Step Four

Made a searching and fearless
moral inventory of ourselves.







Share One
Share Two
Share Three
Share Four
'Commonly Accepted' Share

Leader's Share and Step Questions


Hi everyone.
My name is Shlomo.
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.

A story:
Once there was a priest who worked as a missionary.
He travelled to Africa and lived in a small remote and primitive village.
One day he fell ill with pneumonia.
His chest hurt, he couldn't stop coughing and had a very high temperature.
Since there was no doctor and no medicines in the village he couldn't be healed and was powerless over his disease.
All he could do was wait for his death.
One day a miracle happened.
A doctor came to the village with a bag full of medicines.
The doctor saw his condition and told him that he could recover by taking antibiotics which he had brought with him.
The priest took the medicine according to the doctor's instructions and recovered in a week's time.
He was not powerless anymore since he had taken the remedy and recovered.
Does this story remind you of your powerlessness and why you are or were powerless?

Now let me answer some of my last share's assignments.

PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT
Read step 3 in the AA 12&12
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Pay particular attention to the key of willingness and to making our will conform with God's will.
ANSWER:
I will write the sentences that had the biggest influence on me.
"There is only one key and it is called WILLINGNESS."
"The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power The more independent we actually are."
We become more independent of slavery to our addiction.
"It is when we try to make our will conform with God's that we begin to use it rightly."
"OUR WHOLE TROUBLE HAD BEEN THE MISUSE OF WILLPOWER.
WE HAD TRIED TO BOMBARD OUR PROBLEMS WITH IT INSTEAD OF ATTEMPTING TO BRING IT INTO AGREEMENT WITH GOD'S INTENTION FOR US."
We need our self will in order to live.
But in order to live a recovered life and not be slaves to our addiction we have to conform our will with God's will.
The willingness to do it leads us to the step three decision and the ability to carry out this decision is obtained by working all 12 steps.

PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT
Read the chapter HOW IT WORKS pages 64-67
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action direction.
ANSWER: (only pages 64-65)
When the Big Book deals with step four every sentence is important.
It says that step three will have little effect if not followed at once by a personal inventory of our spiritual malady.
This written inventory is step four.
Step Four: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

In order to make us understand better the meaning of our personal inventory the Big Book compares it to a business inventory.
Go to
www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1.html and click on Inventory Comparison at the top of the page.
This table sums it up nicely. Read and enjoy.

The Big Book says we begin our inventory with our resentments since from them stem all forms of spiritual disease.
It explains in a short sentence why we deal with our spiritual malady:
since when the spiritual malady is overcome we straighten out mentally and physically."
The spiritual malady remains with us all our life even in recovery.
When it says that we overcome it by working all 12 steps it means that Its effect is lessened to such a degree by our daily work of steps 10-12,
That our mental obsession is removed on a daily basis or lessened to such a degree that it does not drive us to return to compulsive eating.
Our physical abnormal reaction to food remains with us always.
But it is not awakened, since we don't begin to eat things that may cause us cravings and we don't overeat.

PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENT
Read step 4 in the AA 12&12.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Pay special attention to the explanation of the basic instincts of life and the character defects that arise when those instincts are driven out of balance to extreme ends.
ANSWER:
After you have read and did this assignment go to www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1.html And click on Basic Instincts at the top of the page.
Study the presented tables that sun up the information.
The diagrams show us how the use of our misdirected self will to fulfill those instincts leads to liabilities like resentments, fears and harm or hurts.

Now it is time for you to do some writing.

NEW ASSIGNMENT:
Write the step four resentment table according to the Big Book directions.
Those directions are similar to the written directions you get on assembling a kit.
There is a general drawing ( in our case it is the resentment table on page 65), and then there are step by step directions.
You read the first direction, then do what it says.
After that, you read the second direction, do what it says, and so on.
In the end you get the assembled kit.
That is what we will do with the step four directions.

1. "In dealing with resentments we set them on paper."
Get a big notebook and a pen.
We are going to make a three column table like the example on page 65.
We will use only one side of each page for the table in our notebook and leave the other side blank.
We will need it for something else.
We will do it in stages, which I call easy to swallow bites.

2. "We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry."
This sentence tells us to fill the first column.
So now we deal only with the first column.
The heading of the column is: "I'm resentful at".
I suggest you write three names to a page in the first column with spaces between them, and leave the other side of the page blank.
This may mean a lot of pages. Well, that is why I suggested a notebook.
I suggest you look at www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1.html
Click on Resentment Prompt List at the top of the link. This will help you to fill the first column.

3. After we finish with the first column on all the pages we need in the notebook, we turn to the second instruction.
"We asked ourselves why we were angry" Now we fill the second column, "The Cause" and list the reasons for our resentments for each person institution or principle.
The example table on page 65 demonstrates how we should fill this second column.

4. After we finish with the second column on all the pages of our notebook we go over to the third column.
The heading of this column is "Affects My". The Big Book explains the contents of this column and how to fill it on pages 64-65.
"In most cases it was found that our self esteem...we were usually as definite as this example."
We will fill it as was done in the example for 'Mrs. Jones, My employer and My wife' on page 65.
Let us also examine the following support file: www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1.html
Click on Seven parts of Self at the top of the link
This file explains the parts of self that may be affected and which are used in the third column.
Pay also attention to the word [fear] in the third column and add it when needed.

5. After we finish with the third column on all the pages We read our entire table. All pages of it.

We will continue with the resentments in my next share.
SHARE WITH US ONLY ONE or TWO EXAMPLES from YOUR RESENTMENT TABLE.

That is all for now folks
Have a nice and fruitful day

Shlomo

Questions and comments are most welcome. Send them to: 10.shaft@gmail.com
Send your answer to the assignments to: wts@lists.therecoverygroup.org

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Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
It is time to move on with the resentment inventory

READING AND WRITING ASSIGNMENTS:

1. Read your resentment table.
Read also pages 65( last paragraph) to page 67 (first and second paragraph
In page 67).
What you see in it is that this world and it people were often quite wrong.
But this didn't help us because we cannot make the world around us obey our
Will.
Trying to do so is part of the reasons we developed our spiritual malady.
We were like the person who didn't feel comfortable walking around with bare
feet so he tried to carpet the world.

We have to understand that harboring resentments is fatal for us since it
shuts us off from H.P., and activates our disease of compulsive eating.
Our resentments actually dominate us since they take control of our thoughts
and they have the power to kill us.
So we have to get rid of them but we can not.
Because we are powerless over our resentments too, not only over our food
compulsion.
Our spiritual malady disconnects us from our H.P., with regard to all the
aspects of our disease.

2. So how can we begin to deal with our resentments?
We begin by reflection and awareness .
Read our resentment table again with the intention of looking at the persons
who wronged us, as spiritually sick.
We are not the only ones who have a spiritual malady.
They have one too. Otherwise they wouldn't have wronged us.
So awareness that the other persons in our resentment table are spiritually
sick is some kind of progress.
But still it does not help us to get rid of our resentments since we are
powerless over them.

3. The answer to our powerlessness is to get help from our H.P.
The first step we have to take in order to get help from our H.P., is to
pray.
When we pray we ask for help.
The prayer goes something like that:
"Please God help me show these persons the same tolerance, pity, and
patience I would grant a sick friend."

When someone offends me I say to myself.
This man is sick. How can I be helpful to him? And pray again:
"God save me from being angry . Thy will be done."

We have to understand that prayer is not enough.
We are reminded of this a few times in the Big Book where it says "faith
without works is dead".
Which means that prayer is just a prelude to action and is of no use without
actions on our part.
In this case the actions we need to carry out are to AVOID RETALIATION AND
ARGUMENT at all cost on a daily basis.

The awareness the prayers and our actions that complement the prayers are
our first turn around.

We have to understand that the removal of our character defects, especially
our resentments is not an event it is a process.
The process depends on developing and strengthening our connection with H.P.

This takes time, actions, and efforts on our part and especially willingness.

If I feel that I lack willingness, I pray for willingness and try do do even
small actions in order to get moving in the right direction.

3. Before we continue there is some reading and reflection we have to do.
Read step 4 in the AA 12&12 again, pay attention to the basic instincts and
how pushing them to extremes leads to character defects.
Also study the diagrams in the link:
www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1
Click on Basic Instincts at the top of the page.

4. Read page 67 paragraph three. This paragraph gives our second turnaround.

The words faults, wrongs, mistakes liabilities, failings, are all used as
synonyms to our character defects,
That block us from carrying out our step three decision.
Reflect especially on the following sentences:
"The inventory was ours, we tried to disregard the other person involved
entirely,
Admitting our wrongs honestly, willing to set those matters straight, though
the situation had not been entirely our fault"

It is important to understand that there are situations that were entirely
NOT our fault.
For example: abuse as a child, rape, mugging etc...
We don't deal with the situation in those cases. We deal with the resentment
that we carry now.
The resentment is always our problem and our fault.
Read the story "FREEDOM FROM BONDAGE" Big Book page 544 in the fourth
edition.
Pay special attention to her reasons for continuing to carry the resentment
and how it blocked her from recovery.
Does this remind you of your reasons for carrying your resentments?
SHARE WITH US.


We began our writing by looking at others and seeing how they wronged us.
But now is the time to look inward and see our part and our character
defects that contribute to our resentments.
It is time to continue with the writing of our resentment inventory.

5. This time we use the blank side of the page in our notebook.
Copy to it the three names one under the other, from the first column of the
resentment table (Remember we wrote three names to a page).
Leave space for writing between the names.
For each name answer the five following questions in detail and in writing.
Remark: The answers to the questions may contain more and different
character defects that come up. That is fine.

THE QUESTIONS:
A) Where have I been selfish?
Write down your selfish and self centered actions feelings and thoughts with
regard to that person institution or principle.

B) Where have I been dishonest?
Write down your dishonest deeds like lying, stealing, borrowing and not
returning, hiding parts of the truth,
gossiping, posing as another person than what we really are, etc...

C) Were have I been self seeking?
Write down your excessive caring about your personality and affairs which
also means how you try to promote yourself at the others expense.

D) Where have I been frightened?
Write down what you were and are afraid of with regard to that person
institution or principle.

E) Where was I to blame?
Write down what your responsibility was in this relationship and why you
were in it in the first place.
And what was your contribution and your part in the event.
We do that only if we had some contribution to the event.
We don't do it if it was entirely the other persons fault, as cases were we
were abused as small children, or raped or mugged etc...
In all cases we are responsible for carrying the resentment now and we write
down our justifications for our resentment and for still carrying it now.

Answering those questions for all the names in our tables gives us a
detailed picture of our character defects that block us from contact with HP.

Remark: sometime one of the questions does not seems relevant for a
particular resentment.
That is ok. Just write why you feel that the question is not relevant.
If you feel that another question is relevant Please write it and answer it.


SHARE the answers to the questions with us for ONE resentment only.

This concludes our resentment inventory.
Comments and questions are welcome. Send them to: 10.shaft@gmail.com

In the next shares we will deal with our fear and harm inventories.
Shlomo

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Hi everyone.
My name is Shlomo,
I am a compulsive overeater, and leader of this workshop.

In this share we deal with the fear inventory.
First some explanations and even more than some.
The assignments are given among the explanations.

Fear is a basic instinct of survival in all living beings.
It is the first feeling that arises when we face immediate danger.
And then the reaction is to fight or flee, depending on the circumstances.
In human beings this basic instinct may also be projected into the future.
Those projected fears are the fears we deal with in our inventory.

The Big Book deals with fears on pages 67-68. READ THOSE PAGES AGAIN.
We have already written something about our fears.
We wrote the word fear in brackets in the third column of our resentment
table.
And one of the five questions about our part in the resentments was to write
where we had been frightened.

The Big Book says that fear touches about every aspect of our lives.
That it is an evil and corroding thread and that the fabric of our existence
is shot through with it.
Those projected fears are actually behind every character defect we have.

The Big Book says that it causes more troubles than stealing.
Why compare it to stealing?
Since fear steals our faith away from us.
Faith is the opposite of projected fear.
Having such a fear means that in that part of our lives we haven't let God in.
We rely only on our limited self and that is why we are afraid.
In fact our projected fears are a manifestation of our agnosticism.

Now let us see what we are usually afraid of.
We are afraid of not getting something that we want, like health, wealth, a
partner, children, etc…
Or we are afraid that we will lose something that we have, like health,
wealth, a partner, children, etc…
We are afraid of being found out.
That people will discover all kinds of things that I had done in the past,
and should not have done.
Or that people will find out that I didn't do things that I should have done


All those fears are future projections.
They take me away from the here and now and make me dwell on the future and
on the past with connection to the future.
My connection with H.P., is only in the here and now.
Therefore my fears take me away from my connection to H.P., and my recovery.


Fears usually come in pairs.
As an addict I tend to swing to both extreme sides.
If I am afraid of failure I am probably also afraid of success.
If I am afraid of intimacy I am probably also afraid of being alone.
If I am afraid of overeating I may also be afraid of not eating enough. Etc…


There are also fears that are called PHOBIAS.
Examples of common phobias are fear of heights, fear of closed places, fear
of public places, etc...
We usually don't know the reasons behind phobias, and often we also need
professional help in addition to the twelve step program.
Anxieties are also projected fears.

Now let me explain how we write our fear inventory.
We write our fears down on paper.
Here too we make a three column table on one side of the page and leave the
other side blank.

The heading of the first column is "What/who are we afraid of"
We write three fears to a page and leave space between them.
The other side of the page is left blank.
Then we look over our resentment Inventory, and copy from it all the fears
in the brackets on the third resentment column.
Next we look at our answers to the question "where had we been frightened",
that we answered when we dealt with the resentment inventory.
We copy additional fears from there if there are any, and add them to our
first fear column.
To this we add all other kinds of fears that are not connected to our
resentments.
We can use the following list of fears in the link:
www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1.html.
Click on Basic Fears at the top of the page.
This may help you remember all kinds of fears that you have.
   Remember also to check if there are pairs of fears like fear of failure
and its opposite fear of success.

ASSIGNMENT 1:
FILL THE FIRST COLUMN AS DESCRIBED ABOVE. Remember to fill 3 fears on one
side of the page and leave the other side blank.

After we finish with the first column we fill the second column.
The heading of this column is "Why we have those fears"

As an example, let us take fear of being fired. Why do we have it?
Maybe we quarreled with the boss or we don't do our work properly,
Or the place where we work has to cut down the number of workers and we may
be on the list, etc...
When I write down why I have that fear I may find that I write down
additional fears.
In our example it may be not having money, not finding another job, not
supporting family, my family leaving me,
Being alone, bingeing, dying, etc...
It may open a whole can of worms.
Let it open, pour it out. And add it to the list of fears.
If I don't know why I have a particular fear , I write in the second column
that I don't know.

ASSIGNMENT 2:
FILL IN THE SECOND COLUMN AS EXPLAINED ABOVE.

After filling the second column entirely we begin with the third column.
"Where did self reliance fail us?"
Just to refresh your memory read the help page on the seven parts of self
and the basic instincts.
   They are on the top of the page in the link:
www.therecoverygroup.org/wts/2008/2008-04q4p1.html

The seven parts of self are: Self esteem, pride, pocketbook, personal
relations, ambition, emotional security, sex relations.

Whenever I have a fear it means that I don't rely on H.P., I rely only on my
limited self.
   This reliance was not good enough.
It failed me and that is why I have the fear.
Let us take our example of fear of losing my job.
Why do I fear?
May be I am not confident of my ability to get a good job or even a better
job somewhere else.
That means that my self esteem and my emotional security failed me.
   I don't think I am good enough or feel good enough with myself.
Maybe I am afraid that my wife will leave me.
Again that may mean that my self esteem, my emotional security, and my sex
relations are not good enough or strong enough to deal with this problem,
etc…
   I hope you see now what is meant by self reliance and how it fails us.

Reliance on H.P., which is unlimited Power never fails us, no matter what
happens in our outer world.
When we truly rely on H.P., we are not afraid and have an inner sense of
peace and quiet that is not affected by the outer world.
So in the third column we write which of the seven parts of self failed us
and how.

ASSIGNMENT 3:
FILL IN THE THIRD COLUMN AS EXPLAINED ABOVE.

This whole work on fears clearly outlines our agnosticism as well as our
Spiritual illness in different areas of our life.

The Big Book gives us the method of dealing with fears after writing them
down in our three column table.
First we pray to God to remove our fears. Here is the prayer:
"God, please remove my fears and direct my attention to what You would have
me BE"
The Big Book also says that at once we commence to outgrow fear.
This does not happen by just sitting on our butt after the prayer.
Remember that every prayer should be followed by action.
So I sit and meditate on what H.P., would have me BE and write down what I
think H.P.,would have me be.

After writing it down I write what SMALL step I can take TODAY, in order to
begin advancing towards what God would have me be.
   I commit to act on a daily basis and then I commence to outgrow fear.
Outgrowing fear is a process and it takes time and action on our part.
Just to make it clearer let us look at our example again. The fear of
losing my job.
What do I think H.P., would have me be?
Rely on H.P., and as a result have confidence in myself and my abilities,
have high self esteem and emotional security.
Now how do I get there? What are the small steps I have to take to begin
advancing in that direction?
I pray to God to remove my fear, ok what else?
Start looking for another job. Good what else?
Maybe begin studying a course that will enhance my abilities in my
profession or give me an additional more needed profession.
Good what else? Discuss the problem with my sponsor my group, and my family.

Good, what else? Work harder at my current job and make amends where needed.

Good what else? I don't know.
OK, talk with your sponsor and together with him device your plan of action.
Commit to doing it and report to him every day.
Effective, isn't it?
This is the way I work in this program and how I work with sponsees.
And the important thing is it gets results.
The promises of the Big Book do come true, and we can match calamity with
serenity.

ASSIGNMENT 4: WRITE IT ON THE BLANK SIDE OF THE PAGE.
After you filled the three column fear inventory, copy the three fears from
the first column to the blank side of the page.
Say the following prayer for the first fear:
"God, please remove this fear and direct my attention to what You would have
me BE".

Sit still for a few moments and meditate what H.P., would have you be with
regard to that fear.
Write down what you think H.P., would have you be.
Write down what are the steps you can take to begin advancing towards what H.P.
would have you be.
Repeat that procedure for every fear on your list.
Device a daily routine for doing the actions that will gradually make you
overcome your fears.
Do those routines on a daily basis.

SHARE WITH US one example from your fear inventory

A remark on phobias..
PHOBIAS.
There is a special category of fears that if strong enough are called
phobias.
Those may include fear of spiders or snakes or heights or closed spaces,
etc…
Usually we don't know the underlying reasons for such fears.
If those fears are really bothersome like getting hysterical when I see an
Insect of when I have to enter an elevator,
We may have to get professional help.
When you break a leg you have to have a doctor to treat it,
And when you have phobias that make your life difficult you can get a good
psychologist to help you.
The same with strong anxieties.
When we turn to H.P., in this program, sometimes the answer we get is to get
professional help.

Now a question and my answer. Please read carefully. I think it is important



QUESTION:
Why should I include phobias in my fear inventory?
   I think it is carrying things way too far when we rely on the Big Book to
take care" of fears like
Spiders, snakes, heights, etc.
   Things like this are not character flaws or moral defects!
   I hope to God that in my fear inventory I will put emotional, spiritual and
physical fears down.
   I don't think we are supposed to go to This extreme about fears, and
include phobias.
   I have some phobias. I can't open a can of pre-packaged Pillsbury biscuits
because I'm afraid it may explode in my face.
But I don't think I have to put that down in my inventory!!

ANSWER:
First let us have a look at what the Big Book says about listing our fears.
(Page 68).
"We reviewed our fears thoroughly.
We put them down on paper even though we had no resentment in connection
with them."
So the big book distinguishes between two types of fears,
Fears that are connected to resentments, and fears that are not connected to
our resentments.
The fears that are connected to our resentments appear in our resentment
inventory,
   and we should copy them to our fear list.
But the Big Book goes a step further.
It says we should also write down fears that are not connected to our
resentments.
To me that means any fears that we have and that includes phobias.

This of course brings up the question of defining character defects.
Some say that since phobias are not a moral issue in the sense of ethical or
not ethical
They are not character defects and should not be included in the inventory.
Others and I among them say that the word 'moral' in step four means honest
and truthful.
And not the common use of the word moral today which is concerned with
ethics.
Otherwise step four should have used the word 'immoral' since it is about
the blocks we have to get rid of,
   and not about what connects us to H.P.

So instead of using the word character defects that to some of us has some
ethical connotations, let us use the word 'liabilities'.
The Big Book itself uses different words to describe the same thing so why
can't we?
We define a 'liability' as any emotional or behavioral problem that makes my
life miserable and pushes me to active addiction.
It does not have to be moral in the sense of being ethical or not ethical.
But it is a flaw in my makeup that causes me problems.
Writing it down makes me aware that it exists and that maybe something can
be done about it.
Sometimes it is only a change of attitude.
Sometimes it is to seek professional help.
And even that may be impossible for me without a Higher Power.
Now let me give an example of dealing with a phobia according to my
interpretation of what is written in the Big Book.

Example-fear of closed places.
If this fear is very bothersome and makes me miserable I will add this fear
to the first column of my three column fear inventory.
I will probably not have anything to write in the second column since I
usually don't know the reasons for phobias.
In the third column I may write that it affects my emotional security which
Includes my self confidence and maybe also my self- esteem and pride.
Now I turn to H.P., in prayer and ask him to remove my fear of closed places
and draw my attention to what He will have me be.
I can assume that what H.P., will have me be is free of my phobia.
   What are the actions that I can take to reach this state?
GET PROFFESIONAL HELP.
That seems the only thing I can do in addition to praying.
So I finally got to the stage of seeking professional help.
This is usually the first thing that people who are not addicts do.
But I am an addict. I usually have to do a lot of step work to arrive at the
starting point of normative people.


Questions and comments are most welcome.
Send them to my private address.
10.shaft@gmail.com

Send your answers to the assignments to the loop.

Our next step 4 share will be on harm done to others.

Have a nice day.

Shlomo

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Hi everyone.
My name is Shlomo,
I am a compulsive overeater, and leader of this workshop.

EXPLANATIONS:
An inventory of harm done to others deals with our relationships with other
persons.
The Big Book divides it into two parts.
Intimate relationship which means sexual relationships, and general
relationships.
The Big Book deals with relationships on pages 68-71.
We will begin with an inventory of intimate relationships -people we had or
have sexual relationships with.
The Big Book instructs us to review our sex conduct over the years past and
present by answering a bunch of questions.
So here are the directions for writing a sex conduct inventory.
We take our notebook and write a list off all the persons we had and have
Intimate relations with even if they are now out of our life or dead.
We write one name to a page and leave the other side blank, since we may
need both sides of the page for each person.
We answer the following questions in detail for each person on our list:

1. Where have I been selfish in my conduct?
We write down our selfish and self centered actions feelings and thoughts
with regard to that person.

2. Where have I been dishonest in my conduct?
We write down our dishonest deeds, like lying, stealing, borrowing and not
returning,
Hiding parts of the truth, gossiping, posing as another person than what we
really are. Etc…

3. Where had I been inconsiderate in my conduct?
We write down all our inconsiderate deeds with regard to that person.

4. Had I hurt that person (Emotionally, physically or financially)?
WE write down in detail all the harm we caused that person.

5. Did I unjustifiably arouse jealousy in that person?
We are specific and write in detail.

6. Did I unjustifiably arouse suspicion in that person?
We are specific and write in detail.

7. Did I unjustifiably arouse bitterness in that person?
We are specific and write in detail.

8. Where was I at fault?
We write down what our responsibility was in this relationship, and why we
were in it in the first place.

9. What should I have done instead?
We meditate on this question and write down what were the right things that
we should have done instead of what we did.


We look at what we have written.
We read it carefully and pay special attention to our answers to the ninth
Question.

Next the Big Book tells us that we have to shape a sane and sound ideal for
our future sex life.
How do we do that?
First we ask ourselves about each relationship if it was selfish or not.
Then we turn to God and pray:
 "GOD, PLEASE MOLD OUR IDEALS AND HELP US TO LIVE UP TO THEM"
After praying and meditating we write down our sex conduct ideal on a blank page.
We are helped in the writing by our answers to question 9.
We remember that our sex powers are God given and therefore good.
Neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

After writing our ideal we have to be willing to grow toward it.
Now the big book actually talks here about step 8.
We must be willing to make amends (restitution, repairing the damage that I
have done.), provided we do not
Bring about still more harm in doing so.

We must treat sex as any other problem.
When we have a specific problem we turn to God in prayer and meditation:
"God, please show me what I should do about this specific matter."
Knowing that the right answer will come if we want it.

We have to realize that only God is the final judge of our sex conduct and
not people, though we may ask for their advice.

Now what happens if we fall short of our ideal, will we relapse?
The Big Book says that "It depends on us and our motives.
If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let
God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have
learned our lesson.
If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite
sure to relapse".

The Big Book sums up about sex in the following:
"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 is very troublesome, we throw ourselves harder into helping others.
We think of their needs and work for them.
This takes us out of ourselves.
It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache."

After writing our sex conduct inventory, we write a general conduct
inventory in exactly the same way. This is written on page 70.
"We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to
straighten out the past if we can".
This is actually our step 8 in step 4.

The Big Book reminds us of this again on page 76 when it talks about step 8.

"We have a list of ALL the persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing
to make amends.
We made it when we took inventory."

So how do we make an inventory of the people we have harmed by our general
conduct?
Exactly the same as we did our sex conduct inventory.
Since the Big Book says that we "treat sex as we would any other problem".

To do the general conduct inventory I have to have a list of people I have
harmed by my general conduct.
It may be physical harm, financial harm, emotional harm, or a combination of
all the harms.
To find the people to put on our list we first look over our resentment
inventory and pick up the people we have harmed in this list.
Remember that resenting someone does not necessarily mean that I have harmed
him.
In order to harm someone I have to act in a way that causes him physical
harm, or financial harm or emotional harm.

To the list that we pick out of our resentment inventory, we add people and
institutions that we had harmed without resenting them.
Like stealing from the place we work in, or from other places or persons,
not returning loans, not paying debts. Etc…
When we have our list we write the general conduct inventory the same way we
wrote the sex conduct inventory.
One name to a page, and answer the nine questions for each person.

After we answer the questions for every person on the list we write a
general conduct ideal, and have to be willing to grow toward it.
Now let us turn to SECRETS.
 There is a custom in some twelve step fellowships to add to the inventory,
 A list of secrets that we thought we will take with us to the grave.
Secrets that we are so ashamed of or frightened of that we want to keep till
we die.
 There is some reference to this in the Big Book when talking about step
five on pages 72-75.

"…they had not learned enough of humility, fearlessness and honesty, in the
sense we find it necessary, until they told someone their entire life story"


"We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or
happily in this world."
"We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character,
every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding
nothing, we are delighted…"

I agree with that custom.
My personal experience and my experience of working with others, has
definitely shown me that the saying
  'We are as sick as our secrets is very true.'
So find a blank page on your inventory notebook and write on it a list of
all your secrets that you wanted to take to the ground with you.
You may write it in code so that no one except you will be able to read and
understand it.

The Big Book says that our inventory is an inventory of our grosser
handicaps and it is a good beginning.
That by writing our inventory and acting as suggested with what we have
found out,
 we have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about ourselves.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT INVENTORY.
And since the big book talks here about swallowing and digesting I wish you
all Bone Appetite.

ASSIGNMENTS:

1. . Read pages 68-71 carefully and read my share.
Write down your sex conduct inventory as explained in my share.
Remember. You write a list of all the persons you had and have intimate
relationships with, even those who are now not in your life or are dead.
You write one name to each different two sided page.
You answer all the nine questions in detail for each person.

2. Say the following prayer:
"GOD, PLEASE MOLD MY SEX IDEAL AND HELP ME LIVE UP TO IT"
Then read your answers to question 9 for each person.
Meditate and write down your ideal for your future sex conduct.

3.. Are you willing to grow up to your ideal?
Remember that you must grow up to it in order to recover.
 If you are still unwilling or have some reservation turn to God and pray to
be willing.
Pray every day and many times a day till you are willing with no
reservations.

4. Are you willing to make amends where you have done harm?
Remember that amends mean restitution, it means repairing the damage done by
my conduct.
Remember that you have to make amends in order to recover.
If you are still unwilling or have some reservation turn to God and pray to
be willing.
Pray every day and many times a day till you are willing with no
reservations

5. Now read carefully the share's instructions on doing the general conduct
inventory.
Do again assignments 1-4, but instead of sex conduct you do it for general
conduct.

6. Write down on a blank page all the secrets that you wanted to take to
your grave with you. You may write them in code so that only you can
understand what you have written.


PREPERATORY ASSIGNMENTS FOR STEP 5
A. Make a list of all the different character defects that appear in your
fourth step inventory.
For each character defect write down how it manifests in your life, what do
you think you benefit from it, and what is the harm it does to you.

B. Read the first 4 pages in the chapter INTO ACTION.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions.


We have finished the fourth step inventory.
My next share will be on step 5.

Again I invite you to ask me questions.
Anything that is not clear to you about my explanations or about the
assignments.
Maybe you would like me to enlarge on some point, or to mention points that
I have not dealt with.
Anything at all that is connected to our 12 step workshop.

Have a nice day.
Shlomo

TOP OF PAGE



Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
Don't panic. There are no assignments in this share. Just read and reflect

We hear a lot of stuff said in meetings that can't be reconciled with the
program as described in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
What follows are some of the things we often hear, along with what the Big
Book has to say on the subject.

I think those slogans, and customs are misleading and steer us away from the
recovery path.
So let us show them for what they are and slaughter some holy cows.
Don't believe everything you hear.

Shlomo


THAT AIN'T IN THE BIG BOOK!
Turn 'alcohol' into 'trigger foods', drinking into bingeing or overeating
first drink into first bite.
I didn't invent this list.
It was written by recovered alcoholics who care about what is going on in
meetings and the way people are steered away from the program and are
deluded to think that they are working the program when they don't.

The first line of every paragraph is a slogan or custom in the 12 step
fellowship.
The following lines are what the program as written in the Big Book says.

"Remember your last drunk"
Page 24, Paragraph 2: "We are unable, at times, to bring into our
consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and
humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against
the first drink"

"I choose not to drink today"
Page 24 Paragraph 2: "The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet
obscure have lost the power of choice in drink"

"I will always be recovering, never recovered"
Title Page: "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS."The Story of How Many Thousands of Men
and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism" Page 20, paragraph 2: "Doubtless
you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the
contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body"
Foreword to the First Edition: "We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are more than
one hundred men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state
of mind and body" Page 29, paragraph 2: "Further on, clear-cut directions
are given showing how we Recovered" Page 132, paragraph 3: "We have
recovered, and have been given the power to help Others"

"I don't have an alcohol problem, I have a living problem"
Page xxiv, paragraph 2: "In our belief, any picture of the alcoholic which
leaves out this physical factor is incomplete"

"Don't drink and go to meetings."
Page 34, paragraph 2: "Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was
a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the
baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it-this utter inability to leave
it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish" Page 34, paragraph
3: "Whether such a person can quit upon a non-spiritual basis depends upon
the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will
drink or not"

Page 17, paragraph 2: "Unlike the feelings of the ship's passengers, however
our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual
ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the
powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us
together as we are now joined"

"This is a selfish program"
Page 20, paragraph 1: "Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers depend upon
our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs"

Page 97, paragraph 2: "Helping others is the foundation stone of your
recovery A kindly act once in a while isn't enough. You have to act the Good
Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights' sleep,
great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It
may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and
relatives innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails
and asylums Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night"

Page 14-15: "For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual
life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the
certain trials and low spots ahead"

Page 62, paragraph 2: "Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is
the root of our troubles"

Page 62, paragraph 3: "So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own
making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example
of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything,
we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us!"

"I'm powerless over people, places and things"
Page 132, paragraph 3: "We have recovered, and have been given the power to
help Others" Page 122, paragraph 3: "Years of living with an alcoholic is
almost sure to make any wife or child neurotic" Page 82, paragraph 4: "The
alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others.
Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been
uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We
feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough" Page 89,
paragraph 2: "You can help when no one else can. You can secure their
confidence when others fail"

"I'm a people pleaser. I need to learn to take care of myself"
Page 61, paragraph 2:"Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be Kind?"

"Don't drink, even if your ass falls off."
Page 34, paragraph 2: "Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was
a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the
baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it-this utter inability to leave
it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish"

"I haven't had a drink today, so I'm a complete success today."
Page 19, paragraph 1: "The elimination of drinking is but a beginning. A
much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our
respective homes, occupations and affairs"

"Don't drink, no matter what."
Page 34, paragraph 2: "Many of us felt we had plenty of character. There was
a tremendous urge to cease forever. Yet we found it impossible. This is the
baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it-this utter inability to leave
it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish" Page 31, paragraph
4: "We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can
quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some
controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once
It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself
about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge
of your condition"

"I have a choice to not drink today."
Page 30, paragraph 3: "We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the
ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever
recovers control All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but
such intervals usually brief - were inevitably followed by still less
control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.
We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a
progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better

"If all I do is stay sober today, then it's been a good day."
Page 82, paragraph 3: "Sometimes we hear an alcoholic say that the only
thing he needs to do is to keep sober. Certainly he must keep sober, for
there will be no home if he doesn't. But he is yet a long way from making
good to the wife or parents whom for years he has so shockingly treated"
Page 82 paragraph 4: "We feel a man is unthinking when he says sobriety is Enough"

"I need to forgive myself first" or "You need to be good to yourself" Page 74,
paragraph 2"
The rule is we must be hard on ourselves, but always considerate of others"

"Take what you want and leave the rest"
Page 17, paragraph 3: "The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we
have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can
absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious
action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism"

"Just do the next right thing"
Page 86, paragraph 4: "We may not be able to determine which course to take.
Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision" Page 87
paragraph 1: " Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious
contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all
times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas"

"Don't make any major decisions for the first year"
Page 60, paragraph 4: " (a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our
own lives (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our
alcoholism (c) That God could and would if He were sought Being convinced,
we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our
life over to God as we understood Him" Page 76, paragraph 2: "When ready, we
say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have
all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single
defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my
fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.
We have then completed Step Seven"

"Stay out of relationships for the first year!"
Page. 69, paragraph 1: "We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone's sex
conduct" Page 69, paragraph 3: "In meditation, we ask God what we should do
about each specific matter. The right answer will come if we want it" Page
69, paragraph 4: "God alone can judge our sex situation" Page 69-70:"Counsel
with other persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge"
Page 70, Paragraph 2: "We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance
in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the
right thing"

"Alcohol was my drug of choice"
Page 24, paragraph 2: "The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet
obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink"

"Keep coming back, eventually it will rub off on you"
Page 64, Paragraph 1: "Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it
could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous
effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us"

"Ninety Meetings in Ninety Days"
Page 15, paragraph 2: "We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the
fellowship they seek" Page 19, paragraph 2: "None of us makes a sole
vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased
if we did" Page 59, paragraph 3: "Here are the steps we took, which are
suggested as a program of recovery"

"You only work one step a year" "Take your time to work the steps"
Page 569, paragraph 3: "What often takes place in a few months can hardly be
brought about by himself alone Page 63, paragraph3: "Next we launched on a
course of vigorous action" Page 74, paragraph 2: "If that is so, this step
may be postponed, only, however if we hold ourselves in complete readiness
to go through with it at the first opportunity" Page 75, paragraph 3:
Returning home we find a place where we can be quiet for AN HOUR, carefully
reviewing what we have done".

"You need to stay in those feelings and really feel them."
Page 84, paragraph 2: "When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them.

"There are no musts in this program."

Page 99, paragraph 1: "it must be done if any results are to be expected"
Page 99, paragraph 2: "we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we
pay the penalty by a spree"
Page 99, paragraph 3: "it must be on a better basis, since the former did not Work"
Page 83, paragraph 1: "Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead.
We must take the lead"
Page 83, paragraph 2: "We must remember that ten or twenty years of
drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone"
Page 74, paragraph 1: "Those of us belonging to a religious denomination
which requires confession must, and of course, will want to go to the
properly appointed authority whose duty it is to receive it"
Page 74, paragraph 2: "The rule is we must be hard on ourselves, but always
considerate of others"
Page 75, paragraph 1: " But we must not use this as a mere excuse to postpone"
Page 85, paragraph 3: " But we must go further and that means more action"
Page 85, paragraph 2: " Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of
God's will into all of our activities"
Page 85, paragraph 2: "These are thoughts which must go with us constantly"
Page 80, paragraph 1: " If we have obtained permission, have consulted with
others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink"
Page 14, paragraph 2: " I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who
presides over us all"
Page 62, paragraph 3: "Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this
selfishness. We must, or it kills us!"
Page 144, paragraph 3: "The man must decide for himself"
Page 89, paragraph 2: "To watch people recover, to see them help others, to
watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a
host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss"
Page 33, paragraph 3: "If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be
no reservation of any kind"
Page 79, paragraph 2: "We must not shrink at anything"
Page 86, paragraph 2: "But we must be careful not to drift into worry,
remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others"
Page 120, paragraph 2: "he must redouble his spiritual activities if he
expects to survive"
Page 152, paragraph 2: "I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I?"
Page 95, paragraph 3: "he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on"
Page 95, paragraph 3: "If he is to find God, the desire must come from within"
Page 159, paragraph 3: "Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if
they would remain sober, that motive became secondary"
Page 156, paragraph 3: " Both saw that they must keep spiritually active"
Page 130, paragraph 2: "that is where our work must be done"
Page 82, paragraph 3: "Certainly he must keep sober, for there will be no
home if he doesn't"
Page 143, paragraph 2: "he should understand that he must undergo a change of Heart"
Page 69, paragraph 4: "Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be
willing to grow toward it"
Page 69, paragraph 4: "We must be willing to make amends where we have done Harm"
Page 44, paragraph 3: "we had to face the fact that we must find a spiritual
basis of life - or else"
Page 78, paragraph 3: "We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far
we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them"
Page 93, paragraph 3: "To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self
sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action"
Page 43, paragraph 4: "His defense must come from a Higher Power"
Page 66, paragraph 4: "We saw that these resentments must be mastered"
Page 146, paragraph 4: " For he knows he must be honest if he would live at All"
Page 73, paragraph 5: "We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect
to live long or happily in this world"

But Remember... Page 144, paragraph 3: "When the man is presented with this
volume it is best that no one tell him he must abide by its suggestions.
The man must decide for himself"

YOUR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS ARE MOST WELCOME
Shlomo

PS.
Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
Here is one addition typical to OA

"Abstinence is the most important thing in my life without exception"
Chapter We Agnostics, page 51 paragraph one "When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives they present a powerful reason why one should have faith"

Chapter There Is a Solution . Page 19, paragraph 1: "The elimination of drinking is but a beginning.
A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs"






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