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4th step question????

Old 02-05-2010, 05:45 PM
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4th step question????

Today is my 33rd consecutive sober day. I have been going to AA meetings and yesterday I finished reading the Big Book cover to cover, all 575 pages. I'm trying to work my way through the steps as well and I have come to Step 4 - "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves".

As I look at the Big Book and other material I have come across they focus on listing resentments and the causes and effects of those as the primary focus of the 4th step. I have racked my brain over this one and I can't think of a single person I have any resentment toward. I'm sure there are a few people with resentments toward me (and I'll deal with them in steps 8-9) but, for my part, I'm cool with everyone. I have already done a thorough examination of conscience to account for all my moral shortcomings. I listed them on a piece of paper and have come clean on those with a priest.

So my question is, am I done with Steps 4 and 5????
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:14 PM
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Hey Patman,

well done

I would strongly suggest working those steps with someone who has already done so

or, if that won't work for you for whatever reason at least listen to the Joe and Charlie tapes at silkworth dot net and work the steps along with them

I didn't think I had resentments either, I say down in a therapists office and she had me yelling, crying, sobbing, snotfaced angry in under ten minutes

It's about knowing which questions to ask and which rocks to turn over, which with solitary self appraisal we literally and mathematically can't do, since as Einstein says we can't fix whats broken with the same thinking that caused the mistake in the first place.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:19 PM
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More than anything I would say the Joe and Charlie Big Book Adventure helped me get a good understanding of what the book is suggesting I do.

Such as:
4 parts to the 4th step:
Resentment
Fear
Sex
Harms Done to Others

3 parts to Resentments:
People
Institutions
Principles

Primary Character defects:
Selfish
Inconsiderate
Fearful
Dishonest

I didn't think I had any major issues either until I listened to it in it's entirety. It worked and it still works today.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:28 PM
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Resentments were just one part of mine. Anyway, seems anyone living an alcoholic life would at least have resentments about themselves.

Mine was broken up something like this:

1.) Resentments
2.) Fears
3.) Anger
4.) Sex conduct (this was primarily opposite sex relationship conduct)
5.) Harm to others
6.) Shame

I was instructed to get in touch with my inner child. As, I *knew* many of, if not all, of these issues weren't justified. I still had to see what that immature little girl inside me was thinking to move out of them.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:35 PM
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as Einstein says we can't fix whats broken with the same thinking that caused the mistake in the first place.

I like that. That's sound advice.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:33 PM
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my experience.

i too thought i didnt have many.........a couple maybe.
Until i sat down with a piece of paper and pen......and then another piece of paper........and some.

in my experience in may take a while to leaf through your mind to uncover those deep hateful feeling toward someone.
id got so used of hating some people.........it didnt immediately come to mind.
if you get me.........but bubbling under the surface for years.

as i open one door to a deep seated resentment it opened others connected to it....

for example.......my father was a voilent bully.....he did this and that..
then i got to thinking that part of me resentments my mother for not protecting me...

think long and hard but complete the step.....i was one of the most eye opening moments of my life..
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by trucker View Post
my experience.

i too thought i didnt have many.........a couple maybe.
Until i sat down with a piece of paper and pen......and then another piece of paper........and some.

in my experience in may take a while to leaf through your mind to uncover those deep hateful feeling toward someone.
id got so used of hating some people.........it didnt immediately come to mind.
if you get me.........but bubbling under the surface for years.

as i open one door to a deep seated resentment it opened others connected to it....

for example.......my father was a voilent bully.....he did this and that..
then i got to thinking that part of me resentments my mother for not protecting me...

think long and hard but complete the step.....i was one of the most eye opening moments of my life..
This was my experience exactly, I went to write resentments about my exgf and didn't have any but when I started writing about my best friend, my exgf got five pages.

My experience is once you put pen to paper I was amazed by what came out, Socratic questioning by someone else who had been through the process unearthed another 90%
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:21 PM
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Thanks a lot guys. You have given me a lot to think about here. Sounds like I've got some work to do.

By the way, I just got home from my 10:30 AA meeting. You sure feel pretty good when you leave one of these things.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ago View Post
It's about knowing which questions to ask and which rocks to turn over, which with solitary self appraisal we literally and mathematically can't do, since as Einstein says we can't fix whats broken with the same thinking that caused the mistake in the first place.
Yeah, or as Joe says: "A sick mind cannot heal a sick mind."
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