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Old 01-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fourth Step Prayer

Dear God,

It is I who have
made my life a mess.

I have done it,
but I cannot undo it.

My mistakes are mine,
and I will begin a searching
and fearless moral inventory.

I will write down my wrongs,
but I will also include
that which is good.

I pray for the strength
to complete the task.
__________________
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being too strong for too long.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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yes, someone is reading! I am not a traditional 12 stepper. I am working a recovery program and of course, many of the same truths and 'steps' are involved. I do make use of AA related literature, etc.

I recognize that I've been up to my eyeballs in the 4th step the past several months and thought I'd come here for some insight, hints, perspectives on the same.

One of the "walls" I keep hitting with traditional AA literature etc, and with your prayer at the start of this thread has to do with my understanding of Higher Power (God).

I have one, but my relationship with it is rather different than that which most AA's seem to understand. I have no idea if this an irreconcilable difference or not.

I am a pantheist. I understand the Universe, of which I am a fully integrated part, to be my higher power. I am a function of the dynamic process which is the Universe.

My current situations and addictions are also functions of the Universe. I've gotten where I've gotten as the result of my choices and situations. I'd like to find more productive coping mechanisms, but I don't beat myself up for the choices I made that got me here, because, they kept me alive this far and well,they got me here, which is where I need to be, and truly I've been where I needed to be all along.

No apologies necessary.

I don't think it's just me that's made my life a mess, nor that my life neccessarily IS a mess. It just IS. And how can it be that (as the prayer that opens this thread states) that one is fully responsible and capable of messing up their life, but is suddenly powerless when it comes to unmessing?

That doesn't make sense to me.

I get the not being in control part, there are always parts of the puzzle over which I have no control, but there are never times when I have no choice at all. If my choices helped get me here, they can help get me out...right?

I am not arguing, I am just asking for clarification because I do want to understand and know that I cannot really work this step if I dont understand what is really being said and asked here.

If I come across as combative, I apologize, what I am is truly confused and seeking clarification
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The only things I don't have control over are the people, institutions, or principles with whom I am angry. That is why I have a resentment, I have no control.

I can't wish away a resentment. In fact the more I think about it, the worse it gets, because a resentment is an obsession that feeds on itself. That is why prayer and action are important.

The Big Book says something to the effect that so longs as I permit this stuff (resentment) to go on do I squander the hours that I could have been putting to better use. So in effect it is saying that I permit this stuff to go on and by dwelling in and harboring resentment, I am deliberately wasting the time I have been given on this planet. That implies that I do have some control here. I am the one that permits this stuff to go on and I am the one who decides that I can't do that anymore and that it is time to take positive action and get rid of this crap.

I don't believe that it matters what your conception of God is here. In fact my conception is more pantheistic than not, although I don't attempt to define it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I too do not hold with the typical "Christian" God concept. Fortunately I learned early in the program that the only thing that mattered was believing there was something out there more powerful than I. Personally, my God has very little to do with the Christian God. But I also allow others to have their Gods and beliefs as it is truly none of my business what they believe as it is not for me to judge. Whatever Higher Power they can believe in that helps then find sobriety is all that matters. The definition is irrelevant. The term God as it is used in the suggested prayer is simply referring to ones perception of a Higher Power.

Thanks for the perspective as I believe it needed to be clarified.
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Thereshold-Your 'concept' of a HP is not uncommon and nither does it really matter how you percieve it-its only a concept, we are not looking for grand truths here the point is the steps will allow you to experience this power! The concept is just a vehicle if you like that allows you to swollow the idea of 'god'! However resentments/fears, selfishness and guilt will block you from this so taking an inventory is the start of unblocking yourself-so in short if blocked no experence of power and use/drink unblocked experience power and remain clean/sober! My experience is that step 1 and its hopelessness allowed me to let go of my deep thinking about 'god' and take the steps in order to save my life and sanity! If your unable to stop analysing things perhaps a rehash of steps 1 2 3 my help! All the best mate!
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Old 02-13-2010, 04:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nandm View Post
Dear God,

It is I who have
made my life a mess.

I have done it,
but I cannot undo it.

My mistakes are mine,
and I will begin a searching
and fearless moral inventory.

I will write down my wrongs,
but I will also include
that which is good.

I pray for the strength
to complete the task.
I like this prayer
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