Step 5 of Overeaters Anonymous – Self Acceptance
As part of my continued Ode to the 12 Days of Christmas for Bulimics and Anorexics this post is about Step 5 of Overeaters Anonymous, which reads:
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
This step has mixed messages…well, sort of. The obvious part is about admitting my wrongs and the second part, the subtle message, is that of self acceptance.
What this step means to me is about reflection and self-awareness. It is only upon reflecting upon who we are, who we’ve been, how we got where we are do we realize that we’re responsible for our life. The underlying theme here is that we’ve probably made some mis-steps along the way. The 12 Steps of OA calls them “our wrongs”. That doesn’t quite fit for me. I’d like to call it “who we were”.
I don’t think anything we do in life is wrong. There is no master chalkboard in the sky that has a list of RIGHT and WRONG doings for all of us to follow. Therefore, “our wrongs” to me just means we become aware of when we were out of alignment with our true nature, our higher self, our Source (aka God).
If we take time to reflect upon who we’ve been and the steps we’ve taken to get us to where we are today, it becomes easy to see why our life has turned out he way it has and where we are today is precisely on schedule. Our daily – even moment-to-moment – decisions have led us to this point in time. It is our moments of decision that teach us who we are.
What admitting the exact nature of our wrongs to me means is to become aware of when we haven’t been living from our highest self and have instead caused harm to ourselves and others along the way. There is probably some clean up you will want to do in your relationships with people you’ve touched along your journey.
I’ve personally found there are some relationships you want to clean up, admit your mis-steps and begin again with from a new perspective. You will want to call or visit with people you care about to show them your true self and that you recognize you weren’t living that way before and may have caused them grief, sadness or anger. Acknowledge we’re all human and we sometimes pinch ourselves off from our Source and act in ways that aren’t always loving and kind.
There may be some relationships it’s easier for you to rebuild by writing an email or mailing a letter/card to them. Just touching them to let them know you’re sorry about what may have happened in the past. There are some instances where you will just want to journal about it and put it to rest. No actual contact is necessary. Only you will know exactly what’s best in every situation. I promise if you can clean up your past and come clear that who you’ve been isn’t who you are now or who you will be tomorrow, your life will feel free and fulfilled. Living with regrets and I’m sorry’s from the past will haunt us…if we let them.
As I said in the beginning, the second message of this step is that of self-acceptance. Accepting that you’re not always living in your highest self and may have times in the future that you’ll want to clean up relationships is natural. It’s part of the living of life. Part of your work in this step is accepting yourself for who you are and enjoying who you are becoming. Choose to focus on the being you want to be instead of the person you’ve been is about feeling forward and your personal growth.
One of my mentors says, “How would the person I want to be do the thing I’m about to do?”. This uplifts and guides me in my moments of decision. It gives me courage and confidence to act. Your life will start to take a different course and in every decision when you choose from your Source’s perspective to be loving, joyful and free – your life will naturally unfold in magical ways.
If you’d like to share your comments or feedback on my interpretation of this (step 5 of overeaters anonymous), please feel free to leave a message below.
Get ready for my next post – Step 6 of Overeaters Anonymous (OA). Here’s a preview:
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.