Wednesday, April 15

Interlude Number 2

I know how hard it is to open your heart and bare your soul to another person. So, with that in mind, I’m going to give you another break today from the 12 Steps. Today I want to talk about passion.

Now, I’m not talking about the “Oh my God! YES! YES! YES!” kind of passion. Although that does have its place in our lives and is a great thing in and of itself. No, today I want to talk about your life passion. What is it in your life that you are passionate about. What is it that when you think of it you get all jazzed up and full of energy. Something that you can talk forever about and everyone around can actually feel the energy that you’re producing.

Do you even have something like that in your life?

Oh, I can hear a lot of you right now…well, my kids/spouse/girl(boy)friend/etc is what I’m passionate about.

Let me just put the record straight on this little line of thought.


People don’t make your life. They are a part of it and walk the journey with you, loving, supporting, challenging, and being both good and bad in it. But they are NOT your passion for life. They are external. If they were all taken away, you would grieve, for certain, but you’d still have a life to live. You’d still have to have something that gets your ass out of bed in the morning.

Sadly, for most people, it’s simply the fact that they need to work to live, pay bills, eat, etc. That is SO not how life is supposed to be lived. You should be in touch with your core and KNOW what makes you excited to start the day.

Let me give you a real life example. Let’s call him Mr. X. :-)

Now, Mr. X is a completely normal guy in most every aspect. He’s got some issues, but, again, that’s normal too. Now, I’ve know Mr. X for a long while now and he is a typical person in that for as long as I’ve known him, he’s hated his job. And that’s usually on the good days. :-)

He’s got some very good reasons for it. I’ve heard them and share some of those reasons myself. Now, whether or not he realizes it, Mr. X feels stuck. He HAS to have the job because others are depending on him and there are ALWAYS bills to pay. So, everyday he comes in to work and spends his time fighting and miserable only to go home exhausted and dreading the next day.

But just recently, I saw something new in Mr. X. I felt an energy come out of him that I’d NEVER experienced around him before. He was smiling like a kid and I could see the passion inside him as he talked. It was an amazing transformation right in front of my eyes! I was stunned, happy, and grinning back at him. And as soon as we were finished talking, I could see and feel that passion and energy leave.

The next day, we were back to the accepted norm. The moment had passed and I was afraid that it wouldn’t come again. But see, I know something that he doesn’t. I know that somewhere inside his heart and core, that passion is just waiting to come out again.

He also doesn’t know that I’m going to help to bring it back out every chance I get. :-)

I want to encourage you all to have a Mr. X moment today! See what that passion feels like and know that you CAN have that every day of your life. You don’t have to, nor should you, give up everything you have right now to chase your dreams, but chase them you SHOULD!

No one has ever said, “Gee I wished I’d done more of that job I hated.”

Find it…Live it…Be it. :-)

Monday, April 13

Step 5 - Own it

“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs”

OK, so you’ve made it through the hardship of self exploration and self honesty. Now, you need to get a good dose of humble pie. :-)

Really, once we’ve made it through the difficulties of making a personal inventory, we would like to sit down and think that it’s done. Right? Wrong. You see, this step is about making your list real. Just like you had to write it down in the last step, you HAVE to talk about it in this step.

Too often we want to hide from the things we don’t like. Or even better, we like to blame someone else for what happened. That doesn’t work here. There is a single commonality in everything that you listed in Step 4. That commonality…is YOU. You were present and an active participant in every choice and situation in your life. That’s just the way life works here.

“This is perhaps difficult, especially discussing our defects with another person. We think we have done well enough in admitting these things to ourselves. There is doubt about that. In actual practice, we usually find a solitary self-appraisal insufficient. Many of us thought it necessary to go much further. We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock. They only thought they had lost their egoism and fear; they only thought they had humbled themselves. 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.”
-A.A. Big Book

I think that once you reach this step, procrastination and fear become your biggest enemies. Step 4 was about reliving and reviewing your pain and hurts. Step 5 is about coming into a sense of ownership of your own life. It’s a big step and an even bigger acknowledgement. That’s why you need to do it WITH someone else.

So what does it take to be able to discuss your problems, issues, and ultimately, your failures with someone else?

Humility. A sense of humbleness. A definite knowledge that you are not a bad person, but rather, that you ARE a person and as likely to be fallible and make mistakes as anyone else.

Remember in Step 4 when we put judgment aside in favor of simple honesty? You need to hold on to that sense in this step as well. You’re not in a confessional, baring your soul for deliverance into Heaven or Hell. You’re just being honest with yourself in a way to help you to make the changes in your life that you NEED to make.

Ponder these two quotes. Internalize them and read them again before you make this step. Feel the desire to be free from your issues more powerfully than the desire to hide your shame and continue on the same path as before. When you stand at the fork in your road, chose the path less traveled this time. It will make all the difference in the world.

“Having taken my personal inventory in step 4, I am now ready to share that inventory. I share it with my God, with myself and with another human being. This allows my history to become more real with me. It begins to become in my mind what it truly is, namely "my history". By sharing it with another person, I begin to pull down the fake truths of my life - the facades and the games - and I begin to be who I truly am and build my life with others on the basis of honesty and truth.”
- From

“The Fifth Step is the key to freedom. It allows us to live clean in the here and now. Sharing the exact nature of our wrongs sets us free to live. After taking a thorough Fourth Step, we have to deal with what we have found in our inventory. We are told that if we keep these defects inside us, they will lead us back to using. Holding on to our past would eventually sicken us and keep us from taking part in this new way of life. If we are not honest when we take a Fifth Step, we will have the same negative results that dishonesty brought us in the past.”
- Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text