from "Daily Reflections" by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Posts tagged ‘Fifth Step’

Family Obligations

. . . a spiritual life which does not include . . . family obligations may not be so perfect after all. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129

I can be doing great in the program—applying it at meetings, at work, and in service activities—and find that things have gone to pieces at home. I expect my loved ones to understand, but they cannot. I expect them to see and value my progress, but they don’t—unless I show them. Do I neglect their needs and desires for my attention and concern? When I’m around them, am I irritable or boring? Are my “amends” a mumbled “Sorry,” or do they take the form of patience and tolerance? Do I preach to them, trying to reform or “fix” them? Have I ever really cleaned house with them! “The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it” (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83). 


…And Forgive

Under very trying conditions I have had, again and again, to forgive others—also myself. ~ AS BILL SEES IT, p. 268

Forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others are just two currents in the same river, both hindered or shut off completely by the dam of resentment. Once that dam is lifted, both currents can flow. The Steps of A.A. allow me to see how resentment has built up and subsequently blocked off this flow in my life. The Steps provide a way by which my resentments may—by the grace of God as I understand Him— be lifted. It is as a result of this solution that I can find the necessary grace which enables me to forgive myself and others. 

We Forgive…

Often it was while working on this Step with our sponsors or spiritual advisers that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they had wronged us. Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all-around forgiveness was desirable, but it was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five hat we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive forgiveness and give it, too. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 58

What a great feeling forgiveness is! What a revelation about my emotional, psychological and spiritual nature. All it takes is willingness to forgive; God will do the rest. 

It’s Okay to be Me

Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. . . . they have turned to easier methods. . . . But they had not learned enough humility. . . . ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, pp. 72-73

Humility sounds so much like humiliation, but it really is the ability to look at myself—and honestly accept what I find. I no longer need to be the “smartest” or “dumbest” or any other “est.” Finally, it is okay to be me. It is easier for me to accept myself if I share my whole life. If I cannot share in meetings, then I had better have a sponsor — someone with whom I can share those “certain facts” that could lead me back to a drunk, to death. I need to take all the Steps. I need the Fifth Step to learn true humility. Easier methods do not work. 


The Easier, Softer Way

If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 72

I certainly didn’t leap at the opportunity to face who I was, especially when the pains of my drinking days hung over me like a dark cloud. But I soon heard at the meetings about the fellow member who just didn’t want to take Step Five and kept coming back to meetings, trembling from the horrors of reliving his past. The easier, softer way is to take these Steps to freedom from our fatal disease, and to put our faith in the Fellowship and our Higher Power.