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Post Info TOPIC: Step Four Al-Anon
Dot


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Step Four Al-Anon


Step Four - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

From: Al-Anon Works - pg. 52  (copyright 1995, by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.  Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

All of these Steps, including the Fourth, are means of positive change.  They are not intended to create guilt or diminish an already damaged self-image.  To the contrary, they allow us to observe ourselves as we are, see through our illusions, take care of unresolved issues from the past, make concious choices here and now, and recognize where to turn for strength, support, and guidance.  The Steps are here for our growth and betterment.  Each one in turn has something important to offer, and each plays a crucial role in restoring us to physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness.

Looking forward to your shares - love in recovery - Dot

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Dot


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Step Four. When I frist heard this Step I heard only "moral" and was immediately afraid of it. I carried a lot of guilt and shame and knew no one at these meetings had lived the life I had. Consequently I stayed on One, Two and Three for a long time before I became close enough and trusted enough to ask someone to be my sponsor. Once I was able to share the bad stuff I was then able to go back and do an inventory of my assets and defects. I learned I was an ok person even though I had made some very poor choices. I found that somethings I thought were defects were really assets that just needed to be tempered and guided in the proper direction - the same for some assets. I think the most importand thing I first learned with this Step was moderation and not to take myself too seriously.

Love and hugs - Dot

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I have been trying to do step 4 for AGES. I have an alanon sponsor and we're going through the blueprint for progress now. Started that about 6 months ago. Is it supposed to take this long or am I taking it all too seriously??? or procrastinating, or in denial or just taking alot of time over it???

I am learning alot through it which is taking me into Coda and ACA. My main focus is alanon though. That is what brought me to the 12 steps.

I seem to do the alanon waltz....step 123 123 123
And then skip to the end hehe story of my life really. why is it so hard to get to grips with the action steps?
iddm



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iddm
Dot


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Hi IDDM - I don't think there is any time set for Step Four. Your sponsor should be able to give you some insight from her observations. I have a good friend who spent one hour each week for one year writing in the Blueprint for Progress. That worked for her. Most important is that you do the action to the best of your ability.

Love in recovery - Dot












.

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Dot,

Thank you I am new to this stepwork board, but not new to MIP, having been around since the Autumn. However I do still consider myself new to recovery.

I have a Sponsor, and I have been progressing with my recovery on the main forum board, however I am eager to find as much guidance as possible to enable my recovery and, as I am NOT able to go to f2f meetings because of ill health and no group being in my area I am managing with the resources that have been directed to me to date.

I have worked through Steps 1, 2, and 3. In fact had no problems with them.

Step 1
I accept that I am powerless - and in my case the two I am working with is alcohol and my daughter. Period.
Step2
I absolutely believe that there is a Higher Power - for me that is GOD - greater than myself who can restore me to sanity. Period.
Step3
I have made the decision - years and years ago and kept to it - to turn my will and my life to the care of GOD (for me there is only one understanding, but I am not preaching here I just want to let you know that my faith is deep, tested and found to be strong.) So here I am.
Step 4
I have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself, with the aid of my Sponsor, and have begun to work through some of the things that I have identified as needing to be changed in me.


What is surprising though, for me, is that I have found that I am observing more strength in myself that I would ever have thought I had or given myself credit for. And, what is more amazing is that I have not seen the illusion that had been built up in front of myself until I started that inventory.

I am not afraid to look at myself in the mirror, I am not afraid to address issues that have become a problem, and I am not afraid of admitting that I need to change something in myself.

I feel, I know that I have lost everything that I held dear in my life to this dreadful disease of my A's so that now I have nothing left to lose and everything to gain.

I am in a win/win situation and therefore I am free to face the steps with total honesty and strength that will not fail me.

I am so totally honoured to have found this forum and to have a family of support and care for the first time in my life that I do not want to waste any of it, and I will do whatever it take to gain QUALITY of life for the rest of my life.

So I want to encourage others to not be afraid to work this Step. It is beautiful to find ones true SELF, AND WORK ON IT and walk towards recovery and wholeness of mind body and spirit.

We only walk this way once, and so walking with confidence towards a brighter future seems common sense and fulfilling. That does not mean that we will not stumble, but hey we no longer need worry about the fall, we will be cushioned and cared for and helped and supported.

I am sure I will have questions on the way, I am just letting you know where I am at, right now.

Thank you for letting me share this with you.

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Dot


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Hi Serenity - Thank you for a great share. Yes learning about ourselves seems to give us a courage and in time serenity to handle anything that life gives us - with the help of our Higher Power.

I'm in the process of using 1, 2 & 3 regarding my health. I'm going to have a 4th surgery on my neck and I find it necessary to reinforce these 3 Steps. I can do nothing about what my body is doing - My Higher Power can give me the courage I need - and daily I need to remind myself that My Higher Power can take care of me if I get out of the way and let him.

Welcome to this board - looking forward to hearing more from you.

Love in recovery - Dot


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Firstly, Good morning Dot

Had five lots of surgery in four years myself so can empathize there, will - if that is okay with you - keep you in my thoughts and prayers regarding your neck surgery. And, what's more awaiting more. On two consultants waiting lists for two different problems. Soooo identify where you are.

QUESTION:
My sponsor told me to do two lists: Good/Bad traits in order to do my searching, moral inventory. I found this really difficult to do and got mixed up with traits, characteristics, perceptions and the rest.

In the end I found I did manage something of sorts and we have identified fear is a real problem for me.

How would you suggest going about a searching, moral inventory?



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Fear is a big one for me too. Which came as a surprise to me.
and anger
I don't think theres a right or a wrong way to do step 4. Mine is taking AGES as I shared earlier.
I'm using the blueprint for progress with my sponsor. A very good tool.
Also I'm writing a life history....which I have to read to my sponsor when finished .... preparation for step 5 .....its been REALLY difficult to do and be focused on the bad times again ....Things I would rather blank out and forget about....And is going to be difficult to read because I've already done over 30 pages !!!! Its turning into a novel. Didn't know I had so much to write biggrin
mon

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iddm
Dot


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Good morning - yes do keep me in your prayers - got my surgery date yesterday - march 21.

I usually suggest the Blueprint to any that I sponsor. I felt it helped me to recognize good traits as well as the ones that gave me trouble. It helped me to start feeling just a little good about myself when I really needed to - to feel that there was hope that it was possible to change my life.

Love and hugs - Dot

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Not been too well, and so I have not been on this board for some days. However, here I am again. Good evening everyone.

Dot, got your date down in my diary and will be praying for you and the surgeons, on that date. Do let us know how you get on. I know you will probably be away from here for a while until you feel strong again, but I will keep on praying for your recovery too.

Anyway, to business.

Would you believe it, I managed to secure myself a copy of Blueprint for Progress just today?
So it is TRAITS THAT I NEED TO RECOGNISE AND ADDRESS IN MY FOURTH STEP? The book is being sent to me via the snail mail as I am not able to get out much at present.

I will take a look at it and then come back here.

Thank you everyone.
Serenity

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Dot


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Hi will be looking forward to your thoughts after you.ve looked Blueprint over. Thank you for your good wishes.
Love and hugs - Dot

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so is it possible to do the blueprint together on here at all. I was just thinking it might re inforce what I'm doing with my sponsor?

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iddm


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Hi Dot, Iddm
Hope you are both doing well.

I got the Blueprint.

Wow! It is great. So well laid out and I love that it explains things and gives references to other material and then sets out the approaches so clearly.

Worked through honesty, self-worth and fear however, struggling with the anger.

What I did find was the the end paragraph of each trait labelled Findings really brought together the whys wherefores and how to proceed together.

Now I feel that I am beginning to understand the approach and the way to work through the rest of the Blueprint. I also see that it will take time to do this properly and thoroughly. I can see that I will need to go back again and again to address different areas in my life that have been affected as it is quite impossible to do this all in one go.

I am finding that I am looking a some of the problem areas that I have identified with my Sponsor and that I am rationalising these out, working through the Step 4 process and moving through to the Step 5 quite comfortably because I have worked through them one by one and gently.

So, now I am looking forward to your Step 5 instruction DOT. I have my notebook by my side with the ones I have completed in Step 4 and know that I will be going back and forth as I progress the areas of concern and work Step 4 with them.

This is how I am approaching the exercise, however I am not advocating that everyone should do this. It is working for me, Alleulia!

So lead on (mac)D(uff)ot, I see that knowing how to proceed with Step 5 with now help me ensure that I have completed the forth step fully.

I am so looking forward to this and I am excited into the bargain and no longer FEARFUL of it. You know, it is now nearly 30 years that I have been struggling in the dark, a lost soul, with no direction, no support, no groups, no al-anon available, WOW, now my God is so filling my life with the tools for my long awaited recovery. Better late than never.

Look forward to hearing from you Dot, and your feedback on my progression.

Serenity.

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Hi Dot and everyone, wow some really great shares full of growth. I didn't realize at first that we are supposed to look at our positive traits ! that's what makes it fearless. Alcoholics/other sick people often try to hurt us by telling us we are being 'tight' . Because we can't be all things. In the programme we learn that this is about their illness. And then go on our own path of developing our best qualities and making choices about our situation. This can also lessen the fear. And of course having 'waltzed' through the steps you find that it never really ends, there's always more good and bad stuff to turn over. It seems to happen in some kind of order as if HP mapped it out for us. We listen to HP of choice instead of people-pleasing.

Good luck with the operation Dot and look forward to reading again with you soon. Good to see so many new regulars here too !


From: How Al-Anon Works - pg. 52  (copyright 1995, by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.  Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

" It is often suggested that we begin our inventory by concentrating exclusively on our character assets, our positive traits. Most of us are accustomed to finding fault with ourselves, and we overlook or negate the fact that we really are terrific, caring people at heart. That's why it is imperative to take the time to search out and identify all that is commendable about ourselves. By acknowledging our strengths, we can use them as the basis for the new life we are creating for ourselves. And once we have acknowledged our positive attributes, laudable characteristics, and special talents, we can better maintain some objectivity as we delve  into the not-so-desirable areas of our behaviour and attitudes. "

llol Vickyr x

sing.gif




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Regarding Step 4 A.A.

Hi my names Blessed and I am a Recovering Alcoholic, ACA, Sinner that still struggles with her flesh each and everyday of my life. But the blessing is that today I have LOVE, HOPE, FAITH, JOY, KINDNESS, PATIENCE, PERSERVERENCE, and I am getting better at the SELF-CONTROL.

I just wanted to say Thanks for everyones share.

Then I wanted to share about Step 4. When I did my first Step 4 many moons back. I wrote it like a book. I had so much inside me that was sick, full of hate, lies, hurts, anger, pain, immorality, lust, selfishness, self-centeredness. The only way I was going to get through the Steps were for me to be totally honest and write about every DIRTY SECRET I had. To TRUST the SPonsor I had with what I said. Come to find out nothing bothered her, she had been through many of the same things.

For me to share every DIRTY SECRET in Step 5 with my then Sponsor and know that I am FORGIVEN by GOD is how I have not picked up a drink in 14 years. Otherwise forget about it! I couldn't have gotten through the rest of steps. I had to make many ammends. Those to my Parent's were healing. I wrote letters to some, some I prayed over and never mailed, some I just prayed for them.

I have to remember that it is about me and my Recovery. "PERIOD." I have since done several 4th steps with other Sponsors. It isn't the boogy man inside the Steps it is freedom, forgiveness, and a new way of life. Be HONEST and allow GOD to have your entire life. It is Amazing Grace just like the Old Christian song.

Thanks for letting me share,

Blessed

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Step Four - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

From: Al-Anon Works - pg. 52 (copyright 1995, by Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Limited use by express written permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.)

Dear Dot,
Again, thank u 4 setting us up here with the proper, to source credits :)

A happy lil idea you have given us earlier here is to dance or to sing our
ways thru these steps. Thank you for the breath of fresh air re processing
these deep and soul searching processes. So on I go with the same idea
and / or spirit of joy to this step.. Nevertheless, the freeing concept is
going to be a life long measure to ease me thru the steps and traditions
forevermore, and as music is now recognized as a form of therapy -- who
knew.

This step is either dedicated to garth brooks boot scoot boogey or there
is a tune pink sings titled who knew. I think.. I'm favoring the pink tune and
to combo that with the boot scoot dance step I think -- now for the step four
of it, to have made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself is
tied over to the slogan tool going around in certain circles on the use
of the hulahoop -- what is inside the hoop is my business and not the
business of a thing outside my hoop. Could reality find me taking some
one else's inventory, I've lost the race to me then due to my hands
being full of the other's inventory I've imagined as real -- and to not
have made my self inventory shift away from me once again. I recall
the early days of program the slogan of if the steps are not done correctly
I will have to do them again. With out the burden of that kind of idea
as gospel, I know now this is a lifelong program. And one that at
times offers me a hand to remember a life event shaded by a thinking
needs the first step tool for me to use -- again -- to help me with a
blessing to ensure my serenity.

In fact, to repeat these steps as needed is a gift from my h.p. given
back to me to give away to other's that we all can grow together. My
fourth step is my gift to myself and I do look forward to doing this
step singing and dancing to its refrain when I'm one hundred years
old just like I've never done it before -- lol
namaste~
getoverit

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My unconcious is accessible to me by looking at the resutls of my actions. That is what step four is about for me. By reviewing my past and answering, as honestly as I can, a series of questions, I learn about me.

I am skilled at being critical of myself so it was important for me to have alot of contact with my sponsor during the period I worked this step, and it was important to go slow.

I first heard in alanon, insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Step four contained a fair amount of insanity for me. Putting it down on paper, having to write it myself and read it myself, is a big part of the process. As I've had time I realize I have different levels of honesty as well. I'm familiar with people redoing this step after they have been in the program awhile.

For me this step was not intimidating. It was right down my alley, since I pretty much do it alot anyways. The difference, the reason this step was not about me condemning myself even more than I already am inclined to do, was in attitude.

My sponsor was able to communicate to me how he learned the program, and it was soft, and expansive, and kind. Attention to past events is useful for highlighting the areas I felt and continue to feel challenged. But with kindness and patience and acceptance and forgiveness, some unfolding occured.

Please rely on your sponsor when doign this step, and if you have a sponsor who is giving advice or in any way impatient, please get a new sponsor. I've had three myself. This program is about the individual. Valuing the individual essence of each uniqely wonderful person is healing. Only love has the capacity to hold it all.

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