Just a warning, these devotionals are going to start out looking like a feel-good story. Then stuff is going to get real. Buckle the seatbelt!
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
…story began on Day 3…
From yesterday: When people criticize us, we feel threatened. Am I not as good/smart/kind/caring as I think I am? More often than not, we don’t really want to confront that possibility so we won’t truly consider that question. We’ll ignore it and move on to defending ourselves so we don’t actually have to take stock of who we are.
The 12 steps push us to live as people who are more awake than this. In steps 4 and 5 in particular we’re taught to look inward and to do so both deeply and honestly. Evidently this is an important part of our recovery: learning to be honest with ourselves about who we are and what we’ve done and, then, taking responsibility for it in the form of confession.
We’re afraid of doing this. We’re afraid of what it might mean. We’re afraid that perhaps we won’t be able to live with ourselves. We’re afraid that voicing our secrets makes them more real and, thus, more powerful. Instead, defending ourselves seems like the way to go. Honesty seems like it will only lead to more pain, so let’s continue the coverup.
What are your reasons for fearing (or avoiding) transparency with God, ourselves, and another human being?