("5th STEP PROMISES")
("5th STEP PROMISES")
I took the 4th and 5th steps within a month or two of finally surrendering to my alcoholism. I wanted to change. I needed to change if I didn't want to drink again. I wanted to feel differently - stop hating myself, quiet the anger, resentment, guilt and shame that had held me in their grip for so long.
I was desperately ready to know the truth about myself. I had, for a long time, known all about what was wrong with "you". I needed to know about myself. I had no hope of changing "you", but I had come to understand that there was hope of changing myself by working and living the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I had been in near total denial about everything. I couldn't see and didn't know what was reality and what needed changing. The 4th and 5th steps provided the method to do this.
I had taken the first three steps when I woke up from my last drunk. I admitted my powerlessness, realized how insane my behavior and my life was, and handed it over to God. At that time, God was pretty much you in Alcoholics Anonymous. God restored me to sanity through the working of the rest of the steps.
I took a deep, honest, no-holds-barred look at myself and then shared all that I found with God, myself, and another person. In our Big Book, "Alcoholics Anonymous", p. 75, there are promises associated with taking the 5th step. These promises were not WHY I did the 5th step. But, they are beautiful and a wonderful gift associated with doing the honest work of this step. These promises are contained in the following excerpt:
"We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of our past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted.
We can look the world in the eye.
We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.
Our fears fall from us.
We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator.
We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.
The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly.
We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe."
Some of these promises came quickly, most came more slowly, but there was relief, a great relief. I was so grateful that the pressure-cooker of my mind and body found some release as a result of completing step 5.
Today I am grateful for:
Sleep that washes away the exhaustion of yesterday.
Sleep that takes away the troubles of the prior day.
Sleep that leads into new days with new possibilities.
Finally writing a blog.
Prayers and their answers
(Photo credit: God keeps His promises by Barbara Mock)