” Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. “
I love doing small 4th steps as I get older in sobriety, it gives me a way to really look at myself and what kind of changes I can make in my life.
Most people are afraid of a 4th step, I was terrified the first time I did a 4th step because I was afraid that I would leave something out of it and would have to go back and redo my 4th step. That was not the case of course, “More will be revealed”. I was lucky enough to keep it simple but to put my whole entire life’s worth of resentments that I could remember into a huge notebook. As I wrote my columns, names, causes, effects, and where I was wrong I soon started to feel more and more free. My thoughts as I continued to write where “What would my sponsor think of me”? “I’m such a terrible person”, but as I kept writing I was realizing that not all resentments where all everyone’s fault. I finally realized that I was blaming others for my happiness. Willing to forgive is one of the MOST important tools I think I learned in AA and it was not only a freeing tool but a tool that I would be able to use on myself and others.
Once I handed over my 4th step to my sponsor she proceeded to tell me to burn it. WHAT, Burn it? I couldn’t believe I did all that work for nothing. We still had our sit down and discussion on my 4th step and I was finally learning how to accept my mistakes, forgive myself and move on. It was not for nothing because I had become a person that I respected and accepted. I had a whole new attitude and outlook on life.
Early in sobriety doing a 4th step sounded scary to me, I guess it was all that work I would have to do and I wondered if I would do it right or would I be able to put everything into my 4th step worrying that I would be judged by all the mistakes I had made in my past. This was not the case at all. I was the one that had to take that look at myself and ask God to please help me in forgiving myself and others.
Today I try to apply a 4th step in my life that is needed. Some will tell you that you will never have to do a 4th step again but in my case I know when I need to do a 4th step pretty much right away. I’m an alcoholic and always in need of doing step work. I call them mini 4th steps. When I’m in pain or holding a resentment that is a red flag for me and so I have to consistently apply the tools I was given in my life or I could die and that is all the reason I need to do the work. My 4th steps are not as big as my very first one but I can tell you when you find selfishness, pride, ego, resentments creeping up on you if you don’t do the work you could relapse or die.
I Love my life today and would not want to live it any other way. God has Blessed me with so many good people in my life and he has given me the tools to live by so I’m going to use them. I earned my seat in AA and I will continue to keep my seat warm no matter how much work it takes on myself as I have been forgiven and I’am free today. Nothing can be more satisfying.
God Speed my Friends
EXAMPLE OF A MINI 4TH STEP
Dad – Abandoned me insecurity
Mom – denies past hurts me
Sister – intentional harm no trust
Daughter – lie’s, cheats, steals guilt, shame, trust
Friend – gossips trust, resentful
NOTE: Never do a 4th step alone. Always share your 4th step with your sponsor.
Everyone has a past. Most of us dont like to deal with our past unless we are forced to deal with it. I’m no angel by any means but I’m grateful I have dealt with my past and was given the tools to move on. I have found by dealing with my emotional, physical, sexual, and mental abuse in the past I was able to understand and forgive. Compassion is all I have now and I feel sorry for those who refuse to deal with the truth because they will never know that new freedom and happiness that comes with learning about yourself and dealing with life through new eye’s. My whole outlook on life has changed from me being able to look at how I was dealing with people, places, and situations and I was able to learn how to deal with them in a different way. Today I have peace and serenity because I use the 12 step program to deal with every situation that may sneak up on me and I look for change in my life. Before cleaning my own house I was miserable and constantly living off of someone else’s misery. I think of all the time I lost by taking others inventory and not staying focused on myself and working on making a better me. I have nothing but love and compassion now for myself and others. As long as I can keep learning to forgive myself I’m always changing. Trust God, Clean house and help others.
Page 164 of The Big Book
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God.
Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows.
Clear away the wreckage of your past.
Give freely of what you find and join us.
We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you – until then.