Step Four

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


Hi friends.

My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and compulsive overeater. Till now we completed the first two columns of our resentment table. Please note an interesting point that comes out when we look at those two columns. What we resent are not the institutions or persons themselves, but what they did to us, or what we think they did to us. It is their actions and behavior that we resent. So if I resent someone and he magically disappears and someone else takes his place and does the same things, I will resent him too. This point may seem trivial, but before program I was so absorbed in resenting the people themselves that I didn't even notice that it was in fact only their words and actions that I resented.

Now let us continue with the fourth step resentment table.

"We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry [column one]. We asked ourselves why we were angry [column two]. In most cases it was found that our self-esteem, our pocketbooks, our ambitions, our personal relationships, (including sex) were hurt or threatened. So we were sore. We were 'burned up.'

"On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with [third column]?

"We were usually as definite as this example: [the example on page 65 BB]"

In the third column we deal with some basic life issues that define our sense of self. Those issues are some of our instinctive needs for social belonging and acceptance (self-esteem, pride, relationships), security (emotional, material and physical), our need to propagate our species (sexual relations), and our ambitions. When these were threatened or hurt we became resentful.

Let us define these concepts.


Self esteem: How I think of myself, or how I see or feel about myself.

Ambitions: Our goals, plans and designs for the future to supply our instinctive needs. Or, simply what I want for myself.

Personal relations: Our relations with other people, like friends, co- workers, family or neighbors.

Sex relations: Basic drive for sexual intimacy, people with whom I am or were sexually involved.

Pride: How I think others see or think about me.

Emotional security: General sense of personal well-being - what I think I need in that area.

Financial security (pocketbook): Basic desire for or anything involved with money, property, possessions, etc.

Physical security: Basic desire for health and safety.

As you can see, each column in our resentment table gets us nearer to our inner self. The first column dealt with other people. The second column dealt with their actions towards me. And now the third column deals with my sense of self.

This is a very intelligent way to do it since it is a lot easier to go from the outside in than from the inside out. We see the outside and deal with the outside much more easily than with the inside. Another point that we will consider in the future is that the outside acts as a mirror and reflects the inside.

But now let us look again at the table on page 65 and analyze the first example.

Consider Mr. Brown. His attention to my wife affects my (third column) sex relations and my self-esteem. Seems quite clear that I am afraid Mr. Brown is going to get it and not I, and since my wife does not reject him, I think less of myself.

Mr. Brown told my wife of my mistress.

This again affects my (third column) sex relations and my self-esteem. Seems that now I will probably not get it from my mistress either, since my wife is sure to make trouble. So now I am afraid of losing my wife and my mistress, and of course now I think even less of myself.

Mr. Brown may get my job at the office.

This affects my security, emotional and material, and makes me think even less of myself (cannot hold my job). Of course I am also afraid of losing my job.

We don't write all those explanations in our third column, but we have to think of them before we write, and when we do write, we do it very briefly, following the example on page 65.

Notice the word "fear" bracketed many times on the right side of the third column. Whenever we feel that the threat to our basic life issues (instinctive needs) causes us to be afraid, we write it down as it is done in that example. Those are reminders only. When we write the fear inventory table, we will write those fears there and discuss them in detail.


At the heading of your third column write the following:

Affects my:

and fill in the instinctive needs for each resentment. You can write it in shorthand if you like, by using the following initials:

emotional security-es
financial security-fs
physical security-ps
Personal relations-pr
sexual relations-sr

Then you can write the heading of the third column as follows:

Affects my:
(a, es, fs, ps, p, pr, sr, se):

Share the three columns of four persons.

Share only on those you can share to the loop, since some of your entries may be too private to be shared in this forum.

Share how you feel after filling all three columns.

Have a nice day.


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