The 5th step of Alcoholics Anonymous states that once we complete our fourth step it is time to share it with another human being and god. “Admitting the exact nature of our wrongs.” However, the truth is we do not know our wrongs until we can be self-honest and discuss our inventory with someone who is trusted. That trusted person is defined as someone is non-judgmental, may have shared similar experiences, and has an understanding of the process to discovering out part in all events.
Our part may be a bit confusing. Women tend to take on all the responsibility. Especially after years of being told it is her fault. Abuse is as subtle as a phrase uttered in anger, scolding, screaming, beatings, or whispers of what is wrong with you by another. After years of this we as women and men, alike, have learned that it is easier to own the fault of another rather than getting him or her to see the error of his or her way.
The fifth step is to be the beginning of freeing yourself from the burdens of guilt, shame and worry. The ability to own one part in an argument, or mistake is freeing. It opens the door to learn how to change those behaviors and attitudes that have stood in the way of our self-usefulness. As long as we continue to worry over what has happened we are never free to move forward. Those burdens become so heavy that illness, physical and mental, take control.
Through discussion of our list, the inventory, with another human being, we are able of seeing what belongs to self and to another. The division is clear and with a clear conscious we can let go. There is no need to return to the scene of the crime again, nor is there a purpose to rehashing an argument or event with the other person. Letting go and letting god is one of the many gifts this step has to offer.
When selecting someone to share your inventory with take your time. Get to know the person, learn what he or she may be able of coping with and not. The person you select may belong to the same group you do, the pastor at your church, your therapist, doctor, or a perfect stranger. The only real requirement is you are not shamed or feed the guilt for the mistakes in your life. The other must be able to help you see what has been your part and what is not. Otherwise the hazard to you is more guilt, shame, and condemnation. Feeding your self-punishment is not healthy or productive.
A person who seeks to recover should at all costs surround him or herself with people who love, understand, and appreciate, not condemn. We are each different and depending on the life we lived, the events may be horrid or painful. The other person should be someone who will not be harmed by your sharing your inventory.
If you would like further help, do not forget I am available. Use my Contact page to catch up with me.
Bless you on your journey. We are not done yet.