Why is everybody so afraid of the Fourth Step?
Doing a fourth step is work. When many of us get to the rooms of a 12 step program usually we are full of guilt, remorse, shame and fear; the emotions nobody wants to admit or talk about. We have been programmed from youth not to show weakness or it will be used against us by our fellows. If we show vulnerability we are made fun of, taken advantage of, cast out, gossiped about or worse. It’s understandable that we cringe by what is asked of us in a fourth and even worse; Fifth step.
There is a saying that the truth will set us free. Humans need forgiveness from guilt, we need to be able to walk without a cloud of shame causing us to be hyper-sensitive to our interaction with others. We need the poison of deep regret to be cleansed from our hearts. We will never be relieved from guilt by denial or lies. Trying to ignore a past full of wrong decisions and hurting others will eat us up inside.
If we weigh our options to either bury our guilt and suffer a continuing soul sickness that affects every relationship we have especially the one with ourselves. Or choose to cleanse our hearts and be set free and open up the opportunity to have truly loving relationships with ourselves and others….hmmm which would we choose. Do we keep our skeletons hid to save face?
No! Saving face is a lie and the longer we keep our guilt hidden the sicker we become. We must write down all the things we are afraid and ashamed of including our deepest darkest secret to have peace and serenity. We are children of God and we are not alone. There are only seven deadly sins and most addicts are very familiar with at least a few of them. All fifth steps have been said and done before. Our sponsors are usually not shocked by them or even surprised.
The truth is not our enemy…oh contraire’! The fifth step truths will set us free and start us on our road to happy destiny. Give yourself a fighting chance my friend! We must learn to be kind to ourselves by making the steps our way of life. We will truly be reborn if we are honest.