Rewards of Step Five
Almost twenty years ago I did my
first Step Five. For me it was an opportunity to get my twenty-five year
old skeleton out of the closet. I really did feel an enormous weight lifted from
my shoulders. In fact, when I look back on the experience I can almost compare
it to what I’ve heard crack addicts describe as their first experience with the
drug. They try to chase the initial response to the drug for the rest of their
addictive lives. I did so many fifth steps I like to say I did them with
everyone except Random House, and I wonder now if I wasn’t trying to recapture
that wonderful sense of freedom one enjoys in working the step the first time.
In the ensuing years I have been
privileged to hear many, many fifth steps. I don’t remember any of them and I
think that is a God thing.
Although I don’t recall the content
of the inventory I listened to most recently, it was such a moving experience
for me, as well as the person who did the work that I want to put it down on
It took two hours and they were
mighty intense. We started with the Serenity Prayer to invite God’s presence and
my sponsoree began reading aloud. I generally try not to interrupt the process
but in some instances the patterns emerge so obviously that I ask if they can
see them for themselves.
You can believe it or not, I
actually began to see an aura coming from her. It was a physical transformation.
When she finished she stood up, tears streaming down her cheeks, saying,
"I’m free! I’m free!" I get "God bumps" just recalling
I always read page 75 of the Big
Book aloud after someone gives me her inventory. I believe this takes the
sponsoree through the mechanics of Step 6, and then I ask if she is willing to
give up her character defects. If she indicates that she is I ask her to read
aloud the Seventh Step Prayer on page 76.
Then, before we leave the quiet
place I have provided for the task, we join hands and recite the Lord’s Prayer
to put some closure on Step Five. Every day of my life I thank God for Twelve
Step Programs. Not only have these guidelines made my life happy, joyous and
free, but to have the opportunity to see the power Step Five can have is an
honor. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
the spirit of the fellowship,