(week 200) 29 October 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop
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AA 12 x 12 Step Five page 60 1st paragraph: ‘The second difficulty is…’ until end of 1st paragrph on page 61 ending ‘…Besides, your sponsor already has the advantage of knowing something about your case.’
look up: deluded, prudence
What does ‘guidance’ mean to you? What did it mean in the past, today and what will it mean in the future for you?
2. Who are you going to for spiritual guidance? Do you need other ones. Do you really have the right people?
3. Are you going to God or are you going to people?
4. Finding someone to share your fifth step with and spiritual friends for guidance.
[When anyone says ‘you’ve got to’…run the other way].
Share a little and see what comes back. Don’t go into a phone call and tell your whole story. Too overwhelming. Share a little, get to know them and let them get to know you by sharing a little bit about yourself. Get to know how they are going to handle what you tell them. Go to Quiet Time.
What does this mean to you? Have you used it?
Do you think its a good way to confide in people and get spiritual guidance and friends?
(week 199) 22 October 2015 12 Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop
AA 12 x 12 Step Five Page 59
From start of paragraph beginning: ‘Hence it was most evident…
Sunday open study group: 11-12 noon EST 712 432 0800 pin 587213#
The meeting needs support. The two regulars are very serious about their recovery. The only requirement is if you go, say you are on the line.
Look up: garbled.
Fifth step instructions
Get somebody trustworthy. Make appointments that work for both of you. Find a safe place. Bring something that represents your higher power: a candle, picture of your higher power, something that is meaningful to you. Say 3rd step prayer and then read and read and read. Read the back of the page if that feels right for you. If it feels like too much information and it does not feel comfortable then don’t. You are in charge. You and God and another human being being honored by you revealing your work to God.
After doing the 5th step, go home, pick up your Big Book and read the first five steps then meditate for an hour. Only thing you meditate on is: have I skipped anything? Is there anybody else I have a resentment against any other fears, institutions etc.?
If you have only done five resentments ask: On the five that I have done, have I left anything out?
If you have written about everybody then ask about everybody. If only written one you ask: God have I skipped on this one person something you want me to know? .
If your Higher power says: ‘no you haven’t skipped anything’ then you read step six in the Big Book. Are the stones in place? Then do step six and then do step seven. We are not there as a group so you just rest there. We’ll get there, don’t worry. There’s no hurry. Just keep doing your quiet time Keep reading those paragraphs six and seven in the big book and ask God: from my resentments what are my character defects and assets? Be prepared. So when the group gets there you will be all ready. Not rushing ahead.
Then write an action plan for every day. God says you are impatient then you are gong to ask God give me an action plan. I am comfortable with God talking to me. I am not afraid of me any more. I always wanted somebody to tell me what to do. I have a lot of accountability because I can get off on a tangent. I am not afraid. I do hear from God and then I run it by people that I trust: Is this what God wants me to do?
That is the complete instructions for doing step five and six. We will get to six and we will get to seven much more formally when I am done with five. I am not in any hurry and I am doing this process the same way as you. No hurry.
(week 198) 15 October 2015 12-step Big Book All Addictions Workshop
AA 12 x 12 Step Five Page 57
When we reached AA, and for the first time in our lives stood among people who seemed to understand, the sense of belonging was tremendously exciting. We thought the isolation problem had been solved. But we soon discovered that while we weren’t alone any more in a social sense, we still suffered many of the old pangs of anxious apartness. Until we had talked with complete candor of our conflicts, and had listened to someone else do the same thing, we still didn’t belong. Step Five was the answer, It was the beginning of true kinship with man and God.
look up: candor
Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-round forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it too.
1. Circle: All-round forgiveness.
All-round doesn’t just mean God and ourselves, it means the other person. It includes everyone around the table.
2. Do you understand that the fifth step is not all about just forgiving yourself?
Really want you to ask yourself: do you understand the all-round forgiveness concept that you forgive yourself and God forgives you and then you forgive other people. Write on this.
[In seeing your mistakes and accepting them and forgiving yourself so you can extend that same concept of ‘I did not know I was making the mistake and hurting other people’ so I extend the same to others who hurt me. Similarly they did not know what they were doing].
In the fifth step it says: All-round complete forgiveness. Think about something round – there is no beginning there is no end. I need to forgive myself, others, God, the lack of knowledge, of being in an addiction. I needed to forgive all of it, all-round. That is why I had you write about that today because that is a different way of looking it.
It doesn’t nullify being hard on yourself and easy on others. My sponsor knew I needed Grace. It takes a lot of Grace to look at your past and forgive yourself. I needed to look at me with Grace, then I could look at others with Grace.
Unforgiveness has very very thick roots. When we have unforgiveness to someone we are still rooted. We cannot fly, we cannot get into other relationships because we are still rooted. When you forgive them because they do not know what they do, you are ready to fly in other areas and have other relationships, move on and have the freedom and be real. And not be wondering: is that person going to hurt me like that other person did?
Forgiveness is an inside job. It is not reconciliation. Forgiveness is the first step of reconciliation and you may want to be reconciled after you forgive yourself and they may and may not. We will talk more about that when we do Steps 8 and 9.
3. Write on a 3 x 5 card and carry it around, the AA definition of humility on page 58.
…humility amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be.
There is no humility until we realise what it was that we did to step on the toes of others.
We will write our defects and assets on cards
A deficiency is only an asset brought to an extreme.
4. Top of page 59: underline:
As we took inventory, we began to suspect how much trouble self-delusion had been causing us. This had bought a disturbing reflection. if all our lives we had more or less fooled ourselves, how could we now be so sure that we weren’t still self-deceived?
What are we going to do about it?
Go to Quiet Time. Read something you know will stretch you such as AA Reflections, As Bill Sees It, the Big Book or an Al-Anon book. Write a “Dear God” letter about what you learned from what you read. You won’t fool yourself if you write a letter to God. Then sit and ask God: what do you want me to concentrate on here?
When you are done, make an Action Plan. You won’t live in self-deception.
For step five the most important thing is to find someone you trust implicitly.
(week 197) 8 October 2015 12-step Study All Addictions Big Book Workshop
AA 12 x 12 Page 57
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
1. Make your Big Book and 12 x 12 your own, along with the 3rd step prayer. Do not recite it by rote.
2. Next to the fifth line on page 57 write in the margin ‘promise’ :
We shall get rid of that terrible sense of isolation we’ve always had.
3. Write on this promise.
a) Why should we do a fifth step?
b) If you have already done a fifth step, write if this promise came true or has it not yet happened?
c) If you are in the middle of your fifth step, can you see a glimpse of the promise and want more?
4. ‘There was always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand.’
Above the word ‘barrier’ (first paragraph page 57) write: pride and fear
After reading your fourth step, return home and spend an hour just sitting alone with God, asking is there anything else. Have a piece of paper and pencil and if God gives you your Aunt Tidy, your brother Keith, your first boss, whatever, you write it down. And then you go right back into meditation. If God gives you people you have not put on your list that you know really need to be there to clean up, then you write the resentment, or the fear or the sex inventory and then call back the person you did your fifth step and you say this came up when I did what Stephanie told me to do.
After this, again take down the Big Book, read the first five steps. Ask God is there anybody else? Sit with it for an hour. If nobody comes up you do the sixth step. And read those questions.
The foundations are in place. That means that you have completed: you have done the hour with God and God didn’t bring up anything. And if you can say ‘yes’ to the sixth step you go right onto the seventh. It doesn’t mean you have completed them but you go on. Then do the seventh step prayer and live in steps six and seven asking God to divulge your character defects.
All you have to do is go back to your fourth step and see your character defects and write each one on a separate 3 x 5 card (or whatever works for you) and then every day you take out one of those cards. You see the character defect and on the back you have written the opposite and an action plan on how you instigate the positive in your life. It is so simple and very effective. You work every day until all of us as a group have done steps six and seven. Then I will give you instructions for steps eight and nine.
If people want to go ahead, I ask: where are you going? What’s your hurry? In my opinion there is real value in staying with the group. People write to me all the time asking if they can go ahead. Of course. I will encourage you in whatever God is telling you to do. For myself, my sponsor encouraged me to stay with the group. And sixteen years later I am still doing it and I will for the rest of my life, one day at a time by the help of God.
When doing the fifth step get onto the other person’s schedule. They are doing you a favour. Bring something that represents your Higher Power: a picture, a rock, shell, etc. Bring a candle and light it when you say the 3rd step prayer. This is not in the book, it is what my sponsor did for me. It means a lot to me. We prayed together before I started reading and we always prayed at the end.
(week 196) 1 October 2015 12-Step Study Big Book All Addictions Workshop
AA 12 x 12 page 55-7 Step 5
We admitted to God to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
If you find yourself pointing a finger and gossiping and blaming someone else, look at yourself.
look up: perilous.
Underline these words on page 56:
Some people are unable to stay sober at all. Others will relapse periodically until they really clean house.
Even A.A. oldtimers, sober for years, often pay dearly for skipping this Step.
1. Do you have long-term sobriety? Do you have peace of mind?
Most of us would declare that without a fearless admission of our defects to another human being we could not stay sober.
2. So what are you going to do about it?
This is why we are at step five. We have learnt how to inventory our character defects.
What are our character defects? Selfishness, self-centredness, dishonesty and fear.
All the other character defects and shortcomings come under one of those.Hope you are getting the very in-your-face answer to all your problems: its your character defects. My character defect causes my problem. And our character assets will give us the ability to live in peace and harmony with others.
So when you have a pressing problem look to your own character. What part of selfishness, self-centredness dishonesty or fear is rearing its head? There are 100 forms of fear, dishonesty, selfishness, self-seeking behaviour.
[When you are not in the fourth step it is called the 10th step or if you do it at night it is called the nightly review].
3. Where are you on the continuum? Are you holding back anything?
If you are, promise yourself that somebody will know about this before you go to bed tonight. Somebody, it doesn’t matter who it is. Go to a counsellor, priest, rabbi, etc. Do it.
There is nothing so freeing as telling God, yourself and another human being.
Our live phone meetings are every Tuesday at 8:00 AM EST. The phone number for these live meetings is (712) 775-7031, and the meeting ID number is 714744988#.
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North Pembroke MA 02358
You can listen to our recorded meetings at (641) 715-3900, pin 95666# for our Tuesday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Thursday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.