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The first part of HTYH is the rest of Step Five from page 61 of Bill Wilson's book titled, 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, and the second part is from an AA meeting in Iraq...the real test of the situation is your own willingness to confide and your full confidence in the one with whom you share your first accurate self-survey. Even when you've found the person, it frequently takes great resolution to approach him or her. No one ought to say working the steps requires no willpower; here is one place you may require all you've got. Happily, though the chances are that you will be in for a very pleasant surprise. When your mission is carefully explained, and it is seen by the recipient how helpful he can be, the conversation will start easily and will soon become eager. Before long, your listener may well tell a story or two about himself, which will place you even more at ease. Provided you hold back nothing, your sense of relief will mount from minute to minute. The damned-up emotions of years break out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tranquility takes its place. And when humility and serenity are so combined, something else of great moment is apt to occur. Many an AA, once agnostic or atheistic, tells us that it was during this stage of Step Five that he first actually felt the presence of God, as never before.

The feeling of being at one with God and man, this emerging from isolation through the open and honest sharing of our terrible burden of guilt, brings us to a resting place where we may prepare ourselves for the following Steps toward a full and meaningful sobriety.

Letter from an AA meeting in Iraq.


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