it pertains to Resentment. If I list all my Fears, I am listing my life story as far as Fear. If I list all my Harms done, then I am listing my life story as far as Harms done. It is those things that really count.

[READ: Page 73, Paragraph 2 → Page 73, Bottom of Page]

Now I’m going to take my inventory to another human being, who is not involved in my personal life, which can look at this thing from an outside view and help provide an objective, truthful picture of it. That human being will help me see those character defects that I need to get rid of.  I’m amazed at how often my sponsor would change those things in my inventory.  He could point out character defects which I was unable to see. He helped me, truthfully look at me. I know in Step Five confession is good for the soul. It helps me, to share these resentments, fears and harms done with someone. However, the real purpose of Step Five is to learn all I can learn about myself, and to truthfully see those things that I need to work on and change in the future. Left to my own resources I simply cannot do that.

[READ: Page 73, Paragraph 4 →  Page 74, Paragraph 2]

These three paragraphs are as they were originally written. When the Big Book was written there were not sponsors to go to. Bill was giving suggestions as to whom to do the Step with. We think it is important that one finds a person who has done the work as outlined in this book.  Being knowledgeable as to our inability to be honest with ourselves, they can be objective and. help point out our shortcomings.

[READ: Page 75, Paragraph 1 →  Page 75, Paragraph 3]

My sponsor says, “This is the most magical page in the book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Page 75 is the beginning of the whole deal.” It is sandwiched in between Step Five and Step Six, as a Gift from God. There are only two things you can do with a gift: You can take it and make it yours, and be eternally grateful; or you can throw away, what I believe to be the greatest gift that God gave to humanity. It is right there on page 75.

There are ten (10) Promises on Page 75. It says we are preparing an- arch through which we will walk a free person. I’m free today by the definition of the Big Book, which says. “Freedom is doing what I have to do because I want to do it.” There isn’t anything in this world I have to do if I don’t want to do it, as long as I am willing to pay the price.

It goes on to say: “The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly.” It goes on to say: “All fears will fall from us.” You may not realize this until some time later in your sobriety, when you get up the courage to do something that used to terrify you. Then you will find out that fear has been removed from you.

It goes on to say on that page: “You will begin to feel the nearness of our creator.”

“We will begin to feel we are on a Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” My sponsor says: “You will have brushed the face of God and established a conscious contact with a Power Greater than yourself.” It’s all right there on page 75, along with five more promises.

“For Gods sake, hurry on, less the test comes before you are ready!”

While giving your Fifth Step to your sponsor, you will be making a list of your character defects, as you and your sponsor have analyzed and discussed them.

ASSIGNMENT: Read Chapters Six and Seven in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Also read the first two paragraphs of Page 76 in the Big Book. Be prepared to discuss the material WILLINGNESS and HUMILITY. It might help to look up the definition of these words and discuss what they mean in the context with these Steps with the group next week.

Yesterday is lost and gone forever…

While tomorrow is but a guess…

What is real is what is here and now…

And “Here and Now” is all we possess.

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