Step Four

Made a searching and fearless
inventory of ourselves



My name is Shlomo,

I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.

LEADER SHARE STEP 4 PART 3 Hi everyone My name is Shlomo I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop. In this share we continue to deal with resentments Here too I will give you reading and writing assignments interwoven with my explanations. Don't leave the assignments to the end of the share . do them at the place they are written.

ASSIGNMENT 1: Read your resentment table. Now read page 65 last paragraph to page 66 till the paragraph that begins with "We turned back to the list" write down the sentences that talk to you. Reflect and share with us

Our first reaction is that the world and its 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.

ASSIGNMENT 2: Question, Did you try to change others to suit you? did it result in resenting them? contemplate and answer. Share with us.

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. In fact we are powerless over our whole spiritual malady. Our spiritual malady disconnects us from our H.P., with regard to all the aspects of our disease.

So how can we begin to deal with our resentments? We begin by reflection and awareness . This is the beginning of our first turn around in our attitudes.

ASSIGNMENT 3: Read your 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 and is a good beginning. But still it does not help us to get rid of our resentments since we are powerless over them.

ASSIGNMENT 4: Read page 66 from "We turned back to our list..." to page 67 top of the page "...they like ouselves were sick too." Question : Can you internalize that the people you resent are also spiritually sick? Share with us.

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. But how can we get help when we are blocked from H.P. by our spiritual malady? Asking for help is the first crack in the wall that blocks us from H.P. Page 67 "We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended us we said to ourselves 'This is a sick man.How can I be helpful to him?God save me from being angry. Thy will be done." So there are three payers. a. "Please God help me show these persons the same tolerance, pity, and patience I would grant a sick friend." b. "This man is sick. How can I be helpful to him?" c. "God save me from being angry . Thy will be done."

Is praying enough to relieve me of my resentments. The answer is NO! We have to understand that prayer is not enough. We are reminded of this in the Big Book where it says on page 88 "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 take are on page 67 " We avoid retaliation and argument. We would not treat sick people that way. If we do we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people , but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and everyone." To sum it up we begin with awareness that the other person is spiritually sick, we pray to H.P. for help and then we practice RESTRAINT in our reactions on a daily basis.

ASSIGNMENT 5: SHARE WITH US a personal example of practicing or trying to practice restraint when becoming angry.

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.

Is all this enough to get rid of resentments? the answer is NO. Unless we concede in our innermost self that we had a part in having the resentment, and it is not only the other persons fault we will have resentments every time some other person behaves in a way that caused us to resent the first person.

So we have to do a second turn around.

ASSIGNMENT 6: Read page 67 paragraph three. This paragraph gives our second turnaround. Reflect and share with us.

A few explanations. 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.

ASSIGNMENT 7: 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" Share with us.

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 only with the resentment that we carry now. The resentment is always our problem and our fault.

ASSIGNMENT 8: As an example read the story "FREEDOM FROM BONDAGE" Big Book page 544. Pay special attention to her reasons for continuing to carry the resentment, and how it blocked her from recovery. (page 551) Does this remind you of your reasons for carrying your resentments? SHARE WITH US a personal example of your justifications for one of your resentments.

We began our writing of step 4 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.

ASSIGNMENT 9: Use the blank side of the page in your notebook. Copy to it the three or four names one under the other, from the first column of the resentment table (Remember we wrote three or four 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.

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 picture of our character defects that block us from contact with HP

Remark: sometimes one of the questions does not seem 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. ASSIGNMENT 10 : SHARE the answers to the questions with us for ONE resentment only.

The directions in the Big Book for doing step four, Include essentially the daily discipline for dealing with resentments, and in fact include directions that are part of steps 6 and 7 Here is the discipline for dealing with resentments. a. we write the resentments down in a three column table as in the example on page 65.

b. we contemplate and become aware that other persons can be spiritually sick too. and those who offended and hurt or harmed us did it while under the control of their spiritual malady.

c. We turn to H.P., for help by saying the three prayers: "Please God help me show these persons the same tolerance, pity, and patience I would grant a sick friend"

"This man is sick. How can I be helpful to him?"

"God save me from being angry . Thy will be done."

d.. We avoid retaliation and argument and practice restraint on a daily basis.

e. we answer in writing the five questions:

Where had we been selfish?

Where had we been dishonest?

Where had we been self-seeking?

Where had we been frightened?

Where were we to blame (What was my part in the event and or in holding on to the resentment or both)?

f. If the resentment persists after doing all the above , we may follow the suggestion in the story "freedom from bondage" on page 552 "If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing that you resent,you will be free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even if you don't really want it for them and your prayers are only words and you don't mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks, and you will find you have come to mean it and to want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love". REMARK:This prayer did not help me personally, but it did help some other people I know. So I suggest you try it to see if it helps you. ASSIGNMENT 11: share with us.

g. read the story "acceptance was the answer" pages 407-420. pay special attention to pages 418-419. Add the following to your daily discipline of dealing with resentments: FOCUS ON THE GOOD QUALITIES of the person or the thing you resent instead of their defects. Write down the good points and qualities you can find in them and contemplate on them on a daily basis. REMARK : This really helped me. Try it . ASSIGNMENT 12: Share with us

As you can see there is no magic dust that can be sprinkled on us to make our defects disappear or diminish. We have to do our part on a daily basis as it was explained here, according to the Big Book which is the textbook of the 12 step program.

ASSIGNMENT 13: CHOOSE ONE MAJOR RESENTMENT and apply the daily disciplines on it . Share with us.

This concludes our resentment inventory. In the next shares we will deal with our fear and harm inventories.

Comments and questions are welcome. Send them to: Send the assignments to:

To be continued soon Remark: Don't be discouraged if you cannot keep up with the pace. Do things at your own pace and share with us what you do. All the leaders shares will be on the WTS site . This does not mean that you should play around with the work . Do take it seriously and do the best you can. It does save our lives. And to all wts members who are quiet. Please do share with us . It will definitely help you and of course help all of us. We do learn from each other.

Have a nice day

Shlomo K Worksop leader

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