“Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
During this step, the person sits down with another person of their choosing and goes over their Step Four inventory. He or she discusses resentments, fears, sexual conduct, people who have been harmed by his or her actions in the past, and what character defects have cropped up over the years.
The person listening often helps to identify patterns that have been overlooked. The process of getting vulnerable with another human being often produces a sense of connection and relief.
“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
This step revolves around acceptance. The person accepts that there are areas of his or her life that need to be changed, and he or she becomes willing to let go of all existing character defects. Putting down the drink or the drug is a great initial step, but in order for recovery to be maintained the person must continuously strive towards self-betterment.
“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
During this step, the person and his or her Twelve Step Contact recite the associated prayer, which goes, ““My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding.” This step revolves around humility and becoming willing to make a serious attitude adjustment – simply asking a higher power to remove shortcomings isn’t enough, the person must continuously work towards the desired change.
“Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”
This step introduces the process of making amends, and centers around mending relationships with friends and family members and understanding the impact that active addiction has had in the lives of others. Just like Step Four, this step of the program requires a person to write down a completely comprehensive list, and to look at past experiences and interactions honestly and fearlessly.