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Big Book Study - Post #24

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  • Karen
    Good morning everyone! We are on Page 75. Paragraph 2 includes the 5th Step promises: Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We
    Message 1 of 117 , Dec 1, 2005
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      Good morning everyone!

      We are on Page 75. Paragraph 2 includes the 5th Step promises:

      "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."

      There is some wonderful stuff there. This is where we really start to clear that channel between God and ourselves and begin to feel the power of His presence in our lives.

      I will admit to you right here that I did not have good sponsorship in my early sobriety, so I struggled terribly with the 5th Step. It was the most difficult step for me. (I tried to take my first 5th step with my cat! Needless to say, it didn't work.)

      When I finally did sit with another human being, I still hung on to some secrets I planned to take to my grave. By my 5th sobriety anniversary, I was in bad shape. I was finally urged by a dear friend to deal with it. I'm forever grateful that I did. I now walk this earth a free woman.

      When I sponsor other women through the 5th step, we go through her 4th step inventory thoroughly. We discuss every character defect. We uncover every secret, hidden thing. We do our very best to be fearless and thorough. I share much of my 5th step with her along the way, so she'll know she is not alone and most certainly not the worst woman in the world. We cry, we laugh, we talk, and we dig.

      Today, my life is an open book. Shame and guilt are no longer associated with the way that I live. It is no longer necessary to hide the things that I do or say because I try to live along spiritual lines. Step 5 was the integral step in beginning this road, "the Broad Highway, to freedom."

      In order to prevent having to repeat the 4th and 5th Steps, my sponsor directed me to begin self examination each day using Step 10. Later in this study, we will see how Step 10 incorporates the same ideas and principles that have been expressed in Steps 4 and 5. By practicing Step 10 daily, I avoid building up a load of trash, so I never have the need to take a second 4th Step. I take the trash out every day. That is also why it says "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it" in Step 10, for we have commenced to do this as we straightened out the past.

      So, how long do we wait to proceed on to Step 6? Paragraph 3 on page 75 answers that question:

      "Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done."

      For an hour, not a year!

      Now we again examine that spiritual structure we have previously discussed on pages 12, 47, and 62:

      "Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall a free man at last."

      The spiritual structure is an arch and each of the preceding steps have built upon each other to build this arch. If we have not been thorough, our structure will crumble. Reviewing our previous work is essential.

      It will take us a while to get through this chapter. There is a lot of ground to cover—Steps 5 through 11 in one chapter! In our next post we will proceed to page 76 and the discussion of Steps 6 and 7.

      With love,
      Karen








      Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
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    • Jim K
      Good morning everyone! We are on Page 75. Paragraph 2 includes the Fifth Step promises: Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted.
      Message 117 of 117 , Jan 26
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        Good morning everyone!

        We are on Page 75. Paragraph 2 includes the Fifth Step promises:

        "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."

        There is some wonderful stuff there. This is where we really start to clear that channel between God and ourselves and begin to feel the power of His presence in our lives. (Karen): I did not have good sponsorship in my early sobriety, so I struggled terribly with the fifth step. It was the most difficult step for me. (I tried to take my first fifth step with my cat! Needless to say, it didn't work.) When I finally did sit with another human being, I still hung on to some secrets I planned to take to my grave. By my fifth sobriety anniversary, I was in bad shape. I was finally urged by a dear friend to deal with it. I'm forever grateful that I did. I now walk this earth a free woman.

        When I sponsor other women through the fifth step, we go through her fourth step inventory thoroughly. We discuss every character defect. We uncover every secret, hidden thing. We do our very best to be fearless and thorough. I share much of my fifth step with her along the way, so she'll know she is not alone and most certainly not the worst woman in the world. We cry, we laugh, we talk, and we dig.

        Today, my life is an open book. Shame and guilt are no longer associated with the way that I live. It is no longer necessary to hide the things that I do or say because I try to live along spiritual lines. Step 5 was the integral step in beginning this road, "the Broad Highway, to freedom."

        In order to prevent having to repeat the fourth and fifth steps, my sponsor directed me to begin self examination each day using Step 10. Later in this study, we will see how Step 10 incorporates the same ideas and principles that have been expressed in Steps 4 and 5. By practicing Step 10 daily, I avoid building up a load of trash, so I never have the need to take a second fourth Step. I take the trash out every day. That is also why it says "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it" in Step 10, for we have commenced to do this as we straightened out the past.
        So, how long do we wait to proceed on to Step 6? Paragraph 3 on page 75 answers that question:

        "Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done." For an hour, not a year!

        Now we again examine that spiritual structure we have previously discussed on pages 12, 47, and 62: "Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall a free man at last."
        The spiritual structure is an arch and each of the preceding steps have built upon each other to build this arch. If we have not been thorough, our structure will crumble. Reviewing our previous work is essential.

        It will take us a while to get through this chapter. There is a lot of ground to cover—Steps 5 through 11 in one chapter! In our next post, we will proceed to page 76 and the discussion of Steps 6 and 7.

        Have a great day!

        Jim

         

         


        It is better to be loved for what you have given
        than to be admired for what you have gained
         
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