I will be sharing my experience with the fourth step over the next few weeks. I have episodes on the site covering all aspects of step 4 and now I am going to share how I see step 4 now . It has changed over the years. God is constantly revealing more to me.
How to begin? This step is misunderstood. The growth of treatment centers has given people the opportunity for doing this step and there are numerous fourth step guides. I am not saying there is anything good or bad about this practice. My concern is this has led to separation from the fourth step directions outlined in the big book on pages 63 to 71.
Why would this be a concern? The fourth step is a spiritual exercise. The instructions in the big book are what is used to produce a change in the alcoholic that enables him to follow through on the decision in step 3 as outlined in the big book . The spiritual principles in step 4 produce specific tools that the alcoholic will use the rest of his life. Certain truths are revealed that change thc way we see things.
The fourth step is not about confession and penance. It is about being able to receive direction and power from God to allow me to live a life of service with serenity. To accomplish this I must for the first time take a truthful inventory of my thinking . Then I can face and remove the things in me that are blocking me from my Creator working in my life. I am going to uncover, discover, and discard the things that are not true and are separating me from God.
If you have done a fourth step ask yourself what did you learn? What are the exact nature of your wrongs? What is self-will? How is self-will the cause of all my anger, fear, and harmful conduct? Why are my resentments always wrong? Why are my fears always the result of self-reliance? What is the root of all my harmful conduct? What are the tools to be free of anger and fear? How can I see things from a different angle and practice forgiveness? What is the key to my future? And finally what are the fourth step promises?
If you want the answer to these questions please do a fourth step according the big book. The podcast episodes go over in detail the specific directions to answer these questions and achieve the promises. In the articles to follow I will give my thoughts on the fourth step. I hope they will be helpful on your spiritual journey . As always would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.