AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 39 – Step 4 – Resentment Inventory – Seeing the Truth

In the previous episodes on step 4 we looked at what are called the first 3 columns. I have reviewed and considered the first 3 columns. Hopefully the prayers on page 67 have produced a change in attitude to those on the list and the process of forgiveness has begun. My emotions should be changed from negative to positive. I am ready to see the exact nature of my wrong judgement which is another term for resentment.
The book now asks me what were my mistakes. If I have followed the directions on pages 66-67 I can now look at my resentments objectively free of the negative emotion. What did I do to cause this resentment?. What specific actions on my part contributed to this resentment. I make this the fourth column. Often I sit down and look at this together with the sponsee to try to get to the truth. I do this today whenever I am getting disturbed or angry. I know I am looking at the situation wrong. I ask God how I can see it differently I almost always am being inconsiderate. Not accepting people or things as they are not as I think they should be. I can usually see how I started the ball rolling usually by being in the bondage to my self centered view of how things should be to get what I think I need or deserve. I can see the actions or thinking that caused my resentments.
Now I do the fifth column. They ask me the question where was I selfish, dishonest, self seeking or afraid. I also add inconsiderate. I also use the spiritual checklist in the resources for recovery to see other defects of character that are involved in this resentment. These are the exact nature of my wrongs. They are triggered by me playing God and running the show. It is important that I see my self centered characteristics. I must see their destructiveness. This is what I must admit to myself, God , and another human being. I must be willing to change my personality and be ready to have God remove them. I can not change my personality unless I am willing to have God remove them. When that happens these defects are automatically replaced by the God centered characteristics.
One last thought I would like to share that I learned from this process is that my resentments almost always had a self centered fear causing them. My basic fears of failure, rejection,and not being good enough and my false sense of self led to a life of resentment. This will be very helpful when I do the fear inventory. The next thoughts will focus on this process.

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  1. Jimmy B. on January 16, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Great insight on Step 4 from an outward, off-the-pages perspective. For myself when attempting the 4th Step on my own it really didn’t make sense. This helps to put things into a mental diagram and makes it easier when drawing it out in a notebook.

    Thanks Dr. Mike!

  2. Juanita L Craig on January 18, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    These are excellent guiding tools for working step 4. I appreciate you Dr. Mike.

  3. Grady Golden on August 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

    This post has set the ball rolling! I really feel this has “Launched” me into Step 4.

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