Best Step 4 Explanation Ever!

As I finished writing about Step 3, it naturally led to thinking about Step 4. I have worked Step 4 more times than I can remember. For many years, I was one of those who found working that step agonizing, and I know I’m not alone.
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Step 3 is the Doorway to Recovery

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

On paper, taking Step 3 seems quite esoteric. How, exactly, do we turn our will and lives over? It’s simple. If you believe that the path to recovery is in the Steps, turning our will and lives over to this Higher Power means to follow the instructions for Steps 4-12. So the decision we make in Step 3 is essentially a contract to work the remaining steps. Continue reading

Principles of DA

In addition to the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, did you know that there are 12 principles of our program? These were developed by various members of Alcoholics Anonymous and provide a guidepost for practicing the opposite of your defects.
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Step 4 Gets Easier with Time…

I have just finished yet another complete and formal 4th step (“Made a Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory of Ourselves”). This is my second in DA H.O.W., and I cannot even remember how many I’ve done in the 27 years I’ve been in recovery in total.
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About Fear

Fear rules my life too often. I am working on this defect, but it still has quite a hold on me. On page 113 in “A Program for You: A Guide to the Big Book’s Design for Living” (Chapter 14 – Outgrowing Fear), it states, “First, if you want some peace of mind, some serenity, and some happiness, you’re going to have to change. Second, the one and only thing that prevents you, or anyone else, from changing, is fear.”
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Forgiveness is the other side of resentment. But what about when we say that we forgive, but we don’t forget?

I don’t really see how I can forgive without forgetting. If I keep remembering, then I stoke the flames of resentment. On the other hand, if someone is toxic for us to be around, we MUST remember so as not to fall prey to becoming involved again. In that case, maybe the remembering must be hand-in-hand with compassion and we simply take the right action of distance from the person. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we have to keep someone in our life. it means that we are relieved of the albatross of resentment and time we spend ruminating on the past.
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More about Resentments

The Big Book says, on page 64, “Resentment is the “number one” offender.” Though I wrote one post about resentment already, I feel there is so much more to say about this subject and recently, have been hearing from others about how resentment affects their life in recovery as well.
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4th Step Tips

I’m in the middle of yet another 4th step inventory. I’ve done them in many different ways. So today, I just want to give you some tips from my own experience. The most profound lesson I learned about doing my inventory was from the Joe and Charlie AA workshop (you can listen to the entire workshop for free on the fabulous XA-Speakers website). I went somewhere around 1997 or 1998, which is around the time of these recordings.
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Resentment & Forgiveness

I have been in 12 step programs since 1985. I have over 20 years sober from alcohol, 14.5 years back to back abstinence from compulsive eating, and 3.5 years back to back abstinence from compulsive debting and spending.
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