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.
The first three steps when applied to your life builds a solid foundation on which to continue your spiritual healing. To recap, once again, “I am powerless, my life has been unmanageable, and I cannot restore order without guidance from the Divine.” Of course, this is my wording, you will want to find your own. Never let another tell you how to think, but never argue their belief. It is a waste of your precious energy and time better spent living in peace and love.
Now lets move to the next step in the stairway to heaven. Step four offers suggestions and directions to “cleaning house.” The ‘moral inventory’ of the 12-step fellowships includes learning how to understand your part in all that has happened in your life. The inventory begins with a person, place, or thing that causes you grief, anger, or other intense negative emotions. The next step is to note the problem, what harm was done, and how you were affected.
By writing this step out in the suggested three columns of A. A.’s Big Book, you have a form in which to work from. The second half of the fourth step consists of your sexual life. Remember, there is nothing in this step that should include your childhood abuse. You are not responsible for what an adult has done to you as a child, teen, or early adult. Childhood abuses belong in a therapy session, but sometimes discussing the rage, unfairness and pain is a help, you learn where the true responsibility lies.
At this juncture of the steps you are not analyzing or putting into consideration who is responsible for what and blame is not being placed. Best practice is to sit quietly, close your eyes and practice the breathing exercises as described in the third step. Breathe in through your nose, allowing your stomach to rise, breathe out as if blowing up a balloon, repeat three times. Now sit quietly and listen to your breath, notice your body. Now ask the divine to guide you in writing and helping you to be honest with self. Allowing the emotions to flow. Your time limit is 15 minutes of writing. Stop, repeat the breath and ask the divine for guidance in leaving this where it is, with the writing. When you are ready to take it up again, repeat this process.
REMEMBER: There is no time limit on completing this step. A little at a time is easier than doing it all at once. You will overwhelm yourself and never finish. Running back into your old way of life and continuing the vicious cycle of self-punishment. To do anything other than these increments is to set your self up for failure. We are working at creating a successful path. Know you are loved and blessed.
The next step is to find someone whom you can trust to share and discuss this step with. You need to be able to trust this person with your most intimate details of your life, but more importantly you must trust this person with your emotions, thoughts, and ideas. The person you choose should be able to help you in understand what is your part and what is not. A healthy discussion is important and I will cover more about this in the fifth step.
For today, remember there is nothing in this world that cannot be healed. Love for self is the ingredient required in this path and if you cannot feel it right now, know it exists and the Divine loves. As do I. I will love you until you can love yourself, and then some.
If you would like to discuss this post or your process in completing, do not hesitate to contact me. I am available.
What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see the grayness of my hair
The wrinkles in my face
Do you see the softness of my body?
What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see frailty, insanity, or rage?
The beatings and rapes my body has endured?
Do you see the wear of years from living in fear and pain?
What you do you see when you look at me?
Do you see the love for life
The births of children
The nights of worry and care
Do you see the days spent cooking and cleaning?
What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see the silent tears shed in the dark?
Do you see the laughter and joy shared in the light?
Perhaps the hopes and dreams of healthier tomorrows?
What do you see when you look at me?
Author: Priestess Connie
23 years of recovery from PTSD
The definition for chaos depends upon the source. Chaos is used in many ways, entertainment, movies, music, religion, science, and psychology. This is a shorter list that what you will find at the Wikipedia page for chaos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos).
The definition for chaos includes the inability to control the prediction of an outcome, disorder, confusion, an unordered state (cosmogony), and a mathematical definition, contributing to the expansion of activity through time.
Within the realms of sobriety there are those who seem to be fond of using the phrase: “chaos and drama” when referring to others who experience problems in their life. Actually the phrase is “He or she loves to create chaos and drama in their life. They cannot live without it.” Now, it is true that there are those who are addicted to worry, gossip, and negative attention. However, many of these behaviors are learned, a life developing a way to survive.
The other aspect to life is that it is drama and chaos. There is no escaping it, unless you live on top of a mountain and no one else is there and all your needs are met. In other words, no earth quakes, no storms, no starvation or war to be concerned with. Boring, but perhaps free of life’s dramas.
Consider this: from chaos the universe was created. Earth is a matter of chaos. The weather, shifts of the ground, the oceanic changes, planetary movements, and a mix of so many other scientific phenomena it confounds the mind. Life is derived from chaos.
When you examine chaos closely a method and order is seen. Every step or action within the core of this chaotic scene has a purpose, an end to the means. What may seem unordered, unpredictable, and confusing is in actuality in order for the purpose at hand. This is evidenced in a recovery plan.
Many people who are beginning their journey of sobriety enter the first six months to a year with more than their fair share of problems. Legal, financial, relationships, and health share the state of chaos. Alcoholics may need to resolve DUIs, drug addicts may have to attend a drug diversion program, and domestic violence victims and offenders may find orders to attend classes and therapy.
Health issues include the psychological and physical disorders due to the use of drugs, alcohol, behaviors, and other addictions. The first five years of a sober person’s life is spent healing all areas of life, especially the physical and mental. The body takes this time to reorient itself to health. The first year is spent ill with everything floating through the air, or at least it may seem that way.
The next dozen or so years are spent learning how to become a member of a healthier society. Learning to functioning in the capacity of employee, friend, child, parent, sibling, or other relationship title. Drama is the word of the day, every day. Social and coping skills are a learned talent, one that many early sober people do not have. The rules are different from the previous life style.
Drama is the stuff day time television series are made of. Crime dramas, movies about those who overcome hardships, romances, comedies, and any other topic you can conceive is drama. It seems that there is a secret belief about getting sober, somehow you will not live a life of chaos or drama. Magically your life is perfect, no more tears, disappointments, harm, or sadness. No one is going to offend you ever again and everyone will love you. As if you will never experience another problem just because you gave up your old way of life.
The difference between living sober and living stoned, loaded, or under the influence is your problems will change. The promise of recovery is when you follow a spiritual path you will develop the coping skills to find your way through emotions, problems, memories, threats, and other areas of life that will surely greet you.
Sober people find a point in life that they are comfortable and stay there. Working at maintaining equilibrium. Recovery people are always upsetting that equilibrium in the path to heal their wounds, learning a spiritual path to live. The difference between survivor and victim, the victim is stuck, the survivor is removed, until the day a decision is made to live. Thriving is living, learning how to create the changes in thinking and behaving that supports the spiritual development of the organ.
You can change. It will not be easy. It will be chaotic, dramatic, and you will know peace. You will laugh, cry, scream, and shout. Sometimes all in the same moment, other times not at all. There will be days you will find disdain for yourself, the life you lived, and those that contributed to your path to this day. Overall, no matter what, you will know peace, joy, and laugh a good belly laugh. Tears, screams, laughter, and hoorahs are drama, chaos, and cause for celebration.
You will make friends, enemies, some will be the same person, not always in that order. People will love you, hate, and envy you. But as long as you remain one with the Divine, to your purpose and true to self, love will follow you and your life will be born of chaos.
I tell you true: You will not despise you, those who have shared your life, and the mistakes you have made. For you will come to know that every moment, word, and event has led you to this day, created you in the image of the Divine, and prepared you for what is yet to come. You are the Divine’s child, the messenger of what is and will always be. There is no now without then.
An no harm to none. So mote it be.
If you are finding it difficult to find the path, feel that no one will understand, remember I am available for chat.
Resources for Chaos Theory
Welcome back to the journey through the 12 steps that anyone can utilize in their daily life. There is no secret society, no special needs or dues to pay. You are free to practice the spiritual principles as they are, change them to fit your needs, or ignore them complete.
However, I do make one request of you. Give it a try before you toss the entire concept. You have everything to lose by changing your beliefs. When you begin a journey to enlightenment, something magical occurs, well, not so much magic really, more like a miracle. Course in Miracles states that there is no order of difficulty to miracles, they just are.
The spiritual principles outlined within the first three steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is carried over to every fellowship who has adapted the steps to fit their topic. There are other programs that have found a way to incorporate steps into their programs. Each step has a primary principle that is used in your daily life. The steps work when you use them. You cannot stand at the bottom of a stairway and expect to get to the top without using those steps. Well, you could try climbing the railing, but….
Today we review the first three steps to ensure a solid foundation before moving to the fourth step. The reasoning behind this? The fourth and fifth step delves into you, a personal look at your life and your relationship to it.
Without a solid spiritual foundation, you could bring more harm to yourself than good. Alcoholics tend to drink again, drug addicts, sex-aholics, gamblers, risk takers, and smokers all pick up one more time without a solid foundation. Even if the drug of choice is not available, relapse is inevitable, it may take a different shape, but it does happen. You do not want to be miserable. Or you would be ignoring me by now. Misery addicts unite. This is the day that begins a change for the healthier.
Step one is about accepting that you cannot manage your life because of the problems that seem to take control your life. The second half of the step asks you to accept your powerlessness. Meaning that you do not have control. No matter how hard you try to fix the problem, it is not fixed. Does the expression “running on a wheel like a hamster” strike a not of familiarity? When you accept that your life is unmanageable, and you are powerless to fix it, it is time to look to a new higher power.
Step two states that you are ready to believe in a power other than you and your problems. The Divine Universe may be known as god, goddess, Lord or Lady, Divine, Universe, or Sam. The name is not the point, despite the power in a name. The concept is a power that is loving, guiding, and waiting to enter a partnership with you; this is the point of importance. God and goddess have so many names. The name will be spoken by each who believes in the grace of the deity. You get to choose and change your mind later. The only requirement of this step is to prepare to be wowed. Belief becomes faith.
Step three is the greatest action step of all. You get to find a super hero and then accept your partnership with him or her. God and goddess are waiting to join with you to solver your problems. First, you begin developing the belief, then you live in faith. This step is the culmination of all three steps. It is never ending. You do not just decide, then get on with your life.
Write a statement to attest to your new contract with the Divine. It can read something like this:
My life is unmanageable, and I am powerless without Goddess or God.
Fill in the goddess and god’s part as you wish. Read this every day for the next 28 days. I tell you, the first seven will be the most difficult; you will forget to read the statement. The next seven becomes easier as you begin to develop a new habit and establish a new belief. By the 28th day you will be glad you did this. This belief will supersede all others. Though the old ones will combat for life. Let them go with love.
Write a good-bye letter to your old beliefs, thank them for caring for you and seeing you through to this day. Write with love and blessing, honoring the person you have been and welcoming the shift in your life.
The essence of steps one, two, and three: I cannot manage my life without Divine Guidance.
Sound crazy? You say you have managed your life all this time without a divine presence? Really? What is in your mind when you awaken in the morning? How do you feel as you begin your day? What about the end of your day? Yeah, you have managed just fine, haven’t you.
How do I know? I use to be you. The spiritual principles work in my life, whether I want them or not. Now mind you, no where in this article or the preceding ones did I say your life would be a well spring of riches or that problems would fade away. I have been hungry, angry, lonely, tired, and near homelessness during the last 23 years of recovery. There is much to learn in this new life.
The miracle is there, do you want it? Let’s Chat..