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Post Info TOPIC: ALANON Step 4 ( 4-17-2017)


Guru

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ALANON Step 4 ( 4-17-2017)


Step Four

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

C2C page 333; "my life is in a constant state of change. Awareness allows me to keep pace with the change. Only by knowing the person I am can I create the person I want to become .  "Each man must look to himself to teaching the meaning of life. It is not something discovered it is something molded."

My share

As I have stated previously, Step Four was indeed terrifying to me.  I was afraid to look within because I thought I would find that what my family said about me was true. I thought that I was selfish, uncaring, judgmental and filled with anger and resentment .  Deep down I knew that this was true. and, I thought that  was "who I was"  and  I had no way of changing these attitudes.

I had often attempted to replace my negative attitudes with positive self talk, and had failed. I thought that this negative attitude were my "True Self" and that I could not change.

Thank goodness for sponsors!. My sponsor explained that these were learned attitudes  that I have developed in order to protect myself and not be vulnerable .

As a Child , I determined that  all Al my positive attributes could hurt me and that the best thing I could do was to cover them up with the negative destructive behavior and attitudes.  The steps gave me permission to look inward, identify my negative attitudes , see how they were hurting me and then become willing to change and let them go. If I let go of my negative attitudes, then the that the compassion, love, empathy, generosity and joy which were buried deep within could be felt and  expressed in my life.  That sounded intriguing and was certainly an incentive to begin to work this step.

  My sponsor also pointed out that Al-Anon is a self acceptance program and not a self improvement one.  Once we look at ourselves and see how some of our attitudes are hurting us , we can become ready to let them go. So that new and constructive feelings and attitudes and move in.

I am so grateful for this important step.  I do believe it was the first time I accepted my humanity.

 Step 4 questions

Have you identified any old beliefs or any feelings from the past?

2. Have you already done a Fourth Step?

Do you feel up-to-date with feelings and issues?

3. You may want to set a reasonable goal for doing this Step. You can write your goal down and give yourself as much time as you want. For instance, "I want to do a Fourth Step in the next eighteen months." Or, "I want to do the Fourth Step in the next three weeks."

4. Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

 

4.  In the past week, have you treated yourself or another person badly? 

You may want to choose someone safe and trusted and tell that person what you have done.  Then tell God.

Good Luck



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Betty


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Thank you for the 4th Step, Betty!

In my constant fear or not being good enough, I was nervous about what I would discover in step 4. But, I found that knowing who I was and how I was acting was important so I could make positive changes as I needed to.

1. Have you identified any old beliefs or any feelings from the past?

Yes, I feel as though I am not doing enough or being my best self the majority of the time. "You can do better, try harder" is something that plays through my head most of the time, especially when something is not going according to plan. I am pretty sure that I do not fit in, and that, for the majority of people I come in contact with, that I am not likable. I expect them to be semi-pleasant to my face, and ruthless behind my back.

2. Have you already done a Fourth Step?

I have done a 4th step once before.

3. Do you feel up-to-date with feelings and issues?

I feel as though I avoid my feelings much of the time. I actually need to set aside time to think about how I am feeling. But, knowing that, I believe I am more in touch with how I am feeling.

4. You may want to set a reasonable goal for doing this Step. You can write your goal down and give yourself as much time as you want. For instance, "I want to do a Fourth Step in the next eighteen months." Or, "I want to do the Fourth Step in the next three weeks."

I think that the next three weeks is a realistic time-frame for me. That will give me the opportunity to reflect on things as I walk through different spaces in my life.

5. Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

I do feel blocked at home. Still afraid to upset the apple cart, it seems. I feel as though I can never relax or let my guard down, least something come out wrong and cause a major disagreement.

6. Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?

Yes. I need to be confident in my ability to say "Why are you doing this right now? What do you hope to get out of this? I need .... and so whatever you are trying to achieve right now is not going to happen."


7. In the past week, have you treated yourself or another person badly?

Myself, yes. I still put my needs and desires on the back burner or neglect them so that I can cater to whatever whim AW has at the moment. I am not standing up for myself and my needs out of fear of a negative reaction or anger, and I am not caring for myself. I think this is also enabling my AW to not progress in her recovery. She doesn't need me to contradict her opinions and beliefs, but I should not buy into the excuses, either. And, since I feel as though I am always on guard, sometimes I slip, and say something that is more harsh-sounding than it might otherwise have been.

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Guru

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((Skorpi)) thank you for your honesty and clarity regarding this important Step. It is evident that your dedication to recovery and faith in your program are providing you with the courage that is necessary to look within and grow.
I am glad that we are shering this journey.


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Betty


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In working a 4th step, I hope to find an increasing freedom in my being in the world. I used negativity from childhood days because it it got me attention, even if that attention was negative. I also have spent so much time and energy constructing boundaries in my life, so people, places and things would not interfere with what I thought should be happening, or with who I thought I should be.

1. Have you identified any old beliefs and feelings from the past?

Yes. Too many. My negativity and criticisms have prevented me from enjoying any aspect of life fully, particularly work, and anything that involves commitment from me. Fear has been a primary way of functioning, which has prevented free-flowing love, and joy. I have been afraid for a lot of my life, out of a sense of insecurity and shifting sands from childhood, a feeling that neither I nor anything I did was good enough. I can relate to 53 character defects, and am trying to balance these with realising my assets also.

2. Have you already done a fourth step?

No.

3. Do you feel up to date with issues and feelings?

I am working on these, though I feel things have already improved through working the first 3 steps. The issues and feelings I am working on are fear, a tendency to obsession, withdrawal and depression.

4. A reasonable goal for me would be to do this step in the next 2 months.

5. Do you feel blocked in any area of your life?

At the moment things are flowing more easily than before I started working the steps. If anything, there is a block for me when it comes to relationships, and my obsession around particular people.

6. It would be useful to do a fourth step on this area. There are things here I need to work through and try and let go of.

7. In the past week, have you treated yourself or another person badly?

For now, I mis-treat myself by giving too much head-space to particular individuals that my thoughts tend to obsess around. This does me no good, and prevents me from focusing on my own life, and my own well-being. Perhaps I also mis-treat others, then, by not being honest with them face-to-face.

Thank you Betty for this opportunity.

 



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Guru

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Hello Midnight Jane Thank you for sharing with such honesty on this important step. I have found that my recovery became solidified with the Steps and appreciate your sharing the journey.

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Betty


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Date:

Thank you very much, Betty, for presenting Step 4, and to you, Skorpi and MJ for sharing your ESH.

This is my second formal work on this Step, my first after working through the Blueprint for Progress workbook.

For this time, I reviewed my first effort for changes in myself or feelings, noting the changes in my life since that work. I see that my assessments of my positive qualities held pretty constant, and am grateful to see improvement in the areas I identified for improvement: fear, tolerance for differing opinions and personalities, and reaching out to others for fellowship and assistance.

I tried to leave no stone unturned on my first effort, so I did not find much new in the areas of needed work. I did, however, determine to follow up on something that I mentioned in my first inventory.

Due to my efforts to be honest with myself and others, along with witnessing the pain that alcohol was causing in my own home and for those of the fellowship, I noted in my first inventory some concern about my own use of alcohol. This moved me to a recent decision to work on this area formally on the other side of the program.

This is the biggest change for me since I came into AlAnon. I believe my work here helped pave the way for me to accept responsibility to continue improving my attitudes, actions, and spirituality in the areas I can control, while also being honest about what I cannot.

This step is very powerful and I am very grateful for the guidance of the program that continues to point me in the direction of needed improvement and also to the inspiration and strength necessary to engage it

************************

1. Have you identified any old beliefs or any feelings from the past?
I did. I have endeavored to regularly perform inventory to identify areas of strength and gratitude as well as areas for improvement. During a recent review I decided that my own drinking was an area I noted previously as a concern was something wanted to address formally.

2. Have you already done a Fourth Step? Do you feel up-to-date with feelings and issues?
Yes, and most areas of gratitude have remained and strengthened, and areas of concern have shown improvement with the increased focus of program work.

3. You may want to set a reasonable goal for doing this Step. You can write your goal down and give yourself as much time as you want. For instance, "I want to do a Fourth Step in the next eighteen months." Or, "I want to do the Fourth Step in the next three weeks."
For me, this time benefitted from the thorough effort I put in previously, so I benefitted from a review and comparison. This process allowed me to identify my current, much needed focus area.

4. Do you feel blocked in any area of your life? Do you think it might be helpful to do a Fourth Step on that area?
I had been, and I determined I needed more than a Fourth Step effort toward it, I needed to work it from complete set of Steps and separate program.

5. In the past week, have you treated yourself or another person badly? You may want to choose someone safe and trusted and tell that person what you have done. Then tell God.
I still struggle with my impatience with others, though I have made good progress in overcoming my tendency to feel I know best for others. I do work hard to admit to others when I am wrong or have overstepped, and take it up with my hp.


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Hi Paul Thanks for your honesty and clarity. After working this Step several times and becoming honest with myself, I decided that although my own drinking was not the same as my alcoholic partner, that I could also go over board from time to time and so I decided ot stop all alcohol consumption. That was over 30 years ago and I am so pleased that these Steps uncovered this hidden defect.
I am pleassed to be sharing the journey with you.


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Betty


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I have been putting off formal step 4 work for some time in the program (years), I am embarrassed by that but ok with that at the same time.. It's definitely given me some serious time to get my head around step 1 to 3, which I feel in a pretty good place about now.
So why the delay...
Fear.. Not wanting to look at myself.. Resentment (old stinking thinking .. Why do I have to do this .. There's nothing wrong with me etc etc .. ) believing I am right always ! , self esteem , denial .. The list goes on ..
But here I am ...

1. Yes lots , very much feel I am back there at the moment (pre alanon ).
Wanting people to see things my way
Wanting to control people
Obsessing constantly about other peoples behaviour
A need for justice
Fear of the future
Projecting
Fear generally
Guilt
Not feeling present
People pleasing

2. Not formally , although I have done work around the fourth step over the years

3. I would like to get this step done in the next few weeks

4. And 5 Yes completely . I have realised recently that my resistance to the fourth step is holding me back in my recovery as I see old patterns of behaviour resurface

6 yes I treat myself badly by people pleasing and not saying what I mean , yes I am irratble and frustrated and this comes out in negative ways to people. I have started judging others again what they do and say etc forgetting it's none of my business.

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Guru

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Date:

Great share Faith. I appreciate your honesty and acceptance.
Remember that alanon is a self acceptance program so that what we l uncover in this step may point out destructive(to our selves) attitudes that are hurting our serenity and lives.
Look at the assets that are hiding under these negative attitudes as these will be your building blocks to a new response system. Thanks for sharing the journey.

__________________
Betty
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