STEP FOUR, PART 5
My name is Shlomo and I am a food addict and compulsive overeater.
Hope the fourth step prayers helped you to keep your cool, but now we have
to continue with our turnaround.
You may have noticed that I quote quite extensively from the Big Book.
I will also continue to do so, since the Big Book gives explicit directions
on how to take these steps. I want to follow theses directions since I want the promised results. So let us see what we have to do next.
"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 the 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 the other man's.
When we saw our faults we listed them. We placed them before us in
black and white. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were
willing to set these matters straight." page 67.
So we continue our turnaround and are going to consider
some of our basic liabilities that cause us to react with
resentment when we feel that our basic parts of self (third column) are
threatened. We do this since this is OUR inventory not the other people's inventory.
WE now have to examine our flaws (character defects) that block us from H.P.
We are going to concentrate on five basic character defects, that most people have in some degree but addicts have to a high degree. Here are the defects and their special definitions for use in our inventory:
Selfish: deficient in the consideration for others, manifests
in selfish thoughts attitudes or feelings.
Self-seeking: actions (activities) that I do or omit to do, out of selfish
Inconsiderate: actions (activities) that I do or omit to do while knowing
that I inconvenience or hurt others by these actions and I don't care.
REMARK: The word inconsiderate appears on page 69 BB: "Where had we been selfish, dishonest or inconsiderate?"
Dishonest: lying, omitting to say, cheating, stealing,
Frightened: fear about some future event, expecting something that I have (money, family, job, freedom, love, etc...) to be taken from me, or expecting not to get something that I want (money, family, job, freedom, love, etc...), also fear of being found out, afraid of future results of something I did that I shouldn't have done (or something that I didn't do and should have done) in the past.
Now let us turn to our resentment table. From now on we will fill it by the lines and not by the columns since now for each resentment we want to see our part.
Even though there may be situations that had not been entirely our fault,
we try to disregard the other person involved entirely, and ask ourselves where were we to blame. After the third column we will add a very narrow column and call it our
prayer column. We will only put marks like x or * in it, Then we add the next column. In this column we will write the pertinent defects for each resentment out of our five defects list. The heading of the column will be:
"Where was I selfish, self-seeking, inconsiderate, dishonest, frightened?"
We can use initials for convenience in filling the column:
We do the work in the following way. We deal at first only with our first resentment and read what we have written about it in the first three columns. Before we continue we have to calm down and enlist God's help, since to a certain degree we re-live that resentment by our reading.
We now say the two fourth step prayers.
"God, help us show __________ (say the name of the person) the same tolerance, pity,
and patience that I would cheerfully grant a sick friend."
"God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
If I resent an institution, than instead of saying a name of a person I may
say "the people in __________ (name the institution)."
If it is a principle, I say only the second prayer.
After saying the payers I put a mark in the prayer column.
Now I turn to the "Where was I" column, considering my basic instincts that
were hurt in the third column. I ask myself where was I (and only I) in this case selfish, self-seeking, inconsiderate, dishonest or frightened, and write down the pertinent defects.
After I finish doing that I go over to the second resentment and repeat the same procedure.
REMEMBER to say the prayers each time. It makes a huge difference.
We see our part much more clearly after we say the prayers for each case.
As an example let me assume that the table on page 65 is mine, and do the
procedure for Mr. Brown.
I read why I resent him in the second column and see in the third column
how my sex relations, self-esteem, and security were affected. Reading all this brings up my resentments again, so now I say the prayers.
"God, help us show Mr. Brown the same tolerance, pity, and patience that I
would cheerfully grant a sick friend."
"God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
Now I put a star mark * in the prayer column.
Then I go over to consider my part in the "Where was I" column.
I ask myself the following:
Was I selfish? YES, thinking only of my sexual pleasures (affects my sex
REMARK: I write in italics my basic instincts that were affected.
Was I self seeking? YES, I acted selfishly by neglecting my wife and having
an affair (sex relations). I acted selfishly by telling Mr. Brown about my mistress (self esteem). I acted selfishly by neglecting my job (self esteem, security).
Was I inconsiderate? YES, I had no considerations for my wife's feelings
and how she is being hurt by my affair (sex relations, self esteem).
Was I dishonest? YES, keeping secrets from my wife (sex relations, self
Was I frightened ?YES I was afraid that my wife and my mistress will leave
me after my wife found out about my affair (sex relations, self esteem).
I was afraid of losing my job (self esteem, security).
Now all I have to write down in my column is the following:
Ss, S, I, F, D
I don't add anything to that. All the above was done in my head. We only write memory triggers (bullets), in the columns. I repeat this procedure for the other resentments.
INTO ACTION AND SHARING SUBJECTS:
1. Fill the prayer column and the "where was I" column according to the
explanations in this post.
2. Share four complete resentment entries with us (all the columns.)
3. Share your feelings after filling all those columns.
We have not finished with the resentment table yet. In my next post, we will add another special column just for you friends, so that you have something else to look forward to.
Have a nice day.