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Step 5 - Dump the Trash and Be FREE

Audio of the 4th/5th step workshop:

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature or our wrongs

Step 5 is a changing step. We are about to walk into the sunlight of the Spirit and find a whole new set of eyes. At this point many of the promises start to come true. The most important principle that we bring to the sharing process is honesty. We must share 100% of our life story with someone. The complete sharing will have the necessary effect. We will be sharing our secrets, resentments, pains, mistakes, hurts, fears, sex conduct and shameful past with another in front of our Higher Power. Our own Ego and Esteem will be affected by the experience.

Imagine that I am a benevolent millionaire, and I make an offer to pay off all of your debt. Come over and bring your bills. Would you bring everything? If you were smart you would make some up on the way. But if you were ashamed of some of your larger bills and your bad decisions you might make the mistake of leaving them out of the stack to avoid the embarrassment. Then after I write all the checks I ask you, “how do you feel, aren't you happy that you are debt free?” You say, “uh, sure.”

You are not debt free. You still owe and the shame and guilt is compounded based on your discomfort with simply not being honest. But, if you had brought all of your bills, imagine how you would feel? You owe nothing. Not one red cent. How would you sleep? What would that feel like?

After completing the steps and continuing to grow, the person will become completely debt free. Emotionally, financially, physically debt free. They will owe nothing. Their Esteem will go up and their Ego will go down. Their confidence will rise and their fear will fall. They will change. That is what this is about, change. Sobriety is about changing who we are, however we don’t change us. We are changed. We simply:

1. Read a little

2. Write a little

3. Pray a little

4. Help a little

The result is, we are changed. We receive new eyes. We react to the world differently. We gain a sense that something important is happening and that we have value. We start losing our fear of today and tomorrow and gain hope and joy. We are changed. The changing process requires complete honesty in this phase of development. They must share 100% of their life story with someone. If the person feels uncomfortable with sharing all of their story with you, don’t push them. Allow them to share what they wish and the rest they can share with their sponsor or priest. Someone needs to hear it. That’s the most important thing.

Step 5 Book Work

1. Read “Into Action” Chapter 6 pg. 72-75

2. On a pad of paper explain what you are here to accomplish with your 5th step (it is described in this section)

3. On a pad of paper explain why you should share your 5th step with another and not just do it alone

4. What is the most important principle to bring to the 5th step and why? (Honesty)

5. Who should NOT hear your 5th step content? Who can? Why

6. Do you want your Coach to hear your 5th step content? If not then share what you are comfortable with and the rest share with your Sponsor/Priest etc…

Make sure that the individual is comfortable with sharing their content with you. If they are not comfortable then don’t push them. It is their experience. Just encourage them to get it all out with someone. Before you begin have them sit with you for 2-3 minutes in silence with eyes closed. Invite them to bring their concept of their Higher Power into the room. Do not intrude by having your concept of God brought in. They must feel like they are being respected for their own belief or lack of one.

Once you are ready to share simply have them read their inventory from left to right. All of their story. All resentments, fears, secrets, mistakes, sex conduct etc. Feel free to provide your own story points as you relate to some of theirs to help them feel more comfortable. Cross sharing proffers connection and honesty. After they are done then ask them:

1. Do you have any secrets that you haven’t shared?

2. Have you had a sexual experience with the same sex?

3. Have you had a sexual experience with a family member?

4. Have you stolen something that you haven’t shared?

5. Have you had a sexual experience with an animal?

6. What have you NOT shared with me? This is your chance to be free!

Don’t push these questions unless the individual has established that they are here to share ALL of their story with you. Once the sharing is done. Compliment them! Congratulate them on their honesty. Let them know that they do NOT win the most broken award. Millions of 5th Steps are shared each year and they have a lot of the same stuff on every one. It’s very normal for Addicts to have interesting secrets and mistakes.

Now invite them to go home and follow the following steps:

After 5th Step Sharing Work

1. Sit Quietly for an hour and reflect on your work

2. Take the Big Book out and read the first 5 steps on page 58 (ask yourself if you have been thorough? Is there anything incomplete)

3. Thank your Higher Power that you know it better

4. If you are on solid ground and your work is complete then prepare yourself to go forward to Step 6

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