RA offers hope, sanity, and recovery, especially to those who, despite their best efforts, have yet to find full recoveries, no matter what their problems or behaviors may be and their family and friends.
V Broaden and Deepen Your Understanding of the Twelve Steps
5) Step Five
Broaden and deepen your understanding of Step Five.


“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”

1. In the 12 & 12, on page 55, in the second full paragraph, the first sentence, says:

“A.A. experience has taught us we cannot live alone with our pressing problems and the character defects which cause or aggravate them.”

2. In the 12 & 12, on page 56, at the start of the bottom paragraph, it says:

“This practice of admitting one's defects to another person is, of course, very ancient. It has been validated in every century, and it characterizes the lives of all spiritually centered and truly religious people.”

3. Again, and again we see the stressing of admitting our character defects, not simply the incidents which they caused or aggravated.

4. In the 12 & 12, on page 57, at the start of the first full paragraph, it says:

“What are we likely to receive from Step Five? For one thing, we shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation we've always had.”

5. As you start sharing you might find that the other person is able to put the things in your inventory into perspective. You may start to realize that to another person, the most significant parts of your life, the ones you hid and felt guilty over, were just a part of living.

6. The person you share with might have gone through, or at least have heard of similar things themselves.

7. The last line on page 57 says:

“This vital Step was also the means by which we began to get the feeling that we could be forgiven no matter what we had thought or done.”

8. An important aspect of this process is the feeling of acceptance by another human being. They might say, “Oh, this is what you were worried about? It really is not such a big deal. I understand; I was upset about something like that, too. You’re not unique.”

9. We need that feedback. We need someone to tell us that everything is okay. We also need to hear them share a little bit, so that we know we’re not unique and that they can relate to us. This is a very important part of the process.

10. In the 12 & 12, on page 60, in the top paragraph, the last sentence, says:

“When we have been honest with another person it confirms that we have been honest with ourselves and with God.”

11. On page 62, at the end of the third line from the top, it says:

“Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute.”

12. Being honest with someone, and getting their reaction, often produces a sense of relief. We can begin to forgive ourselves for doing all the things we did while we were not well.


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