Hi all, here goes. I'll try to run through a step 4 using examples and illustrations of how I've been taken through it, and how I take others through it. I like to try to stick to the instructions in the big book.
Step 4 gets a lot of people nervous in AA when they are coming to do it. The first thing I had to know about doing step 4 was that I needed to have grasped steps 1-3 first. If step 4 gets too much, then maybe I had not digested 1-3. How did I know I was ready? My sponsor (who has way more experience in these things than me) said I was.
We read the next section of the BB from the last couple of lines on page 63-"Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action"- that suggested to me that I start step 4 right after 3, not next month, not next year, now. The BB lays out what we need to do in Step 4 from page 63-71.
Step 4 is a strenuous effort to face and be rid of the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
In step 4 it is suggested we carry out our moral inventory in 4 columns. We complete each column in turn, we do not enter anything in the second column until we are sure we have completed column 1.
In column 1 we list all the people, institutions or principles we were angry with. Currently or re-curringly angry with. Not things we remember we were once angered with. This is about our stock in trade. We need to list the things that make us feel the anger again as we think them over. Thats what resentment means...to re-feel. When we were happy we knew the things that we were looking for, we understood the instructions in the BB, and had discussed it and asked our sponsor any questions we picked up a pen and paper and began to write:
I'll make a list of examples here under the column 1 heading: these are just that, examples they are not real, so don't ask details!! Hopefully they cover the many types of resentments we find within ourselves.
Please feel free to make any points where I have missed out anything above. Please make any comments you like, or ask any questions. Questions are always good, and there are no daft ones. Hopefully the questions can be answered by one of the members here. I'll come back and add column 2 in a couple of days when people have had a chance to read.
Ok column 1. People and things I re-feel anger about/with:
The tax office
My former boss
My current partner
The men who burgled my house