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Step 5
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and
to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

We use the word pride so many times in so many ways. We are "proud" of the winning sports team or athlete. We are "proud" of the college graduate, especially those that graduate with high honors. We are "proud" of the accomplishments of many.

Yet, to truly overcome adversity that we have places upon ourselves, we need not be proud of ourselves, we need to be humble, instead.

If you hate humble pie, if you agree with the statement "Confession may be good for the soul but it is terrible for the reputation" then you know how difficult and important this step is.

There are many examples is life about something being broken before it can be made better. Bodybuilders talk about "breaking down muscles" before building them. Farmers have to plow the field before they can plant. Peanuts have to be crushed before they can be made into peanut butter.

If our ego is so strong that we won't let go off our mask of perfection, then we really won't solve our problems, either. You may have heard the statement "if it is not broke, don't fix it." If we won't admit how really we have messed up our lives, IN PAINSTAKING DETAIL, then we haven't really admitted that we need fixing.

We have already admitted that we are helpless ("Mommy, I'd rather do it myself!" has failed us.) We know we can not win on our own.

We know that our only hope is in someone else, much more powerful than ourselves. We need a "higher power" to which to submit.

By admitting these mistakes, these bad decisions, these stupid behaviors to that "higher power" and to ourselves and to another human being takes courage, and it takes humility. But when you lost so much in reality, you really have nothing left to lose by taking this step!

Think about it.

No, really.

Think about it.

I don't know about you, but I am VERY GOOD at lying to myself! Actually, ask any psychologist or counselor about all those personality tests that are "self-assessments". They are great tools, but they all have the same major flaw: - they are based on what you think you are, not on what other witnesses would say.

If I think I am a great husband, and my wife disagrees . . . Well, it may be that my opinion of myself is not the best measure of who I am and how I live my life.

That's why a quality higher power is so wonderful to have. That's why an honest relationship with that higher power is so important. That's why it is so important to share the "nature of our wrongs" with another person. It's easy to lie to ourselves, it's harder to lie to another. Especially when you have finally humbled yourself and really, really want to recover.

A wonderful man that I have come to know in my life wrote a book entitled "That's How the Light Gets In". It is the story of him and his wonderful ministry. The point of the book and the title is that the Light of God can only get into your heart if the cracks in your defenses are big enough to let the light in.

You never break eggs to make omelettes, you break the shells that have been protecting the eggs. Drop your defenses, and you can be made into something special by your higher power.

* The Twelve Steps are reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that A. A. has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that A. A. agrees with the views expressed herein. A. A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism. Use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs which are patterned after A. A. but which address other problems does not imply otherwise.

The complete Serenity Prayer is also available on this website.