A Program of Miracles is a spiritual program and this Step is the beginning of spiritual healing.
In this step we prepare to share our story with another person. Honestly revealing ourselves to another human being changes our relationship with the whole world. It’s the beginning of discovering our true selves. By telling another person our story we are we choosing to go down the road of honesty and self-revelation. Many of us have been brought up without any concept of being honest about our thoughts and feelings. Indeed, many of us lived by the three rules:
Don’t say anything
Don’t feel anything
Don’t trust anyone
We were taught that it wasn’t safe to trust what we saw or heard. We were also taught that we should never take any personal responsibility, just like our parents. However, what we actually learned was to blame ourselves when things went wrong. This Step challenges those old rules by suggesting we reveal to another person exactly what happened to us as children and how we survived it. We talk about what happened, and we learn to trust another person to hear our story without judging us. We finally get to talk about what matters to us rather than denying what happened to us. This is a pivotal step.
To begin this process, we let go of our shame, fear, guilt and family secrets. We want to rid ourselves of things that weighed us down or held us back. The most effective way of doing this is simply by telling the truth about our lives and ourselves to another person and to our Higher Power. For some of us this will be the first time we have told anyone about some of our most painful experiences. What we are looking for is a spiritual meaning that can manifest in our lives and our relationships, including a relationship with our self. We seek peace and serenity; these are waiting for us. We embrace this Step without huge expectations, but with a sincerity and grace. We leave the results to our Higher Power. We simply reclaim our humanity and our place in the world. Through the personal evaluation take we have weighed ourselves up and this has started a shake up. We have begun to clean up the inner debris that has blocked the pipes. Even if we simply chipped away a small amount of this debris, we have started the process of inner healing. We are instinctively aware there is other baggage that is weighing us down. Now is the opportunity to shed all the loose matter by sharing it with another person. This step must be done soon after completing our personal evaluation. It is suggested that we undertake this Step within two weeks.
Some of us make the appointment for sharing our story two weeks away and then start the personal evaluation. This is the only time in A Program of Miracles when we need to move quickly through a Step. It's the one exception to the rest of the Program. We are now preparing to release stored-up grief and pent up anger along with our family secrets and personal shame. It is imperative that we choose the right person to hear our story. Some of us choose a counselor to hear our story, but for many others this is not possible. However, there are many others out there working this Program who would be available to listen to our story. We can find them through the forums and groups available to us on Skype and Hangouts.
We must be cautious about who we choose to hear our story. It won’t serve us well if we choose someone who chooses to judge us or shame us. Finding the right person isn’t as difficult as our inherent mistrust leads us to think. However, we must resist making a quick decision. What works well is if we reciprocate a Step by listening to someone else's story. This is not possible to do on the same day but can be arranged for different days.
The Program of Miracles advises against asking a family member or friend to listen to our story. In learning to be honest about our past, we may censor ourselves if we share with someone who knows us. We don’t want to place ourselves in a position of vulnerability because we experienced that as children. We also need to protect ourselves with solid boundaries. If we can’t find a Miracle Worker to share our story on a reciprocal basis, there are many professionals who would be willing to hear our story. We may seek a registered therapist, a healer, a priest, or someone with whom we’ve built some trust.
Ideally our listener will hear us in confidence, be compassionate, forgiving, nurturing and is someone who can help us get into the details, guiding us to see that what happened to us led us to this place. We pray for guidance from our Higher Power and the right people come into our lives.