By dude
1/18/2009 2:39:17 PM
Step 4 - Key Principle — Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.
I'm about to jump into Step 4: Truth, and I'm wondering if the rest of my awesome brothers and sisters here could help me with some suggestions about how to go about making a fearless moral inventory of my life.

I'm not really afraid to write about my life, I just want to make sure I'm following the step correctly. I've read the recovery manual a few times, so I know what to include, but I'm still a tad confused about how to go about it.

Help? Thanks!


This May Help    
"Here's a link for one way to do a step 4."
posted at 17:43:42 on January 18, 2009 by Anonymous
"Ideally, it's best to have a support person or sponsor to walk you through it but barring that, here are some suggestions:

Start with resentments. List each and every resentment you've ever had against people or groups of people or institutions etc. Write about each and include which defect of character it triggers, i.e. pride, fear, selfishness, lust, envy, greed. Then leave enough space under each name for a section called, "my part". When you go over your Fourth Step with a sponsor or someone who has a lot of experience working the Steps they will tell you what your part is. Most of the time we can't accurately see where we are at fault in a situation that we view ourselves as victims of someone else's actions. But, we ALWAYS have a part in it.

After you've gotten every resentment down on paper and described the feelings each conjures, you're probably ready to move on to the sex part of the inventory. List the incidents in your life in which you harmed yourself or others in pursuit of sex (in any form). For each incident list what happened and who was hurt by it and what character defect was at work during each situation, i.e. lust, selfishness, pride, envy,greed,
On this part of the inventory you should also include sins committed 'against' you by others that have to do with sex, like being molested etc. Again, your sponsor will tell you "your part".
And again, we always have a part in it, even the things which were done to us. (sometimes our part is that we haven't forgiven that person or we have let it influence our lives detrimentally. Much of the time it's the things that we've held on to that have kept us sick.)

Then we take an inventory of our crimes against others and ourself. List every offense we can remember where we may have hurt someone else. (This part will be used later on in Steps 8 and 9)

Next, we list our fears. We explore the corners of our mind and expose every fear we have and put it on paper.

Next we list our character defects. This is only going to be a partial list because most of us don't even know what our most destructive character defects are at this point but, again our sponsors will help us to create an accurate list in taking Step Five.

Next we take one last sweep through our lives and make sure we aren't leaving anything out. We leave no stone unturned. We realize that we are only as sick as our secrets and we know we need to be absolutely thorough.

Lastly, we make a list of our blessings. Our inventory isn't complet unless we have counted what is good in our lives. We try to do this without pride. It's not about bragging. It is more about how truly blessed we are.

If we are fairly confident about what we've written chances are it's not going to "feel" very nice and so we don't waste any time before we get the Fifth Step over with. That is when we will find peace and relief. Don't worry. You won't remember everything right now. Other things will come into your memory as we recover and we put them on paper and deal with them in Step 10.

This is an outline of one way to do an inventory. Some people delve much deeper. The best thing to do is to just make a start. The first Fourth Step I did I procrastinated it for months until I was in so much emotional pain that I sat down and did it in about 8 hours one weekend. Everyone's different. Good luck with this important Step."
posted at 18:36:14 on January 18, 2009 by Anonymous
write, man, write    
"i've written 2. Once, you have a basic outline, (anonymous's guide is excellent) just start writing. Be bluntly honest, no thinking, no editing, just let the words come out. It will hurt, but that's what step 5 is for. Good luck and start writing."
posted at 22:31:24 on January 19, 2009 by doc88401

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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006