Principle – Integrity
As we finish our Step 4 inventory we may be faced with feelings of shame, embarrassment, confusion, etc. These feelings may bring about a reluctance to move forward and share with another the “exact nature of our wrongs”. But as the Big Book tells us on page 72 “If we skip this vital step we may not overcome drinking (COE).
Well, that was enough for me; I wanted to recover. And even though I was scared I was desperate to overcome my COE. So, I chose my sponsor as the one with which I would share my Step 4, asked her, made a date and went to it! It turned out to be a wonderful experience. None of my fears were actualized; I came away with a sense of relief and acceptance. Whew…done, right?? NO!!
Although admitting to another person was the part of this step I feared, it was not the only part. There was two other parts – “God, and ourselves”. (I would like to add here that it was only this last time doing this Step that I included God and myself – and this made a world of difference). So I set aside time to be with my HP and to admit to God, one by one, all of my inventory. I knew in my heart my HP already knew all there is to know about me, but it felt so wonderful showing HP all of me. You see, for years I tried only showing HP the “good parts” and hiding the “bad parts”. This exercise, showed me how wonderful it was to be wholly open to HP. I felt loved and accepted. And I knew HP wanted all of me all along. I am still very much moved by just talking about this experience. I felt like at that moment, when everything was out in the open, for the first time I was really willing and ready to be filled with the Light of the Spirit.
This led right into admitting to myself the exact nature of my wrongs. As I see it now, the one I did not want to admit this most to was myself. But now, I could do that. I could do that because in admitting to another person and to God I was still loved and accepted. Now I could do that for myself also. I accepted myself, as never before. I felt a peace I had never felt before. And in that peace and acceptance I felt my path change.
Doing this Step taught me some very important truths. Truth about myself (i.e. I am human and I have made mistakes, but I am not a mistake) truth about others (i.e. people can be trusted) and truth about HP (through Higher Power’s love and guidance I can live differently).
Read – Alcoholics Anonymous BB chapter 6 Into Action, pg. 72 to bottom of pg. 75
Then share your Step 4 with someone you trust, God and yourself.
Please write about this experience – your feelings after you finished completing Step 5 - and share with the loop.
The Twelve Steps
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