Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Getting things rolling with Steps 4 and 5

 Step 4:  Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.  

Step 5:  Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.  

Koan: Case 8 The Gateless Gate:  Master Gettan asked a monk, “KeichÅ« made a hundred carts. If he took off both wheels and removed the axle, what would he make clear about the cart?” The Gateless Gate (GG)

No matter what the conditions, wherever I go, there I am, in bringing “me-ness” to the scene.  As babies, relying completely on others for our care and welfare, we were all perfect babies.  Crying, sleeping, nursing, spitting up, and of course pooping and all - - perfect babies.

I was Billy…a 3 ½ pound perfect preemie. It was touch and go in the beginning as Billy was eating but not pooping.   Eventually, my tiny colon expanded on its own - - the family story said an ecstatic nurse scurried down the hallway carrying a tiny diaper, showing the evidence to all interested parties. 

Baby Billy grew up into Bill, an introvert by nature, who began his drinking career early in his freshman year of college, going from a non-drinker to saying, “Let’s go get drunk” in a matter of a few months. I flunked out in June. Hmmm. My first consequence of drinking. I drank for 25 years. 

I remember one fella, I can picture his face but cannot recall his name, who would always begin his story saying, “When I got into the rooms of AA, all the wheels had fallen off.  We all come here in varying states of functioning. My wheels hadn’t come off; but a few lug nuts were missing and others loose, wheels still turning but wobbly. Gene H. always says “We don’t get here on the tail end of a winning streak.

When KeichÅ« took off both wheels and removed the axle, there was still a cart there, albeit a cart that wasn’t capable of carting goods from here to there.

Notes: (GG) Page 45 – “Everything is the cart! What remains? The wheels and axle are our concepts and ideas.”

I was still Bill K. and my life was unmanageable.  I brought my unmanageability and my concepts and ideas into the rooms of AA.  It’s by working Steps 4 and 5 with my sponsor where I learned how my actions have hurt others. My concepts, based on my selfishness, brought about unhealthy ideas. 

By sharing Step 5 with my sponsor, my mental load felt lighter. My sponsor helped, my wheels were more stable - - I began moving forward, continuing the remaining Steps.

We dismantled ourselves via our past behaviors in our self-centered prideful drinking days. We thought our cart (self) was “hot shit” …until we realized it wasn’t. Our cart needed rebuilding...this is how we move on, learning our truth.


Bill K.