10/27/08 BB Into Action pp 73-75 (Archway to Freedom)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
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Karl R
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10/27/08 BB Into Action pp 73-75 (Archway to Freedom)

Post by Karl R » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:43 am

Good Morning,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Yesterday's reading looked at the 5th step. In part this...

In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. .... But they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the sense we find it necessary, until they told someone else all their life story.

Today's reading, below in red, speaks of the qualifications of the human with whom we do our 5th. In my case, I asked my sponsor. It may also be anyone else. The qualifications seem to be that the person understands what we are about with this process, the importance of the action, someone who understands alcoholics, someone who is closed mouthed, and of course someone who won't be hurt by what is in our inventory. The passage seems to suggest that we will have some relief and the beginnings of a spiritual experience. That was certainly true in my case. The passage closes asking us to review our work so far for it's solidity and ability to serve as a foundation for further work. A solid archway to freedom.

Anyone care to share of their ES and H concerning their 5th step? Anyone care to share how their HP was brought into their 5th step?

have a good monday,
Karl

We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world. Rightly and naturally, we think well before we choose the person or persons with whom to take this intimate and confidential step. Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it. Though we have no religious connection, we may still do well to talk with someone ordained by an established religion. We often find such a person quick to see and understand our problem. Of course, we sometimes encounter people who do not understand alcoholics.
If we cannot or would rather not do this, we search our acquaintance for a close-mouthed, understanding friend. Perhaps our doctor or psychologist will be the person. It may be one of our own family, but we cannot disclose anything to our wives or our parents which will hurt them and make them unhappy. We have no right to save our own skin at another person's expense. Such parts of our story we tell to someone who will understand, yet be unaffected. The rule is we must be hard on ourself, but always considerate of others.
Notwithstanding the great necessity for discussing ourselves with someone, it may be one is so situated that there is no suitable person available. If that is so, this step may be postponed, only, however, if we hold ourselves in complete readiness to go through with it at the first opportunity. We say this because we are very anxious that we talk to the right person. It is important that he be able to keep a confidence; that he fully understand and approve what we are driving at; that he will not try to change our plan. But we must not use this as a mere excuse to postpone.
When we decide who is to hear our story, we waste no time. We have a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk. We explain to our partner what we are about to do and why we have to do it. He should realize that we are engaged upon a life-and-death errand. Most people approached in this way will be glad to help; they will be honored by our confidence.
We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.
Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done. We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better. Taking this book down from our shelf we turn to the page which contains the twelve steps. Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last. Is our work solid so far? Are the stones properly in place? Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation? Have we tried to make mortar without sand?

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Post by avaneesh912 » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:34 am

Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing:

we are delighted.
We can look the world in the eye.
We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.
Our fears fall from us.
We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator.
We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience.
The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.

===============================================
I did great a relief after my first 5th step, however i want to share my experience when a friend of mine, first was looking at the floor, has we started going thru the inventory but has we went through the list, his eyes started making contact with mine. "We can look the world in the eye" made sense to me, because, i was the watcher. Just by revealing some dark cranny of the past, the book says we have a SA. Which for me was true. I never ever imagined that i would tell somebody those dirty secrets. Once i got of my chest, i did feel delighted.

===============================================
Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour, carefully reviewing what we have done. We thank God from the bottom of our heart that we know Him better.
===============================================

Pretty clear cut direction from the authors on how soon we need to take 6 and 7!
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Post by ann2 » Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:09 am

This was interesting for me. I was 16 years away from the drink, never having thought that the steps after step 3 were written for me. The good people I met at e-AA led me to consider the possibility that maybe they were. So to humor them, I thought, I went ahead on my journey in the steps.

I was an American living in on a small group of islands in Finland. We had an A.A. group but it was all male, and, well, different -- no sponsorship, a bit of suspicion about the steps, and of course a rather typical Scandinavian reluctance to discuss or give any merit to the idea of God (they would say here that Americans are typically a little over-interested in this topic).

My Swedish was rudimentary at best. I knew that a f2f 5th step wasn't going to be an option for me. I wasn't ready to choose an online sponsor, but there was a lady I met in a chat room who seemed helpful, so I asked her to read my 5th step.

My 4th step was extremely illuminating. Sharing what I learned from it with someone on the other side of the globe in writing was my chance to be honest with another person while inviting my higher power in.

I got some relief from this lady's response, but there was a huge sense of waiting for the other foot to drop -- I felt no closure, no answers, and understood myself no more.

That was when I entered into a very uncomfortable but valuable period of time in which I became willing. And when I realized I was doing that, I knew I was in step 6. And i knew to get out of that space I needed to add one to the count and move on to step 7. Shouldn't talk about 6 and 7 now. But I value 5 precisely to the extent that it made 6 and 7 possible.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:17 am

Yep, it all depends on the person who helps us walk thru the steps. For instance, the story "He sold himself short" explains exactly how Dr. Bob took somebody thru the steps. Today, if you tell someone that we could be on step 10,11,12 in 2 days they would look at us, as though we are from some other planet. (Treatment Centers to make money tell modern day folks that we all will be always recovering, One day at a time)

Recently a person sent me a 17 page document with principles behind each step and kind of said it would take about 10 years to complete the steps. We agreed to disagree.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: 10/27/08 BB Into Action pp 73-75 (Archway to Freedom)

Post by leejosepho » Tue May 08, 2012 10:00 am

avaneesh912 wrote:Recently a person sent me a 17 page document with principles behind each step and kind of said it would take about 10 years to complete the steps ...
I could agree there, at least in principle:

"... continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime." (page 84) ;)
We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world.
"If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values." (page 64)
Rightly and naturally, we think well before we choose the person or persons with whom to take this intimate and confidential step ...
... because we are very anxious that we talk to the right person. It is important that he be able to keep a confidence; that he fully understand and approve what we are driving at; that he will not try to change our plan.
I never had a problem there because I took this Step with a good sponsor who was completely "qualified" in every way. However, I have seen folks have trouble even in this kind of situation:
Those of us belonging to a religious denomination which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it.
That is a matter for each of us to decide for ourselves, of course, but the worst case I have ever seen was when someone did that as a way to avoid certain things her sponsor had been trying to help her see and do something about. In the end, she was told to just go feed the pigeons in the park as her "amends" for wrongs committed in the past, and she lived out her remaining days sober without ever finding true relief for her sense of isolation from most people around her. So, let us remember:

"... we sometimes encounter people who do not understand alcoholics [and/or what we need to truly recover]."
We pocket our pride ...
... and in my own case, a lot of fear ...
... and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.
I do not recall whether I had even considered whether "the drink problem has disappeared" after Step Five, but I definitely do remember a first-time-ever feeling of now being able to "look the world in the eye" without ever again having no option but to slink away while again hanging my head in shame.
Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for an hour ... for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free man at last.
"... we [have now] quit playing God ... hereafter in this drama of life, God [is] going to be our Director ... and this ['conception of God', so to speak, as our new 'Director'] was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom." (page 62)
Is our work solid so far? Are the stones properly in place? Have we skimped on the cement put into the foundation? Have we tried to make mortar without sand?
That seems to have been borrowed from our friends in religion (as mentioned in the Foreword to our 12&12):

“Therefore everyone who hears ... shall be like a wise man who built his house on the rock, and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“And everyone who hears these words ... and does not do them, shall be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand, and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it fell, and great was its fall.”

Or in our own words:

"For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life ... he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that." (pages 14-15)
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: 10/27/08 BB Into Action pp 73-75 (Archway to Freedom)

Post by PaigeB » Tue May 08, 2012 11:27 am

When we decide who is to hear our story, we waste no time. We have a written inventory and we are prepared for a long talk... He should realize that we are engaged upon a life-and-death errand. Most people approached in this way will be glad to help; they will be honored by our confidence.

We pocket our pride and go to it,
A life or death errand... Indeed I felt like I was walking through jello up to my neck with my head in a box as I prepared my papers and books and prepared to go to the car and drive 30 minutes to my sponsor's home. I had no doubt that I had chosen the right person, maybe the only person in the world, to hear my story. I did not waste time, but I had to force my actions as I moved through the fear and ego.

Oh and did I go for it! In fear I blurted the worst of my wrongs, the ones I had NOT written down. My sponsor did her little blurt of a giggle, but listened quietly with a knowing look and a lot of nodding. Then she said, "let's write that down".

It was rather surreal. But again, I humbly did as I was told. Then we rambled on back and forth for quite some time, ending it all at my favorite place in the world, her back porch. We just sat quietly for a while, drinking iced tea and having a cigarette.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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