A few days ago I had a long talk with my sponsor, discussing everything on my 4th step list. Deep secrets about myself. Things that now only he, as another human being, knows. I feel that I did a rigorously honest self appraisal. It felt right. Don't get me wrong, when pen hit the paper it sometimes wasn't without reservation. When I got stuck or felt my honesty being compromised, I took time out and prayed for guidance, strength and courage. It worked, it really really did work.
I was able to discuss with my sponsor details of my past that no one, not one human being, has ever heard from me. The big book states this is a intimate and confidential step. This was very true for me. I was not judged, ridiculed, corrected, or humiliated by my sponsor. He sat quietly listening, allowing me to air ALL of my dark past. I am truly thankful for that.
The Big Book says "that we pocket our pride and go to it" For me that is exactly what needed to happen, and did happen, just go to it. I illuminated every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. By taking this action, I began to really feel a sense of peace, and a weight being lifted off my shoulders.
Following our long talk I took some time to reflect on what I had done, carefully following the simple suggestions in the Big Book (page75, 76). Reviewing the first 5 "suggestions" and carefully looking at my foundation. was it sound, had I done the work so far. Once again, I found sticking to the simple directions of the Big Book was key for me.
I was then entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
I sat quietly and read the 7th step prayer. I began to weep uncontrollably. I was completely overcome with tears, sobbing my way through the prayer. I can only describe the tears as tears of humility. I have never experienced anything like this before. It was the most incredible spiritual moment I have ever had. The first line, "I am now willing that you should have all of me, GOOD and BAD" that did it for me. After airing all of these defects, wrongs and actions i'm not proud of, I was ready to have god have me, GOOD and BAD. How powerful! I really felt God watching over me.
I read the prayer several times, never making it through without sobbing. It was absolutely amazing experience.
I went to a meeting that evening and shared my experience. I once again couldn't get through it without crying like a baby. And for me, that was ok, That's the great thing about this program, I can be honest with my feelings and what is going on with me, and it's okay.
I returned home and took a late night walk under a full moon. I was overcome with this overwhelming feeling that I was not alone anymore. I felt it to my core, my soul. I was overcome with tears once again. by now, I'm probably dehydrated from crying all day!
For me, doing the work, following the simple directions in the Big Book and not trying to complicate the heck out of it, being rigorously honest with myself, with my sponsor, and with God, I was able to have a little spiritual growth. And for me, that's what it's about. Willing to grow along spiritual lines. Being honest. For once in my life I was truly honest and guess what, I survived. And as a result, I had the most amazing experience. One of my big fears is being alone, even among other, I'm always alone. (yes, I'm so unique
) After doing the work and humbly talking to God, I found myself not feeling alone. Amazing!
I really do feel like I can look the world in the eye, that my fears have begun to fall away.
It has taken me 20 years to do a rigorously honest 4th step. yes, 20 years. For me that has been my path. I would not recommend it to others however, but for whatever reasons, it has taken events in my life to get to this point, and now I'm willing and I GET to do the work! I Want to do the work.
For me now, this is a program of living, I've done the dry drunk thing for many years and it quit working, my life became unmanageable once more. I am finally ready to live.
One final note. My sponsor and I had picked 5th step meeting date a week prior and could only come up with one day that would work for both of us. Late on that day, I had a very sudden realization that that day, the day I was airing my most darkest past, was also the anniversary of my Dad's suicide, an event that has had a profound effect on me. I really feel, that however the universe works, my Dad was also by my side as I worked this simple program. What a miracle!
thanks for letting me share.