- Where do you start with Step 4

Where do you start with Step 4




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Re: Where do you start with Step 4

Postby Jim W » Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:00 pm

EileenUK wrote:Taken 4 Days off from work got the work sheets down loaded and the Pen as has been suggested, Big Book and Hazelden work books.
Where do you start from when you were a kid then onwards or from now back wards or from family outwords ? Any help would be appreciated. I am 6 months sober from the UK. Many thanks :?: :?



Well, to begin with I'd toss the Hazelden workbook.

Do you have a sponsor that has tahen the steps as outlined in The Big Book?
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Postby DiggerinVA » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:18 am

The Authors of the Big Book wrote:

Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. One object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

We did exactly the same thing with our lives. We took stock honestly. First, we searched out the flaws in our make-up which caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations.


To start with look at the definition of the term Commercial inventory. The authors call it fact finding.

Fact finding is both good and bad. I.E. Assets and Liabilities.

I agree he is most concerned about the damaged goods and spends allot of time showing how things you may take as good are really bad. Still facts are facts. In the story "He sold himself short" While talking about his Moral inventory he points out that Dr Bob talked about the bad stuff, which tells me they talked about both. But even skidrow drunks or dead drunks (like my Grandfather, who drank himself to death in his 30's) have redeeming social values and as facts are not ignored. But most importantly the simple nature of the word inventory.

Now Dallas you agreed that the Daily Moral Inventory provided by Akron is good for step 10. I would think the the word used "Continue" would convey that we used it before. As in "Continue to take personal inventory"

Now for step Three. I'm not sure about you but I have self will even today. For example I could walk into the local liquor store and buy a bottle of Old Crow and down it. I have that choice daily just as I have the choice of becoming closer to my Higher Power maintaining my Spiritual Fitness. Noe the "How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done." takes in the essence of the Third Step Prayer. Also it is directing me to do so daily at this point.

Excuse me I will fill in more later I have a fever do to a abscessed tooth and it comes out Tuesday (I can not wait). I hope this made some sense. I will vote sloth now.
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Postby Dallas » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:22 am

Sorry to hear about your tooth... that's got to be painful! I know. I had one once! I hope you feel better soon.

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Postby GeoffS » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:15 am

Hey Dallas, when someone lets you know where the good stuff goes in step 4 can you let me know too please. I'd hate to think I'd been missing something when I've taken sponsees through it like it says in the BB.

I was taught that if you make the decision in step 3, you then embark on a vigorous course of action to make it happen (steps 4-9). Somedays I take my will back, and when I get in a mess step 10 helps me sort my mess out and get back to trying to make my original decision keep happening. No new decision, I did that already.
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Postby DiggerinVA » Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:15 pm

Simple use the spreadsheet. Assets on one side and Liability's on the other.

Then the three column is the analysis portion of the inventory. When you decide what goes where. As Dr Bob said "Keep it simple"

Stuff in the middle. Mark A for asset and L for Liability and a X for an amend.


In step seven you give them both to God (also whatever else God wants to take) who gives back what you need.
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Postby GeoffS » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:26 am

Where does it say this in the big book?

L's X's A's?

But if it works for you then ok, go to it!
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Postby DiggerinVA » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:17 am

GeoffS wrote:Where does it say this in the big book?

L's X's A's?

But if it works for you then ok, go to it!


It really does not need to spell it out. It states Commercial Inventory which it describes as a fact finding mission. Assets and Liabilities are always a part of a successful commercial inventory. I did 32 with a major retail chain and worked a couple of years with a CPA. This is how the writers of the Big Book described it on Page 64, now page 65 is the analysis. That is where you find out if it is an asset or a liability.

Now remember that every thing in the Big Book has gone before it. It works even if it is not written. The Oxford Group called this section Step 2 or sharing. It could be done verbally. Question what do you do with a person who cannot read? Answer talk it out.

I believe God really wants us to make a good effort to discover who we actually are and share with another human.
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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:15 am

So, Step 4, is a Commercial Inventory?

I believe the reasons are many -- that those that became AA's made a clean break with the Oxford Groups, and those that wanted to hang on to the Oxford Groups, stayed with the Oxford Groups, and made a clean break with A.A.

This is why the section of stories in the back of the Big Book is a section for "Pioneers"... these were the one's that got sober while involved with the Oxford Groups, but they became AA's.

The reason they referred to them as "Pioneers" was, that's what they were: Pioneers. Pioneering, with experimentation, what was to eventually become the recovery program of AA.

When the Pioneering Phase, and exploration and experimentation phase were over... the AA program was written down and the Big Book was published, giving "clear, precise, written instructions" regarding "How it works."

I've helped a few AA's that couldn't read or write... to do a written inventory. The BB, does clearly instruct it to be in writing, using a pen and paper (not a spread sheet and not typed)... and gets so specific as to instruct to use "black ink."

In my BB, on page 59, it is written for the 4th Step:

Step 4: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."

Maybe, it's a newer edition that I haven't read, that reads:

Step 4: "Took a Commercial Inventory and listed my assets and liabilities."

Bill, referred to a business and a commercial inventory... simply to seque into the idea of making a list AND a written list... not just a mental list. He was starting to introduce a "new idea" to "new people" that had never heard of the Steps or the Oxford Groups... people that never even dreamed of going to an AA meeting. It was purely Mail Order Sobriety being introduced.

EVERY reference that I've read in the BB regarding what became our "AA 4th Step" refers to it as a "list." "They made a list" They wrote it down. Then, they talked about it. (Step 5). In Step 10, they continued writing it down like they were instructed in Step 4 -- that was for part of the Step 10 Inventory that refers to "continued to watch"... and it doesn't refer to any assets to continue to "watch" for.... just the liabilities... and to get rid of them and deal with them promply.

There is a NEW concept introduced in the 10th Step Inventory, and it's a new list... for the 10th Step and also the 11th Step... (that very seldom gets discussed).


Best regards,

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Postby DiggerinVA » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:27 am

The words Commercial Inventory were quoted from the instructions on how to take a personal inventory. (page 76 in the 1st edition and page 64 in 2-4) They say what they say. I find I'm best to not invent things.
Peace.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:00 am

Hey Digger, how's your tooth? Did you see the doc today and get it fixed? I hope so! Wishing you the best! I had to see some of my eye docs today, and as I was there, I thought of you and your tooth problem... and I was hoping that you were having a better time than I was in the doc's office! Whenever I thought of how much they were hurting my eye probing and digging in it... I thought... "Well, I'll bet my pain is nothing compared to what Digger is going through!" :wink:

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