Resentments 4th "Column"

12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
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Resentments 4th "Column"

Postby Jed » Sun Sep 17, 2006 12:30 am

OK - Now I am starting my resentments 4th column and was wondering if anyone had some practical/concrete suggestions and/or examples. My sponsor doesn't have a preference of whether I should do an actual column as I did with the first three parts (vs. narrative), nor are either of us convinced that when they said "where were we selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, or frightened," they necessarily intended for us to use only those four words in describing our part/faults in our resentments. Appreciate any help.

Jim W
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Resentments 4th "Column"

Postby Jim W » Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:43 am

Hi Jed,
Since you asked, I wrote my first inventory, including the fourth column out of the book. And just about every one since. While I don't have a problem with any other format, I've found the one in the book to be the simplest. It does help to know what the terms like self-seeking, selfish, etc., mean though.

Private message me if you like, and I'd be happy to email you some material that goes along with what's in the book and helps make it clear.

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Here are the instructions

Postby Serenity » Wed Sep 20, 2006 5:44 am

If you go to the main home page of this web site there is a link to instructions for the fourth step. I used those and they were a big help.


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Postby anniemac » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:35 pm

Hi Jed,

I used those 4 terms from the BB. I wrote them down in the column. If I was unsure of my part, my sponsor helped me to connect the dots during my 5th Step. Many times all 4 words applied to a particular resentment.

What other words were you thinking of? If you go a little deeper, are those words connected to one of the 4 listed?


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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:24 am

It's been so quiet around here that I'm beginning to wonder if everyone is working on a resentments list! :oops: (If they are... I sure hope my name is not at the top of the lists!)


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Postby cinderbobble » Sun Oct 01, 2006 4:29 pm

Good mornin' there Dallas! I've been gone, back now. Yeah, I noticed how quiet it gets here. Did somebody say 'let's have a moment of silence?' If so, maybe it's time to say the serenity prayer! :lol:

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Postby Dallas » Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:29 am

Hey Cinder

I guess I can open my eyes now? :lol:

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4th column conundrum

Postby Finally » Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:25 pm

So I was going to start the 4th column in my resentments and my sponsor had told me to hang tight until he was able to give me some direction. He said to picture each of the individuals on their deathbed and pray for them. The part in the big book on page 552 (4th ed.) about praying for each of the people I resent and I will be free. So I prayed for each person then wrote the 4th column. It was going fine, I was praying for each and every resentment until I hit child molestors. Even though it does mention that even if I don't really want to and my prayers are only words and that I don't mean them to pray for them anyways.. So I tried.. Then I pictured my daughter being the victim of one and I got sick to my stomach that I was praying for health, happiness and prosperity for them. How does one get over the guilt of that? I had a friend say that who am I to judge and individuals transgressions? Am I God? Certainly not... I know this but subconciously this revulsion creeps up on me and I find myself building up a resentment towards step 4 for making me do this. This may not make a lot of sense when anyone reads this but this really got to me and I am a touch emotional about it.

If anyone has anything to help me out with this part that would be much appreciated.

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Postby Dallas » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:47 pm

Hello Finally,

I think I understand your pain and conflict.

Sometimes, I begin to wonder... if new ideas, new methods, and new techniques... kind of mess us up in regards to taking the 12 Steps, and what they will do for us when we take them.

What I mean by new ideas.... sometimes, people will grab on to information in stories in the back of the book... that didn't find their way into the book... until many years after the Big Book was originally published. There is probably no harm in the new ideas... unless we begin to mix them with the original ideas (as a replacement for the original ideas)... and sometimes, it makes a real mess of things. This is precisely the reason that I prefer to stay with the format of taking all 12 Steps using the instructions within the first section of the book, including the Dr.'s Opinion.

I don't want to cause any problems for you... or your sponsor... but, I would suggest that you ask your sponsor to show you where.... what he is suggesting that you do... is included in the instructions for taking the 4th Step.

And, because my life depends and depended on the A.A. Program of Recovery, I would not be afraid to ask my sponsor IF he followed the instructions in the book when he took his 12 Steps....

If he didn't.... follow the instructions in the book when he took his 12 Steps... "what" program is he passing on to me? Is it his own program? If it was his own program... I would want to see how successful the results are compared to A.A.'s Program of Recovery.

I believe that these are legitimate questions that people need to ask their sponsors and that sponsors should take no offence to answering the questions. It's part of being "Responsible." And, it's one of the vital reasons that each of us... have a responsibility to read and study the Big Book.

The instructions for taking Step 4, begin on page 63, bottom of page... and end on page 71.

I highly suggest using the precise... clearly written specific instructions in the Big Book, for completing each of the 12 Steps.

I would also suggest a re-read of pages 58 through page 60... ending with the sentence "Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?"

"Just what we mean by that, and just what do we do" is a major theme and the primary reason for using the instructions as they are presented in the Big Book.

Now... look on the very first page of the Dr.'s Opinion... (page xxiii in my book)... In the very first sentence... it states "the plan of recovery described in this book." (Interesting note: A lot of the stories now in the book, with a lot of different ideas.... were not in the original book, when that statement was written).

The stories in the back of the book... is much like the sharing in A.A. meetings. It's good for it's purpose... but it's purpose is not to instruct. The (first section of the) Big Book is the instructions for the "plan of recovery described in this book." This idea is reiterated throughout each of the Prefaces for all 4 Editions of the Big Book.

In a spirit of unity, fellowship, and only a desire to be helpful.


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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:30 am

While driving to my 8 p.m. meeting... I was thinking about my post above this one.

I doubt many other people do this... but, I was getting all over myself asking me... "Dallas, couldn't you have worded that message better? Maybe you could have come up with a more constructive and positive way of saying what you said? And, then... maybe not have hurt someone's feelings or offended anyone."

In all reality... I'm sure that I could have said it differently... and I could go back and use the delete button... and just get rid of it entirely... but, as I sit here contemplating those ideas... maybe then, I'd be kicking my butt about me trying to play God and control the outcome of my actions.

I guess the great fact for me is... I'll never know if it was my own character defects... my communication skills... or... if on the other hand... maybe a God as I understand Him, wanted me to write the message just like I wrote it. :roll:

This is a prime example for me... of "why" I like to stick as close to my understanding of the instructions in the Big Book.... (sticking with the black on the white) , in regards to trying to help another alcoholic in taking the 12 Steps.

If I stick as close as I can... to the book's instructions... I don't have to second guess myself or anything else. Kind of like... follow the recipe... and let the chips fall where they fall... and if I don't try to influence the results... I can often trust that it might have been God's will for the moment.

At least I feel better that I tagged the previous message with this one... and if someone is offended by the one before this one... they'll read this one too and understand that if I offended you or anyone else... I'm sorry for that, and I certainly would not intend to offend!

I'm not trying to be apologetic... just trying to do and be the best that I can. Kind of like 10th Step effort? :wink:


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