First, I am humbled by those who have answered the questions.
I can only tell you my experience, strength and hope based on the AA BB and 12/ 12 and our wonderful literature and fellowship.
It is important and it works.
Think about moving or a trip. For those who have done it well, they made lists of what to take and what to leave behind.
Think of getting married. What are your assets and weaknesses? What are your partners assets and weaknesses? Or think of the store owner, what sells and what doesn't sell?
We are going on an exciting journey? But first a few words: Made (constructed something) a written inventory of if can't write because of disability your sponsor will help you with this. Searching, not exhausting, perfect or necessarily complete but a good faith effort in the present of the past and present, inventory. Moral, right and wrong, (or check your dictionary). Inventory of ourselves, not our parents, spouse, children, school, world, church, temple or what ever, but ourselves.
Now what about feelings? IMHO feelings are not facts! Dwelt on, nursed, and acted upon they may be moral, but the action is the moral thing.
For those of us who have used Sacramental confession or been helped by the mental health field, the inventory is not either. Here we discuss our strengths and weaknesses. We see what good and bad we have to work with. Later like me you may want to condense it and take it to a clergy or you might give it away to a mental health person you trust understands the 12 steps. But that is not what we are doing in step 4. And by the way some complete there's in a day, some in a week and some in a much longer time. So here this week you may just be getting started or be on step 10 if you have done it before.
It is best IMHO not to think of whom you are going to do step 5 with or when. Sure you can discuss it with your sponsor as you go along.
OK: Paper and pencil, Kleenex and the AA Big BOOK or the OA workbook or whatever you and your sponsor decide. A glass of ice tea helps. MY books were full of tears of joy and pain and ice tea spilt on the back porch over a period of weeks. I used the AA BB and their 12 and 12. Being a note taker I jotted things down as I read and identified and when done filled in what I felt was missing and voila, it was done.
Well I have no hookup on my modem line and no other way to do this so I will try to send it from someone else's computer. My share on step four was not done but have sent the amount I had done.
That computer is at a public library.
I would like to add please don't try to do step 4 in one week unless your sponsor says so. It is loving thing not a painful thing.
Hope to be back with you soon.