"My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands. I have already spent years living a personal and mental incarceration, which no matter what is decided today, owning this mistake will free me to be once more the person I really am."
- Michael Cohen in his sentencing trial December 13th, 2018.
"Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." (Big Book page 53)
Michael Cohen told the judge his "defects of character" as he submitted to the same process as recommended by the 12 steps - admitting "to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." He was specific, "Blind loyalty to Donald Trump," but went deeper to confess the magnitude of the paradigm he was trapped in, his "personal and mental incarceration."
Bob Marley uses the words of Marcus Garvey, "Free yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." Cohen was enslaved by personal ambition and greed. I was enslaved by approval seeking, looking good, feeling good. Garvey encouraged blacks to break free of oppression, the imposed mental, spiritual, physical paradigm of enslavement.
Yes. Mental, spiritual incarceration is real. I've lived it blindly and consciously, too. Consciousness of an obsession does not remove it. It takes an examination of my life's twists, old ideas, false Gods and paradigms that keep me stuck. It takes prayer, meditation, and active involvement in others' healing to stay unstuck. In a way, Step 5 is much like Step 1. It is an admission. It is truth that shoots deep into the innermost core of my being so that transformation can take place. A brilliant spiritual technology, the steps are available to all who are graced to receive the "gift of desperation. "From reading the transcript, I do believe Michael Cohen has received that paradoxical gift.
His transformation does not mean, however, that the sentence should not be applied. Cohen tries to use the sincerity of his new perspective as a "get out of jail free" card like any good white man would do. "I've been changed; there is no need for the consequences, right?" No, my friend, you still get to do the time. Many many innocents have done much much more for much less or nothing at all. It will be good for you to get a tiny taste of humble pie.
I remember many times sobbing sobbing sobbing as the consciousness of my mistakes overwhelmed me. But the beauty of telling the truth to another person you trust is that there is no loneliness. The "other," the listener has never betrayed my confidence and wagged the finger, instead that person has supported me to state and see the facts about the truth that would set me free. Reading a fifth step is never easy. It is humbling - but the foundation of a good life is humility. God is God. I am a deeply flawed vibrant human being who is now on a healing trajectory that manifests in goodness, creativity, love, laughter, steadfastness, and freedom.
I believe Michael Cohen is on the right track, the righteous track. If this sinner can be healed, so can he.