Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions


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 min-
ute to minute. The dammed-up emotions of years break
out of their confinement, and miraculously vanish as soon
as they are exposed. As the pain subsides, a healing tran-
quillity takes its place. And when humility and serenity are
so combined, something else of great moment is apt to
occur. Many an A.A., once agnostic or atheistic, tells us
that it was during this stage of Step Five that he first ac-
tually felt the presence of God. And even those who had
faith already often become conscious of God as they never
were before.

This feeling of being at one with God and man, this
emerging from isolation through the open and honest shar-
ing 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.