Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral
inventory of ourselves.
WELCOME TO THE MOST TERRIFYING STEP THERE
let's get that out of the way right now. The 4th step, is a
treasure hunt. We are going to find what makes us tick. Those things that
have held us back from being the best person we could be and what makes us
afraid people places and things. It will also help us to develop better
relationships in the future by showing us how we kept making the same mistakes
over and over with a lot of people in our past. As we learned in the other
steps, we can no longer run on self will, we have to believe in a power greater
than ourself today. We learned how to surrender and turn things over and
have been practicing this on a daily basis now. And now, we get to
find the real us! That part of us your mom loved years ago. Good part of
this.. this is were families are restored once we start to change the things we
Ok, so by now, you should have a sponsor, if not please find one at
your meeting. Only a fool has them self for a sponsor. We can lie to
ourself better than anyone. We can skimp on the big issues also.
That's why we need some outside help with this step and in the following steps
In this step there's a lot of soul searching, and leveling of
our pride. There are many ways to do this step with a sponsor. Some
like using the check sheets. You will find several examples here,
some like pen and paper, some will have you make columns like the book
shows. They will even say there's no right way or wrong way. But if you
read the book, there is only ONE WAY that will work. You'll see when
it comes to the other steps later on.
One of the biggest mistakes
sponsors make is having the person burn the 4th step paperwork when they
complete the 5th. This is absolutely the wrong way to do this
step! You will need to review it when you get to the 8th step. So if
your sponsor tells you this, please refer them to the 8th step and page 76 where
it says "We have a list (the 4th step) of all persons we have harmed and to whom
we are willing to make amends. (HERE IT IS) WE MADE IT WHEN
WE TOOK INVENTORY." Now
think about it, How on earth are you
going to review somethings that is now in ashes? You
can't! So hang on to it!!
Ok, the way I teach this
step is really simple there's instructions with in the book we all know that.
But there are some that are "implied" as well. You really have to look
hard because again many sponsors never stop to look at them or
were never taught them in the past. The above is a classic example of
that. If Bill W wanted us to burn it, he'd say.. ok burn your
4th, we're moving on to step 6 but he didn't. He's implying that we annotate
somehow that we have to make an amend to that name. That could be as simple as putting
star by the name. But that's later down the road no need to worry about that now.
I'm going to show you how I teach this, and give you page references to go with it from a few sources here. So
keep it in mind that this is how I was taught and maybe this may help you as
well. Just don't do it without help.
FIRST THINGS FIRST..
I know, another reading assignment right.. you guessed it~ ok get a good
understanding of this section. Read it thru for content the first
time. Then when you are done come back and read it again. This time
I want you to look hard for the instructions, and possible instructions that are
there. Grab a pen or high lighter and mark each of them in your
Review pages to read -
note of the last 2 lines on page 63. it says, NEXT... this does NOT mean
we wait for Santa to come, or the snow to melt. IT'S NEXT, AS IN
NOW! There is no delaying implied here - So, Get er Done! Already,
you've found your first instruction, again many will delay - oh you're not
ready.. Bull Puckie! We want to arrest this disease, not live with it.
The only time I delay with someone is if there is a medical issue that
may prevent them from doing this with out medical supervision. As soon as
they have a counselor or doctor involved we jump into it with both feet. For those of you who may
be reading this, and have a counselor. Ask them if they have worked the 12
steps. Let them know what this step is about, and ask them
for help as you work thru it. You may find that there may
be times you will need to discus certain things with them privately rather than with
your sponsor - remember we are not trained to counsel they are. We may understand, and
empathise but that's all we can do. Let those who are trained to
help help you deal with any emotional baggage you may have.