Step 5 states… “Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
So taking from CoDA’s Twelve Steps Handbook and recapping where we’ve been:
- Step 1 we admitted our powerlessness.
- Step 2 we became willing to acknowledge that our self-will was out of control.
- Step 3 we turned our will over to God’s care.
- Step 4 we put our predicament on paper.
- So now we come to Step 5 where we uncover and expose the nature of our wrongs to God, ourselves and another person. And in doing so, we have the chance to have our shame and guilt transformed into humility.
Let’s clarify a couple of words in that last one.
1. Nature: The dictionary defines Nature as… “The forces and processes that produce and control these phenomena.”
2. Humility: Researcher and author, Brene Brown, defines Humility as… “Openness to new learning combined with a balanced and accurate assessment of our contributions, including our strengths, imperfections and opportunities for growth.”
So Step 5 gives us a chance to uncover the forces and processes that produce and control our codependent behaviors and to share that information with God, ourselves and another human being. When we do this, we can transform our shame and open up to new learning and gain a more balanced view of ourselves.
In the CoDA Big Book, we read that this step is one of cleansing, accountability and awareness. “Fears are natural”. “It is important to complete the step with someone outside our families” who can be an “objective, loving, caring and compassionate” listener. “Someone who has an understanding of codependency, it’s devastating effects and the recovery process”. “We must remember we are allowing our Higher Power to cast a healing spiritual light on our darkness”.
I give myself a gift in Step 5. The gift of spiritual and emotional freedom. A freedom that comes from releasing the secrets about what motivates my codependency. The forces and processes which underpin my choices, actions, beliefs and patterns of living become clearer. This gift allows me to grow in grounded confidence and opens the door to healthy relationships.
In this moment, I will acknowledge myself for doing what was most difficult for me. I will rest in the accepting presence of my Higher Power. I know I have deepened my commitment to the journey of recovery by opening my self and my heart to a fellow human being.Step Five Prayer