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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Step Four

Step Four

“We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

I work in the first three steps, we have formed a solid foundation for our recovery. Our active addiction can not read name arrested, however, unless we build upon this foundation. As we work the third step, many of us were puzzled: how can we make sure we are really turning our will and our lives over to the care of God? The answer is simple: we work the remainder of the steps, starting with step four.

Why were the four step? After all, we been able to stay clean so far. But some of us are still haunted by driving up obsession to use drugs. Others find that the feelings of discomfort are more subtle: a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right, a sense of impending doom, or feelings of fear and anger that have no apparent reason. Still others may think where doing just fine without a four step. However, our experience as a fellowship has shown that, sooner or later, members who don’t work this crucial step relapse.

For many of us, our motivation to work the fourth step is quite simple: we’re working a program of recovery and we want to continue. Because our disease involves much more a then drug use, recovery involves more than simple abstinence from drugs. The solution to our problem is a profound change in our thinking and our behavior. We need to change how we perceive the world and alter our role in it. We need to change our attitude. Whether our motivation is a desire to move away from our addiction or to move toward recovery doesn’t really matter.

The fourth step is a turning point in our recovery. It is a time for deep personal reflection. The confusion that we attempted to mask was self deception and drugs is about to diminish. We are embarking on a search for insight into ourselves, our feelings, our fears, our resentments, and the patterns of behavior that make up our lives.

We may be very frightened at the prospect of examining ourselves so thoroughly. We don’t know ourselves very well, and we may not be sure we want to. Our fear of the unknown may seem overwhelming at this point, but if we recall our faith and trust in our higher power, our fear can be overcome. We believe that part of God’s will for us is to work the steps. We trust that the final outcome of working the fourth step will be the continued killing of our spirits, and we go on.

The principles of recovery that we have already begun to practice are vital to work in the fourth step. The honest acceptance of our addiction, brought with us from step one, will help us to be honest about our aspects of our addiction. We’ve developed a level of trust and faith in a power greater than ourselves, and that glimmer of hope we been feeling is growing with each day clean. We’ve paved the way to recovery with our willingness, and we find the courage necessary to work the fourth step through living these principles.

Honesty is an essential part of this step. Our years of living a lie must stand. If we sit down and become very quiet with ourselves, we will find it easier to get in touch with the truth. What we currently know to be true, we put on paper, holding nothing back. Telling the truth is a brave act, but with our faith and trust in the God of our understanding, we find Currie at we need to be searching and fearless. With our courage, we’re able to put on paper those things we thought we’d never tell.

What is meant by a searching and fearless moral inventory? We take stock of our assets and liabilities. We tried again at the bottom of who we are, to expose the lies we have told ourselves about ourselves. For years, we became whoever we needed to be to survive our addiction. After live in a lifetime of lies, we began to believe those lies. Although we did discover some viable truths and the first step, the fourth step further separates fantasy from reality. We can begin the stock began the person we have invented and find the freedom to be who we are.

If the word moral bothers us, we have found that talking with our sponsor about our reservations can eat our discomfort. A moral inventory doesn’t mean that we will condemn ourselves. In reality, they inventory process is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves. We simply look at our instincts, our desires, our motives, our tendencies, and the compulsive routines that kept us trapped in our addiction. No matter how many days or how many years we have been calling, we are still human and subject to defects in telling. An amatory allows us to look at our basic nature with its flaws and its drinks. We look not only at our imperfections, but also at our hopes, our dreams, our aspirations, and where they may have gone astray. Step four is a big step forward on the path of recovery.

Some of us may want to write or inventory all at once; others spend some time writing each day. Any time we sit down to write we asked our higher power for the Currie at an honesty we need to be thorough and to reveal what we are searching for. In most cases, we are relieved to find that once we begin, the words seem to flow naturally. We need not worry about what we are riding. Our higher power will reveal no more to us than we can handle.

Most of us don’t have much experience with the type of self appraisal we are about to do, and we must have guidance and support of our sponsor in order to understand what were done. Our sponsor may give us a format to follow, certain subjects or points to concentrate on, or just general guidance. Not only can our sponsor provide direction for the actual inventory, he or she can encourage us to be courageous, remind us to pray, and be emotionally supportive throughout this process. We often strengthen our relationship with our sponsor a reliant on her or his experience at this time.

Consistent action on our fourth step is important. We can’t afford to delay work are amatory. Once we begin writing, we need to continue our inventory until we are done. If we have a tendency to procrastinate, it is a good idea to set aside a certain amount of time each day to work on or inventory. Such a routine establishes our inventory as a high priority in our lives. If we put our fourth step away once we have begun, we run the risk of never returning to it.

We are painstaking and detail oriented and are amatory. We systematically examine all aspects of our lives. We began to see and understand the truth about ourselves, our motives, and our patterns. It is important that we look at more than one dimension of our experience. What motivated us to act the way we did? What repercussions did our behavior have in our lives? How did our behavior affect those around us? How did we harm others? How did we feel about our actions and others’ reaction? While these are only a few of the points we address in our inventories, we have found them and other issues like them to be essential areas to examine.

And the fourth step, it is important to take a good hard look at how fear has worked in our lives. Our experience tells us that self-centered fear is at the root of our disease. Many of us have pretended to be fearless when, in fact, we were terrified. Fear has driven us to act rashly and trying to protect ourselves. We have often been paralyzed into in action because of our fears. We may have restored the scheming and manipulating because we feared the future. We went to extremes to protect ourselves from all we saw as potential loss, disaster, and that content lack of what we need. In the past, we had no faith that are higher power would care for us; therefore, we attempted to take control of our lives and everything around us. We use people, we manipulated, we lied, we plotted, we planned, we stole, we cheated, and then we lied some more to cover up our schemes. We experienced in me, jealousy, and deep, gut wrenching insecurities. We are alone. As we drove away the people who cared about us, we use more drugs, trying to cover up our fillings. The lonelier we felt, the more we try to control everything and everybody. We suffered when things didn’t go our way, but so strong was our desire for power and control that we couldn’t see the futility of our efforts to manage events. In our new lives, we have faith in a loving God whose will for us is better than anything we could manipulate or control for ourselves. We need not fear what might happen.

In our inventories, we assess the emotional effects of our addiction. Some of us became so skilled at shutting down our fillings with drugs or other distractions that, by the time we came to our first meeting, we had lost touch of our own emotions. In recovery, we learn to identify what we are filling. Naming our fillings is important, for once we do so, we can begin to deal with them. Rather than panicking over how we feel, we can especially say how we’re feeling. This gets us away from our limited way of identifying feelings as either good or bad with not much in between.

We made a list of more resemblance, they often play a large part in making our recovery uncomfortable. We cannot allow ourselves to be obsessed with hostility toward others. We look at the institutions that may have affected us: our families, schools, employers, organized religion, law, or jails. We list the people, places, social values, institutions, and situations against which we bear anger. We examine not only the circumstances surrounding these resentments, but we look at the part we played in them. What in us was so threatened that we experienced such deep emotional torment? Often, we will see that the same areas of our lives were affected again and again.

We look at our relationships as well, especially the manner in which we related to our families. We don’t do this to place blame for her diction are families. We keep in mind that we are writing an inventory of ourselves, not of others. We write about how we felt about our families and the way we acted on our fillings. In most cases, we will find that the patterns of behavior we established early in the life are what we’ve carried with us to the present. Some of our old patterns and choices have served us well, while others have not. Through the inventory, we search for the patterns we want to continue and those we want to change.

Writing about all of our relationships is very important, and will want to pay particular attention to our friendships. If we gloss over examining our platonic friendships in favor of focusing on romantic relationships, our inventories will be incomplete. Many of us come to the NA never hearing about a long-term friendship because of conflicts within ourselves. Those conflicts were the real grounds for the arguments we started with our friends and our ensuing refusal to work through the disagreement and continue the friendship. Some of us fell that we would end up getting hurt and in a close relationship, so before that happened, we arranged the end of the friendship ourselves. We may have feared intimacy to such a degree that we were revealed anything about ourselves to our friends. We may have induced guilt and our friends to ensure their loyalty or indole just and other forms of emotional blackmail. If our friends had others in their lives, we may have felt so jealous and insecure that we try to remove the threat of their other friends. Our behavior range from taking our friends hostage to taking them for granted. We may find several instances where we sacrifice our friendships for romantic relationships.

Will probably find identical conflicts and behaviors in our romantic relationships. We’ll see the same difficulties with trust, refusal to be vulnerable, and perhaps a lifelong pattern of inability to make commitments. As we write, will most likely see fear of intimacy in each relationship or discover that we’ve never understood the difference between intimacy and sex. Whether we ran from close relationships because of fear or because we had been her over and over again, we search out the common threads that appear in all our relationships.

Some of us were abused. We have been victims of incest or rape. We may have had terrible childhoods of deprivation and neglect. Experiences like these may have led us to inflict the same abuse on others. We may have prostitute ourselves or loud other forms of degradation because we didn’t feel that we deserved anything better. Though painful and said, the path cannot be changed. However, the war believes we have developed about ourselves and others can be changed with the help of our higher power. We write about events like these so that we can be free of our most painful secrets in get on with our lives. We don’t have to be a lifelong victims of our past.

To experience serenity, we must begin to alter the self-defeating patterns that have rebelled in our lives. The fourth step helps us to identify those patterns. We begin to see how we have maneuvered through life, perhaps not consciously planning our own misery of making choices which result in our life becoming unmanageable. Most of us have blamed various people for the prices we paid for her diction. We didn’t want to accept that our addiction had a negative impact that we alone were responsible for. Some of us committed crimes and then complained about the consequences. Some of us were irresponsible at work and then objected loudly when we were held accountable. We beat a Hassey retreat whenever life caught up with us. Our inventories will help us identify responsibility for our actions and find those circumstances where we tend to place blame elsewhere. Our booklet, working step for narcotics anonymous, can provide more avenues to explore. The quality of our lives depends, to a large degree, on the results of our decisions. As you write at our inventory, we look for the Times when we made decisions that hurt us; we also look for those times when we made decisions that worked out well. If we lived our lives by default, refusing to make any choices, we write about that, too. Those times when we procrastinated until opportunities were menaced and gone, the times when we abandoned it all responsibility, the times when we withdrew and refuse to participate in life — all are immature material. Most of us had hopes and dreams for ourselves at some point in our lives, but we abandoned those in the pursuit of our addiction. In our inventory, we tried to recall our law streams and find out how our choices and ruined our chances of having those dreams come true. We ask ourselves when we stopped believing in ourselves and when we stop believing in anything outside ourselves. Through this process, our law streams may reawaken.

We dig deep to learn how we lived in conflict with our own morals and values if we believed it was wrong to still and we were still in everything we could get our hands on anyway, what did we do to quiet our anguish? If we believed in monogamy but were unfaithful to our partners, what did we do this so that we could live with our compromise principles? Certainly we use more drugs, but what else? We explore how we felt about ignoring our deepest beliefs. In the process, we discover our last values so that we can begin to rebuild them. And are immature eggs, we will need to be aware of our assets. With most of us be an unaccustomed to looking for our character strings, we might have some trouble with this task. But if we examine our behavior with an open mind, we are sure to find situations where we preserved in the face of adversity, showed concern for others, or even were our spirit triumphed over our diction. We begin to uncover the pier and loving spirit that lies at the core of our being as we look for our character assets. We begin to define our values. We learn what we can do and, more importantly, what we can do if we want to lead productive and fulfilling lives. What we did in our active addiction will not work for us in recovery. Step four allows us to chart a new course for our lives.

The fourth step provides us with the initial insight we need to grow. Whether we are writing our first inventory or our 20th, we are starting a process that takes us from confusion to clarity, from resentment and forgiveness, from spiritual confinement to spiritual freedom. We can turn to this process again and again. When we are confused, when we are angry, when we have problems that don’t seem to disappear, and inventory is a good way to take stock of just where we stand on the path to recovery. After we have written a number of them Tories, we may discover that our first four step merely scratches the surface. As different attitudes and behaviors become apparent to us and later recovery, will want to renew the process of change by working the fourth step again.

The steps are tools we use over and over on her spiritual path. In the process of our recovery, God will reveal more to us as we have the maturity and the spiritual strength to understand it. Over time, the nature of the work we have to do is disclosed to us. As we continued in recovery, we begin to resolve some of the basic conflicts contributing to our addiction. As a paying of old wounds began to fade, we begin to live more fully in the present.

The fourth step allows us to identify the patterns, behaviors, and believes that show us the exact nature of our wrongs. We have written an inventory of ourselves which have revealed what we can change with God’s help. To continue the process of change, we move on, make hard missions in step five.

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