The Spiritual Principles of Step Five

Fifth Step: Admitting to God, Ourselves and Another

“We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
We have finally made it to the Fifth Step! The first Spiritual Principle behind Step Five is Integrity. Integrity is something other people had before we got clean and sober. Integrity is doing the right thing for the right reasons, even if no one is watching; Taking the higher road in an argument; Being happy instead of right all the time; Living by a certain standard, in the case for us addicts and alcoholics, a new code of ethics, the Spiritual Principles.

None of us came to The Program brimming with manners, kindness or respect for ourselves or others. Step Five introduces us to a new level of Integrity. Now Step Five is not merely a reading of our Fourth Step. We have done a lot of introspection and spiritual preparedness to ready us for this Step. In the Fifth Step we finally “come clean,” so to speak about who we really are and what we’ve done. There’s no denying it anymore. At this point, we may be feeling raw, vulnerable and even exposed. Good! That is a great place for us to be. As Michaelangelo was reported to have said, “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.” This is now true of us, we keep the healthy bits; the things that are beneficial to ourselves and others. It is in the upcoming Steps, we ask God to remove the rest.

The next Spiritual Principle is Trust. Once again, this is a Principle that has become a part of our new way of life. Step Two was our first introduction to Trust, where we learned to rely on a Power Greater than Ourselves. Step Three, our Trust in God grew as we had the evidence we needed to see that He was doing for us, what we could not do for ourselves. Step Four, we again tapped into that Trust for love and support. Step Five is another level of Trust for us, as we reach out to God and another person, to help us along our way. Most cases, this other person is our Sponsor, but it doesn’t have to be, as long as it is someone that honors this process and it will keep our confidence. We do NOT recommend sharing our Fourth Step with a spouse or significant other.

The Courage we gained in the previous Step with our initial decision to face our fears and move forward, will be indispensable as we begin Step Five. We start telling our story and continue to build up our courage to leave nothing out. Many times, our Sponsor will say, “Oh, I did that, too!” or “Really? I felt the same way…” Encouraging us to continue on our path of healing.

Again, working the Steps is one of the most kind and loving things we can do for ourselves. Step Five is a continuation of the Self-honesty that got us here and has hopefully kept us here so far. We continue to look at ourselves, our flaws, our past deeds and “the exact nature of our wrongs.” We face our feelings and realize that we don’t have to live that way ever again, nor drink or drug over them, either.

Finally the Spiritual Principle of Commitment we practiced in Step Three will benefit us here, too. By this time, we have seen a little bit of growth in ourselves. We are happier, we attend meetings. We have new clean and sober friends, people LIKE us and more importantly we are starting to like ourselves! We keep committed to new way of life and our recovery as we take that “Leap of Faith” and follow through with our commitment to work the rest of these steps. Go to Step Six

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