(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.
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#.
P O Box 531
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.