Step 5 from the receiving end...

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
garden variety
Posts: 750
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 7:39 pm

Postby garden variety » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:24 pm

Hi Dee,

I'm proud of you for going through these steps with the desperation of a drowning woman.

I know all about that resentment prayer, and I was also taught a HUGE lesson about why I should pray for my enemies. The lesson was bigger than life, but the reason is very simple.

There is no other thing to do for these people that makes sense. Praying for those you have resentments against is the only thing positive you or me can do. And that's the WHOLE lesson. You CAN pray for someone you have resentments against. Again, its the only thing you CAN do.

When I say CAN, I mean it is something that I CAN make a decision or choice about. I don't have to "like" the choice. I don't have to "feel" happy (The book says "cheerful" - oh boy!). But it is the only thing positive I CAN make a decision to do.

The other side of that HUGE lesson is what I CAN'T DO. And that's another simple lesson. I CANT FORGIVE ANYONE! If I could forgive another human being, or if a any human being could forgive another human being for doing them wrong, then there wouldn't be a need for Grace or Mercy or a Higher Power.

That's what made the whole thing simple for me. When I realized that I can't forgive anybody, then I had only one choice left - I had to find the Power to forgive. Same story - same tool. Forgiveness gets thrown into that decision I made just this morning to turn my will and my life over to the care and direction of God as I understand Him.

The freedom I got from this lesson was such a relief. Now I don't have to waste my time "grinding" and trying to forgive, or to feel guilty trying to do something that I haven't got the power to do. It's really a lot like the drinking problem. I can't stop drinking because I'm an alcoholic and I need a Power Greater than me. I can't forgive for the same reason, because I'm an alcoholic (remember the ROOT of our common problem - self-centeredness?), so I still need that same Power that's greater than me to forgive.

That's the whole big part of Sobriety that isn't "achieved" or worked for. That's the "gift" of Sobriety. The gift of Grace and Mercy which boils down to God forgiving me - that is God doing the thing for me that I can't do for myself. In forgiving me, I get His Grace and Mercy. So just like AA, I have to "give it away" so that I can keep it.

I ask for forgiveness and that Power is given to me. Then its my job to "launch into action" with those I have resentments against. Now I have to "achieve" which is the other part of Sobriety which means doing the work. So since I was fogiven, its my job to forgive because now I have that Power that was given to me as Grace and Mercy. So if you or me are forgiving anything or anybody, we are "working the program" because "forgiving" is defintely an action.

Hope this makes sense.

Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:42 pm

Postby anniemac » Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:24 pm

Good for you, Dee, sounds like you are moving right along. I'm glad that you are able to feel how this 5th step is different from before. When I did mine, I loved getting my sponsor's help in pinpointing my part in things - it was such an eye-opener for me. I basically always wanted to be a "better person", but I didn't know how. Identifying my character defects and seeing them in action was the first step to changing the person that I was when I came to AA.

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