Step Four
1996


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ndex for Step Four

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STEP FOUR ~ INTRODUCTION


                        INTRODUCTION

Ever since I first did my Fourth Step according to the Big Book (AABB,
Pages 64-71), it has been my earnest desire to help others do the same.  In
stepping through this process, I discovered the most powerful
transformational tool ever presented to mankind (said he in
uncharacteristic hyperbole:)

I learned how to do it from Charlie and Joe, two alcoholics who I got to
know personally.  They have presented the Big Book method with clarity all
over the world hundreds of times.  Although I would love to just write
ABOUT it, I feel that the best use of cyberspacial writing here is to
present as simple an explanation and guide as possible on HOW TO DO AN
EFFECTIVE SIMPLE BRIEF AND PAINLESS TRANSFORMATIONAL FOURTH STEP!

I will be looking for your feedback on whether or not my words and
directions are CLEAR.  I hope you will *NOT share any intimate or personal
details* on the WTS loop, SINCE ANONYMITY IS NOT GUARANTEED HERE, but that
you WILL respond to the questions asked.  Sharing your entire fourth step
IS the Fifth Step; it is done with ONE other person.  Learning HOW to do it
is what this Fourth Step WTS  stuff will be about.

Here we go.

STEP FOUR ~ PART ONE


Young David did not sling a rock at Goliath as it is normally believed.
Instead he said in a professional tone:  "You will now begin your Fourth
Step."  Goliath quaked, sunk to his knees begging for mercy, and was slain
forthwith.

*Seemingly* "justified" reasons I have heard to NOT do Step Four:

*  Don't have time.
*  I'm waiting for the Spirit to move me.
*  I've done it with my therapist, significant other, priest, etc.
*  I'm not ready
*  Seen it, done it, still miserable, so what's the use? No T-shirt:(
*  I don't know the RIGHT way to do it.
*  People who have done it shared what an ordeal it was.  I just can't go
   through this kind of a thing at this time.
*  ...after the marriage...
*  ...after the baby...
*  ...after the divorce...
*  ...after I get well...
*  "But you don't understand, my case is different.  It won't help me."

There are many good justified reasons to put off doing Step Four.
There are many good justified reasons to keep staying miserable.

REASONS TO DO IT:)

*  I choose to NOT remain in misery any longer!
*  I choose to recover ***spiritually***
*  I want to know *who I am*
*  Nothing else has worked over the long haul
*  It's worked for millions, why not me? (How different AM I, really?)
*  I want to be able to say "I did it!" and get my sponsor off my back:)

We can *try* to do Step 1-3.  But as Yoda says to Luke Skywalker, "there is
no 'try' - you do or you don't do [Step Four]".  (Well, he didn't exactly
refer to Step Four:)

It is about diminishing the reactive *spiritual cancer* (self will) in me that
 *  is keeping me miserable, or
 *  happily(?) in the food.

Step Four was the SINGLE event that transformed Bob A...

FROM - having been abstinent 9 times for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum
       of 60 days in my first two years of Program......
INTO - being able to remain abstinent for several years.

ONE QUESTION TO ANSWER IN PART ONE:

What justified reasons have I been using to NOT start Step Four?
*** OR ****
What justified reasons have I been using to NOT FINISH Step Four?
*** AND/OR ****
Why have I decided to DO IT NOW on WTS?

*****Please feel free to share your response(s) with the  WTS loop*****.

Love,
BOB
 A

STEP FOUR ~ PART TWO


Read Page 64-65 in the AABB.

There is no wrong way to do Step Four.  The only wrong is NOT to do it and
the wrong is inflicted on ourselves when we don't attempt it.

An inventory is a list and we're going to fill out three simple charts
about ourselves.  The charts are entitled (R) "Resentments", (F) "Fears"
and (H) "Harms I've Done to Others".  Each CHART has four columns. More
about the columns later.  But first, some understanding is in order.

THE PURPOSE OF THE FOURTH STEP IS:
==================================
to *UNCOVER* my Resentments, Fear and Harms I've Done and to *DISCOVER* my
character defects (CDs). In Steps 5, 6 and 7, we will *DISCARD* the
character defects!

It is NOT a general auto-biographical "Harlequin" novel - though that is
the way I did MY first fourth step.  It is MY research into MY MIND to find
out what had been keeping me in the food.  My own personality had been
keeping me in the food.  If KNOWING ABOUT the character defects I have
*that I am aware of* would have been enough to recover, I wouldn't have to
do this.  This technique is the single most effective technique for
discovering those character defects IN ME that I am NOT aware of, so they
can be isolated discarded.

In short I want to be rid of those things that are blocking me off from the
*sunlight of the Spirit*.  Here, in the Fourth Step, is where I find out
just what makes Bob screw up.

RESENTMENTS ARE:
================
continuous feelings of anger, a "grudge" towards "people, institutions or
principles".  Feeling pissed off, on a regular basis, about something, some
place or somebody.

Resentments.  Don't have any?  I didn't:)  Then I was asked "Is there
anyone you *blame* for your condition in life today?  I thought "cheap
shot".  I thought "but those are JUSTIFIED!"  My sponsor said "I never had
a resentment that wasn't justified!"  Oh. Hmmm:/

If I can't or don't want to face someone I have had a relationship with, I
have a resentment against that person.  When I get rid of the resentment,
it doesn't mean I have to like the person, it just means I will experience
true serenity!

FIRST AND SECOND COLUMNS OF *THE* CHART:
=======================================
Here are some suggestions of typical objects of resentment.

Do YOU RESENT any of these????

PEOPLE:  Husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, significant others,
co-workers, pals, customers, bosses, Trusted Servants, Presidents, Kings,
pawns, sponsors, etc.

INSTITUTIONS:  Church, IRS, OA, hospitals, jails, City Hall, meetings, WSO,
Barbie/Ken dolls, etc.

PRINCIPLES:  "Everything that goes up must come down,"  "You are what you
eat," "Let go and Let God," "political correctness," etc.

ASSIGNMENT:
===========
There will be four columns to this chart, and as many rows as you need.
The COLUMNS are labeled (a), (b), (c) and (d).  The first three are shown
in the AABB on page 65.  Column (d), the last and most important one, is
alluded to in the next page.

Make a list of WHO or WHAT you resent in the next few days.  Keep a note
pad for inspirations and remembrances.  Number your resentments R-1, R-2,
etc.

Write ONLY (a) who or what you resent and
           (b) WHY (in three sentences OR LESS).

Puleeze, keep this real simple!  Here's an example: [BTW, R-1 = Resentment
# 1; R-2 = Resentment # 2; R2D2 is a little ambulatory computer from Star
Wars...:)

R-1:
a)  Ken (My boss)
b)  He doesn't pay me enough money, the cheap SOB. I'm worth MORE!

R-2:
a)  Joe (my pal)
b)  He shook my hand so hard he almost broke my typing finger! He intimidates
    me.

R-3:
a)  Father
b)  He never hugged me or told me he loved me.

R-4:
a)  IRS
b)  They want too much money.  I can't even get by with what I have!

R-5:
a)  "Live and let live"
b)  Oh, RIGHT!

Remember, there is no "try" in Step Four.  YOU WRITE OR YOU DON'T WRITE.
Today the rubber hits the road.  You either start it or not.  Who are you
pissed at?  Write it down.

You didn't start yet?  OK, so you're pissed at me for being *pushy*?  Good!

That's a resentment.
R-6:
a)  Bob A
b)  He's pushing me to do this and I'm scared.  What if I find some nasty
    filthy dirty things about myself?


                         *********NOTE***********

PLEASE KEEP THE BEGINNING OF THIS LIST TO YOURSELF (OR YOUR SPONSOR) FOR
THE TIME BEING.  IF YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH THE WTS LOOP, ****WAIT*****.  IF
YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT *TECHNIQUE* YOU MAY SHARE *THAT* TO THE WTS LOOP.

                          PLEASE START IT NOW:)


Love,
BOB
 A

STEP FOUR ~ PART THREE


So far, you've started the first two columns (a) and (b) of the Resentment
Chart.  You've just written a list.  Let's put it in a CHART and go on.

It could look like this:

RESENTMENT CHART
                                                HP

                                               \ /
        | (a)   |    (b)        |       (c)     |       (d)     |
        |  who  | what was done | affects my    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-1     | Ken   | blah blah     | M.S., S.E.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-2     | Joe   | yadda, yadda  | S.E., P.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-3     |Father | blah blah     | S.E., S.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-4     |IRS    | yadda, yadda  | M.S.          |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-5     |L.&L.L | blah blah     | E.S., P.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-6     |Bob A. | yadda, yadda  | P.R., E.S.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|

You've done (a) and (b).  In (c) we're going to add a few words to our
Chart.  We're going to take note of how each of these resentments affects
us.  So we call Column (c) "Affects my"  (See Page 65 in AABB).

It is easy to get sidetracked here.  We're NOT getting into therapy!  On
page 65 are some examples.  Pick as many as apply to you for each
resentment and just write them in your chart. Don't analyze this list, just
UTILIZE it:)

S.E. Self Esteem
P.R. Personal Relationships
E.S. Emotional Security
M.S. Material Security
S.R. Sex relations

That's all there is to Column (c) - a few words.  See the initials above
and think through how they apply.  Then you can do the same for your own.

Notice I put some slash marks between column (c) and (d).  This is where we
take a *momentary prayer break* before doing column (d).  Read with me from
the bottom of Page 66 in AABB:

This was our course:  We realized that the people who wronged us were
perhaps spiritually sick.  Though we did not like their symptoms and the
way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too.  We asked God
to help us show them the same tolerance pity and patience that we would
cheerfully grant a sick friend.  When a person offended we said to
ourselves

                           [*THIS PRAYER:*]:

"This is a sick man.  How can I be helpful to her/him?  God save me from
being angry [any more].  Thy will be done."

We avoid retaliation or argument.  We wouldn't treat sick people that way.
If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful.  We cannot be helpful to
all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant
view of each and every one.


                         *********NOTE***********

PLEASE KEEP THIS CHART TO YOURSELF (&/OR YOUR SPONSOR) FOR THE TIME BEING.
IF YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH THE WTS LOOP, ****WAIT*****.  IF YOU HAVE A
QUESTION ABOUT *TECHNIQUE* YOU MAY SHARE *THAT* TO THE WTS LOOP.

                          PLEASE START IT NOW:)


STEP FOUR ~ PART FOUR


OK, we're ready for column (d).  This is where we list OUR character
defects (CDs) that are KEEPING the resentment locked in our consciousness
today.  Repeat with me: This is where we list OUR character defects (CDs)
that are KEEPING the resentment locked in our consciousness today.  Sorry
to be brash about this - but I think that is the single most important
point I have to share on the fourth step.

Here's how we find them.  Reading from AABB Page 67 in the middle:

Referring to our list again.  Putting out of our minds the wrongs others
had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes.  Where had we been
*selfish*, *dishonest*, *self-seeking* and *frightened*?  Though a
situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other
person involved entirely.  Where were we to blame?  The inventory was ours,
not [theirs].  When we say our faults we listed them.  We placed them [in
column (d)] in black and white.  We admitted our wrongs honestly and were
willing to set these matters straight.




RESENTMENT CHART
                                                HP

                                               \ /

        | (a)   |    (b)        |       (c)     |       (d)     |
        |  who  | what was done | affects my    |     CDs       |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-1     | Ken   | blah blah     | M.S., S.E.    | see below     |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-2     | Joe   | yadda, yadda  | S.E., P.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-3     |Father | blah blah     | S.E., S.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-4     |IRS    | yadda, yadda  | M.S.          |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-5     |L.&L.L | blah blah     | E.S., P.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
R-6     |Bob A. | yadda, yadda  | P.R., E.S.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|

R-1:
a)  Ken (My boss)
b)  He doesn't pay me enough money, the cheap SOB. I'm worth MORE!
c)  Material Security, self esteem
d)  Sloth (procrastination)

R-2:
a)  Joe (my pal)
b)  He shook my hand so hard he almost broke my typing finger! He intimidates
    me.  I can't tell him!
c)  self esteem, personal relationships
d)  frightened (timid), dishonest

R-3:
a)  Father
b)  He never hugged me or told me he loved me.  Now,I don't tell him lovingly
    that I love him, to get back at him.
c)  Self esteem, sex relations
d)  Dishonest, self-seeking, selfish

R-4:
a)  IRS
b)  They want too much money.  I can't even get by with what I have!
c)  Material security
d)  Selfish, self seeking, greedy

R-5:
a)  "Live and let live"
b)  Oh, RIGHT!
c)  emotional security
d)  selfish, self-seeking

R-6:
a)  Bob A
b)  He's pushing me to do this and I'm scared.  What if I find some nasty
    filthy dirty things about myself?
c)  emotional security, personal relationships
d)  self-pity, lazy, frightened

BTW, to the degree that I maintain a resentment over someone, I give them
power to occupy my mind rent-free!  Even dead people, for who I carried a
resentment took up space and time in my mind - preventing me from having a
life.  "It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only
to futility and unhappiness.

There is ALWAYS some reason (CD) I keep on resenting something or someone.
IF the few CDs above don't seem to apply, here's a list you can look over
for some hints.

SELF WILL - DEFECTS      GOD'S WILL  -  ASSETS

Angry                    Grateful, Calm
Blaming Others           Accepting responsibility
Careless                 Thoughtful, prudent
Conceited                Experiencing humility
Critical                 Non-judgmental
Defiant                  Accepting, loyal
Dishonest                Honest
Disrespectful            Respectful
Envious                  Charitable
Frightened, Worried      Experiencing faith
Gluttonous               Abstinent
Greedy                   Giving or sharing
Hateful                  Loving, understanding
Ill-tempered             Gentle
Impatient                Patient
Inconsiderate            Considerate, courteous
Intolerant               Tolerant, comforting
Jealous                  Trusting
Lustful                  Helping others
Over-sensitive           Serene
People-pleasing          Self-caring
Perfectionistic          Moderate, Accepting
Prideful                 Seeking God's Will
Resentful                Forgiving, compassionate
Sarcastic                Complimentary
Self-centered            Caring about another's welfare
Self-condemning          Self-forgiving
Self-pitying             Solution-focused
Self-seeking             Helpful to others
Selfish                  Interested in others
Sloth, procrastinating   Productive
Suspicious               Trusting


If you find yourself wanting to cut and paste the whole CD List in your
column (d) as I did at first; don't bother, just write "self-degradation,"
and call your sponsor:)

On the other hand, if you find that you are thinking differently about the
people you had been resenting, then that's what this is all about.

Love,
BOB
 A

STEP FOUR ~ PART FIVE


Now, Step Four fans, we will do the SAME CHART again for "FEARS".

First, a few words from the AABB (page 67-68) about Fear:

"[Fear] touches about every aspect of our lives.  It was an evil and
corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it.  It
set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt
we didn't deserve.  But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling?"

We reviewed our fears thoroughly.  We put them on paper..."

So we revise the Chart a little and start listing our fears, and WORK THE
REST OF THE CHART THE SAME WAY WE DID FOR RESENTMENTS - the goal being to
FIND the *CDs that keep us locked in Fear* and timidity.

(a)  Who or what do we/did we fear?

Some examples:  All of those from the resentment list *may* appear on this
too, such as:

PEOPLE:  Husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, significant others,
co-workers, pals, customers, bosses, Trusted Servants, Presidents, Kings,
pawns, sponsors, etc.

INSTITUTIONS:  Church, IRS, OA, hospitals, jails, City Hall, meetings, WSO,
Barbie/Ken dolls, etc.

PRINCIPLES:  "Everything that goes up must come down,"  "You are what you
eat," "Let go and Let God," "political correctness," etc.

(((Well, maybe not the Barbie dolls!)))

(b)  Why do we fear these things?

If you know and can write in three sentences or less, do it.  If you don't
know you have a particular fear, leave it blank.  We are NOT doing therapy
here, we doing a chart/inventory.

(c)  "Affects my:"

Same as for the Resentment List

(d)  CDs:

Same as for the Resentment List

Don't have any fears?  Does ANYONE or anything *intimidate* you?  (I am a
recovering wimp myself:)  *Intimidate* has to do with how I react timidly -
it has to do with MY inherent timidity, not the intimidator's power.  *I
give them power over me to the degree I HAVE timidity (=fear).*

So, it will look like this:


FEARS CHART
                                                HP

                                               \ /

        | (a)   |    (b)        |       (c)     |       (d)     |
        |  who  | Why do I fear?| affects my    |     CDs       |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
F-1     | Ken   | blah blah     | M.S., S.E.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
F-2     | Joe   | yadda, yadda  | S.E., P.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
F-3     |Father | blah blah     | S.E., S.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
F-4     |IRS    | yadda, yadda  | M.S.          |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
F-5     |L.&L.L | blah blah     | E.S., P.R.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|
F-6     |Bob A. | yadda, yadda  | P.R., E.S.    |               |
________|_______|_______________|_______________|_______________|

(I don't mean that the Fears chart is identical to the Resentment Chart and
can just be copied as I have done.  But I do mean that it is similar and
contains many repeats in the first column.)

The Prayer for each of our fears, between (c) and (d) comes from the AABB
on page 68 at the end of the following passage:

Perhaps there is a better way - we think so.  For we are now on a different
basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God.  We trust infinite God
rather than our finite selves.  We are in the world to play the role He
assigns.  Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and
humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.

We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator.  We can laugh
at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.  Paradoxically, it is
the way of strength.  The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage.
All men of faith have courage.  They trust their God.  We never apologize
for God.  Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do.  *WE
ASK HIM TO REMOVE OUR FEAR AND DIRECT OUR ATTENTION TO WHAT HE WOULD HAVE
US BE.*  At once, we commence to outgrow fear.

Tim to list YOUR fears.  The devil you know is better than the devil you
don't know.  Simply listing them in this chart, began to take the power out
of my fears.

Love,
BOB
 A


STEP FOUR ~ PART SIX

                   STEP FOUR PART SIX - THE PITSTOP

We're going to take a pitstop now.  NO ASSIGNMENTS in this part (well
sorta:). (Yay, whew, waytago, I need a breather, etc.:)  Time to reflect,
relax, and fill in any gaps you can in the two charts you've done so far.
Some of us need to just rest a moment and get a little spiritual
transfusion as we approach the final HOME-stretch.

GOING HOME
==========

The Wizard of Oz may be one of the most spiritual stories of all time.
Remember how Dorothy faced up to her fear with the Lion?  She slapped fear
in the face!  I always thought that was so great!  But there's more.  (This
is my version:)

The Wiz told her to kill the wicked witch and bring him the broom and he
would "get her home".  Well she did and said "Here's your *#@* broom, now
grant my wish!"  The Wiz couldn't.  No person can grant another's wish.
Enter Glenda in her hot pink bubble (HP).

Glenda said "you always had it within you to *get home*".  The important
answers in life are ALWAYS WITHIN us.  After clicking your heels, just walk
a few STEPS...and you'll be home.

What is *home*?  (NOT the home "you can't go back to!")  Home, the REAL
home, is arriving at a place; call it another dimension if you wish,
wherein you can have a comfortable and secure relationship with your Higher
Power.  We're all trying to get "home", sometimes wondering if this place
really exists.  Somewhere over the rainbows of our minds (AABB page 25).

A great spiritual teacher once said, to paraphrase, that we can think we
are *searching* for lots of different things in life, but the Truth is, we
are ALL searching for only one thing, a warm relationship with our Higher
Power which solves our life's problems (AABB p.45).

LET'S THINK ABOUT CDs
=====================

When we do Step Four for the first time, it's simply not possible, nor
spiritually appropriate, to "get into" a zillion CDs.  That is Step Six
stuff FOR LATER.  Charlie P., who taught us all the Big Book way of doing
this, suggests, that AT FIRST, only the five CDs in the Big Book written IN
Chapter Five:  *Selfish, dishonest, self seeking,frightened and
inconsiderate* should be considered in Step Four. No others. We're only
trying to come to understand that WE may be at fault - not take the sledge
hammer up the side of our heads!

(Did YOU play the game I used to play in early recovery:  "I have more than
you"..."Mine are worse than yours"...etc. etc. even in your own mind, if
not out loud?:)

Program tells us to keep it simple and - progress not perfection.  When I
came to understand that MY CDs cause my resentments and fears to linger, I
learned the primary lesson of Step Four.

*Studying on these CDs* is Step Six, when we become ready to have God
remove them; not do a thesis on how bad we are.  I write up each of my CDs
in Step Six to understand what they did FOR me, and what they did TO me.
THAT made me willing to have HP remove them.  But that's step Six.

ANOTHER METAPHOR
================

Step Four is like lifting off the top of my mind, looking inside and taking
a snapshot.  I want to be as rigorously honest (and courageous) as possible
about what I see - and just make a LIST of the contents - not beat myself
up!  What's important is to list the CDs; the rest of it will take care of
itself.  The character ASSETS *rise* into, and be expressed in, my life as
I remove the dust from the lampshade of my consciousness.

BE GENTLE WITH YOUR SOUL
========================

YOU are a light to all, part of Universal Light.  Your shade is being
cleaned up for you AS you simply enter information in your charts.  Some
have already shared privately with me that in writing this stuff down, THEY
have begun to feel *lighter*:)

Wow, if I could have helped just one person feel that, then this is
terrific!  I hope you will share this with many others who come after you;
the befuddled and the confused as I once was.  It is a way for anyone to
work Step Four.

And it IS work.  But the answers are all inside Dorothy, becoming more
clear each day.  Just click your heals, and the keyboard, and you'll see.

===========================
"All is well.  In the midst of turmoil, let us remember, all is well; in the
midst of the pain of self-awareness, all is well.  The struggle of the
turmoil, the pain that accompanies the lessons of self-awareness, are
preparing us for becoming all we are meant to become.  We each have a
special gift to offer in this life.   We will come to understand those gifts
and be able to give them as we grow with the pain of
self-understanding.>All is well.  Deep down happiness ripples, it's
rippling to the surface of>our lives."

(From Leanne)
===========================

WTSers:  If you'd like to, share *about your journey* through the Fourth
Step and how YOU feel about the process.  Yes, it's been quiet on the (WTS)
frontier.  I think it's because people are DOING the Fourth Step rather
than talking ABOUT it:)  At least I hope so. Please let me know, also, if
parts have been confusing or unworkable.  I want this to help people and
your comments are most welcome.

Love,
BOB
 A

===========================================
   The light of God surrounds us.
    The love of God enfolds us.
   The power of God protects us.
The Presence of God watches over us.

Wherever we are, God is.  And all is well:)
===========================================

STEP FOUR ~ PART SEVEN


It is in this Third (and final) Chart of Step Four that I change the way
most other twelve steppers approach it.  I believe mine is the more
creative, productive, simpler, and more appropriate and truer to the
principle of the step.  It has a different title but it all produces the
same information.

This chart is called "Harms Done to Others".

Most people reading the Big Book know it as the sex list.  The explanation
goes into a discussion of sex problems, that we all have them, etc. But
right after that discussion, on page 69, the paragraph reads:

"We reviewed our own conduct over the years past.  Where had we been
selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate?  *Whom had we hurt?*  Did we
unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness?  Where were we at
fault, what should we have done instead?  We got this all down on paper and
looked at it."

Although Bill W's narrative in general remains in the context of sex, this
list is really about *harms* in general: "We have listed the people we have
hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can."


Later, in Step Eight, on page 76, the AABB reads "We have a list of all
persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends.  We made
it when we took our inventory..."

SO, we LIST who we harmed.  Here are some pointers:

1.  Yes, we all harmed ourselves by our eating, and yes we should make
amends (in Step 9) to ourselves. (We make amends to ourselves by working
the steps:)

2.  Yes, we should be gentle with ourselves, but here rigorous honesty is
called for.  If we harmed someone, we write it down.  If we *consider* that
we harmed someone, we write it down.  (This is not to beat ourselves up.
It is to STOP beating ourselves up!)

3.  Sometimes we will find that what we thought was harmful wasn't our
fault.  It still goes on the list if we harmed someone in reality.  This is
not so much about offending people (who seem to be easily offended:), it is
about harms that altered someone else's life somehow.  There are MANY
opinions about this, and mine is just one.  After you have done YOUR fourth
step, you can flaunt yours! <G>

Here is the key as far as I am concerned:

This Chart is about identifying the *GUILT* I carry in my consciousness for
real or imagined harms to others.  (The first Chart was about
*Resentments*, the second about *Fears*.)  Much of my Guilt (from my own
perfectionism and self pity) began to disappear as I made this chart!

(a)  Who or what did we harm?
=============================
PEOPLE:  Husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, significant others,
co-workers, pals, customers, bosses, Trusted Servants, Presidents, Kings,
pawns, sponsors, *creditors not repaid...*

INSTITUTIONS:  Church, IRS, OA, hospitals, jails, City Hall, meetings, WSO,

(b)  What did we do?
====================
Describe it briefly

(c)  "Affects my:"
==================
Same as for the other two charts

(d)  CDs:
=========
Same as for the other two charts

HARMS DONE TO OTHERS
====================
                                                  HP

                                                 \ /
        | (a)     |    (b)        |       (c)     |       (d)     |
        |who/what?| What did I do?| affects my    |     CDs       |
________|_________|_______________|_______________|_______________|
H-1     |Consult- |Didn't pay  him| Security, etc.|greed, lazy,   |
        | ant     |for work he did|               |frightened     |
________|_________|_______________|_______________|_______________|
H-2     |Spouse   | yadda, yadda  | E.S.,         |dishonest,     |
        |         |               | sexuality     |perfectionism  |
________|_________|_______________|_______________|_______________|
H-3     |Father   |Ignored him,   | E.S., S.R.    |willful, angry,|
        |         |passive aggres-|               |prideful,      |
        |         |   sion        |               |indolent       |
________|_________|_______________|_______________|_______________|
H-4     | Son     | Too lenient,  | E.S. P.R.     |people pleaser,|
        |         |or overbearing |               |perfectionism  |
________|_________|_______________|_______________|_______________|

As usual, the prayer for this chart is also in the AABB, page 70.  It
includes an action that can help us with the guilt also, till we get to
Step 8.

"We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable
situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing.  If sex
[or ANY activity] is very troublesome [constantly gets us in trouble], we
throw ourselves the harder into *helping others*.  We think of their needs
and we work for them.  This takes us out of ourselves.  It quiets the
imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache."

                 *   *   *    *    *    *    *   *

WE DO NOT MAKE DIRECT AMENDS in this step.  We don't address anyone else
directly.  We are working to have the GUILT removed (BY our Higher Power)
that has remained locked in our consciousness due to OUR own character
defects; hence PRAYER.  Amends come later.  Here we identify our own exact
nature (THE COMPONENTS OF OUR SELF-WILL) that caused US to harm others, so
we can have it rooted out and STOP hurting people, or ourselves.

                 *   *   *    *    *    *    *   *


SHAME vs GUILT
==============
Shame, though similar is quite different from guilt.

Guilt is a feeling about what we DID.
Shame is a feeling about what we ARE.

We clear up the guilt AND shame as we come to know our Higher Power more
clearly every day and feel forgiven and totally accepted as a child of God.
This STARTS RIGHT HERE and accelerates in Step Five.

GO AND HURT NO MORE
===================
When the topic of "what is HP's will for us?" came up in meetings, an old
timer I used to know would always answer:  "GO AND HURT NO MORE."  (Five
words:)

On Page 71,the AABB concludes the discussion of the Fourth Step with:

We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will (CDs)
has blocked you off from Him.  If you have already made a decision (Step
Three) and an inventory of your *grosser* handicaps (Step Four) you have
made a good beginning.  That being so you have swallowed and digested some
big chunks of truth about yourself.

Love,
BOB
 A

PS:  The three charts: Resentments, Fears and Harms are the sum total of
listmaking for Step Four.  You can always add stuff here and there for
clarity, but as we said in the beginning, it is NOT a Harlequin novel:)

In the next and LAST part of this Step Four series, I will make some
general observations about Step Four.  PLEASE BE SURE TO READ IT EVEN IF
(ESPECIALLY IF) YOU HAVEN'T FINISHED IT ALL.

===========================================
   The light of God surrounds us.
    The love of God enfolds us.
   The power of God protects us.
The Presence of God watches over us.

Wherever we are, God is.  And all is well:)
===========================================

STEP FOUR ~ PART EIGHT


THE BLISS
=========
There was once a newbie in Program who really got into recovery quickly,
sorta.  She often found it necessary to call me at 2 am to say:  "Ooooh,
the bliss, the bliss!"  I often found it necessary to politely end the
conversation after awhile, to get some sleep. <G>

COMPLETING THE FOURTH STEP
==========================
I don't know how many WTSers have actually completed the Fourth Step by now
(in one month.)  This definitely has NOT been the 180 question type of Step
Four.  It's doable, but on your own timetable.  My purpose was to present
to you the simple, effective way taught to me.  I know MANY have made
*progress*.

HAPPY JOYOUS AND FREE
=====================
The PROCESS is the thing.  It will ALWAYS work on any resentment, fear or
guilt I feel.  I do Step Four the first time to learn WHAT to do about
those things, so that I can clean up the past and then stay in present time
with:

*  COMPASSION instead of resentment
*  COURAGE instead of fear
*  SANITY instead of guilt

The magic of the Program is always available to us.  Like the electrical
conduit in a wall, it benignly awaits our *action* (turning on the switch)
to deliver its Power:

The power we realized we needed in Step One.
The Power Source we identified in Step Two.
The Higher Power we decided to engage with in Step Three.

                                ***********

Some have found only one or two items to enter on their charts.  Others
have listed many many more.  Charly P., who taught me this way of doing the
4th Step started with 170+ resentments!  The funny thing about filling out
these charts is that it's so easy to forget why we're doing it and to get
*into* the items.  The resentments, fears and harms are the bait - the CDs
are the (prize) fish.  More may come to you after a time, once you have
started this process.  Just get it in the Charts.

We're only trying to determine WHICH CDs are *preventing* us from living
happy, joyous, and free, TODAY.  When they are diminished, we experience
the special life we've always hoped was possible.  (The Bliss.  Ooooooooh:)


ONE FINAL ACTION IN STEP FOUR
=============================
It is now time to go back to the fourth column of EACH chart and COUNT UP
how many times EACH of the character defects *you identified* showed up on
your charts.  Take the top 3 - 5 CDs (the ones that showed up the most
often) and don't worry about the others for now.  It's the ones that *kept
showing up* that are causing the most distress.  These are the ones you
will work with as you continue through towards step 7.

Remember, we don't have to get too perfect too quickly:)  Recovery is a
lifelong process that begins today.  And today.  And today.


THE NEXT STEPS
==============
The next steps introduce you to a way of eliminating incrementally  (or
sometimes completely) the character defects that keep our resentments,
fears and guilt locked inside.  (These words may ring hollow to anyone who
hasn't tried it yet, but not to those who have continued on.)

IN STEP FIVE:  you will get help in accepting that you're only human and
that it's OK, believe it or not, to have CDs, for now.  (Actually, you have
had them anyway; accepting them for the time being - though not condoning
them - is GOOD for the soul.)

IN  STEP SIX:  you will study each CD that distresses you and become ready
to let them go.  On Rozanne, we wrote up some 18 CDs over the last half
year *under the 12.12.12. header* and these will be available soon on the
Home Page to help you understand how the CD affects each of us and to
become ready to have God remove them from your experience.

IN STEP SEVEN:  you will humbly approach your Higher Power and pray to have
your CDs removed.  A simple prayer from the Big Book will help the process.
After that, it is HP who *doeth the removal* (with a little cooperation
from us:)  BTW, it is NEVER TOO SOON to do a seventh step prayer (AABB page
76).  It keeps getting better.


PLEASE WRITE ME &/OR THE WTS LOOP NOW
=====================================
I would like to know what you've been able to do so far.  If you HAVE been
able to do the whole thing, please let us know.  If you've done some of it,
please let us know.  Some who started it long ago, may have now finished
it.  Some who feared starting, have started.  Both have PROGRESSED!  Prayer
and a sponsor will help.

Feel free to share your *bliss* with us:)

I am NOT into statistics, but into helping people in OA (to help me).  If
you have been able to make more progress than ever before, then this
material is useful.  If not, let's get it off the web!

I look forward to hearing from EACH OF YOU *pioneers* just to let us all
know YOUR experience with working Step Four.  Feel free to share your ESH
with WTS.  I believe that WTS is one of the best mediums EVER to help
*carry the message* of recovery.

THANKS
======
I thank you ALL from the bottom of my OA heart for the opportunity to write
this stuff out.  From the time it was taught to me, to the time it changed
my life, till now, I have wanted to share it with others and have done so
with smaller groups.  This has been exciting for me (believe it or not:)
and I hope it has been good for you.

The first seven of the eight parts (this will be on soon) are available on
the Rozanne web page:  http://www.therecoverygroup.org/recovery.  Anyone is welcome
to use them or copy them and publish them anywhere.

Love,
BOB
 A

===========================================
   The light of God surrounds us.
    The love of God enfolds us.
   The power of God protects us.
The Presence of God watches over us.

Wherever we are, God is.  And all is well:)
===========================================





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