"A.A. Way of Life - Working Step 4"
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. If you find you are putting off doing this step, you might find that doing it a little bit at a . If that same person thought that the relationship's collapse was due to his/her not being . SEX az-links.info Step 4 Relationship / Sex Inventory. SESSION STEP 4. How It Works. Relationships (Including Sex) (). Sex conduct. Introduction to the 4th Step Inventory Workshop. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE 12 STEPS? 1. To help us discover and establish a conscious relationship.
There is physical change. The male of the species senses that change. The male prepares himself and the two join together. Then, they go their separate ways. That is usually decided by God also. For them, it is primarily a reproductive thing, period. He made us human beings a little bit different. Because he gave us this thing called self-will.
He gave us the ability to think about not only sex, but every aspect of our lives also. So he gave us the ability to make decisions about it. Of course he wanted us to use sex for reproduction of the human race, but he also made it very enjoyable for us so we would do it. He also gave us the ability to choose who we were going to do it with, where we are going to do it, when we were going to do it and how many times we were going to do it and in what position we were going to do it in.
We think that most of the troubles with the human race, sex wise, stem not so much from the physical act itself, as from the way we think about sex. Therefore, most of the troubles that we have are not so much from the physical side of sex, as it is from the emotional or mental side of sex.
What we are going to do by using our book, is to take a look at our past sex life. We will see that some of the things that we have done in the past and maybe still are doing end up hurting other people. If we hurt others, surely they are going to retaliate against us, and that in turn is going to cause more pain and suffering for us. We are also going to find out how to look at our sex lives. If we are not doing it the way we think we should, or as often as we think we should, it tends to make us irritable, restless and discontented.
It is very difficult for us to get a handle on a future sex life, where we can be relatively free of worry or fear concerning it. The analysis is like what we had to do with fear and resentments. We had to see what fear and resentments did to us. Now we are going to see what sex really does do to us. There are those who say sex is dirty, and you ought to do it one time in one position with one person only, and the only purpose for doing it is to reproduce, and if you enjoy it, there must be something wrong with you.
Week 12 – How It Works – Step 4 – Sex Conduct and Harms Done » Welcome to az-links.info
This is the extreme on one end of the scale. I read that last statement in paragraph 2 with complete relief, because I just knew that this book was getting ready to condemn me for what I had done in the past and I knew it was getting ready to tell me what I was going to have to do in the future. Our book is designed to be helpful for any alcoholic, anywhere in the world. So thank God it stays out of that kind of controversy.
By looking at the past and getting it down on paper and analyzing it, we can develop an ideal for the future. Sex is one of our strongest drives and it has to be because God gave us the task of taking dominion over the earth.
To do that, we have to reproduce and multiply. Just like our resentments and fears, our sex drive is the same way. Either we can let God control these things or these things can dominate us. We will use this sheet for both the analysis of our own sex conduct and again for harms done to others that are not related to sex. We will start with the analysis of our own sex conduct. Who Did I Harm? We make a list of those people we have harmed by our conduct of the past. Most of us know exactly what we have done and who we have hurt.
What Did I do? Ask yourself these questions: Did I arouse Suspicion? Did I arouse Bitterness? There are many ways that we hurt people in a sexual area. If there are children in the home and our escapades have created problems in the home, then surely we have harmed our children. If the partner outside the home becomes common knowledge, then they too are hurt. With one sexual act we can hurt 4, 5, 6, 8, 10 people very easily. Sometimes we hurt people simply by demanding more than our fair share.
We are using sex to the extent that we have to have more and more of it. We also hurt people by withholding sex from them using it as blackmail to get something else we want. We think this will be the most revealing thing in this sexual inventory. Maybe we are doing it at the wrong time and the wrong place with the wrong person and we hurt each other because of the sexual instinct.
We found out a long time ago as young boys growing up, that you could use sex to build self-esteem. The more members of the opposite sex you could get, the more of a man you were, and some of the girls had the same problem. If that is what we are using sex for, not to reproduce the human race, nor to enjoy, it is to build self-esteem and that falls under the social instinct.
We never apologize for God. Instead we let HIM demonstrate, through us, what He can do. Now here's a prayer We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us BE. See the above attachment for the forms. All four columns do not require long explanations - they should be brief bullet statements to jog your memory about the facts for when you do your 5th Step, at which time you can go into greater detail.
Continue spending some time with someone who is familiar with doing a 4th Step Inventory out of the Big Book to help guide you as you go along. How do we get rid of fear? I'll bet you could guess. That's right - through prayer! Page 68, paragraph three, sixth line: Again, here's the prayer We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us BE. The results of doing this are in the next sentence. At once, we commence to outgrow fear. We outgrow fear because through prayer, we're asking God to direct us toward His Will - to do His Work - to do His bidding.
And notice what the last part of the prayer says, " We must go deeper than just changing out actions, because like we've said before, who we are and what motivates us will drive our thoughts and actions. And the miracle is it works! It's so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions running to extremes - absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation. Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex; who bewail which means express sorrow over the institution of marriage; who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes.
They think we do not have enough of it, or that it isn't the right kind. They see its significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet. We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter or judge of anyone's sex conduct. We all have sex problems.
We'd hardly be human if we didn't. What can we do about them? Therefore, we will begin our third and final inventory. Your "sponsor" will help you with this as well as with the completion of the Resentment and Fear Inventories during the next week.
Where had WE been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Column 3 Whom had WE hurt? Column 1 Did WE unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Column 4 We got this all down on paper and looked at it. So we need to include on this inventory both a harms review around our sex conduct over the years, and also look for ways we harmed others in the past NOT associated with our sex life.
Needless to say, this is ALSO sometimes a long list. Please begin writing all four columns of the Sex and Harms Inventory before continuing on, finishing each column top to bottom before going on to the next column. Again, see this link for the forms. Column 2 requires checks only, where applicable. Columns 1, 3 and 4 do not require long explanations - they should be brief bullet statements to jog your memory about the facts for when you do your 5th Step, at which time you can go into greater detail.
Middle of page We subjected each relation to this test - was it selfish or not? Now here's a prayer. We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them.
We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.
Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we MUST be willing to grow toward it. We MUST be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing.
In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge.
We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice. Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives. IF we are sorry for what we have done, and have the HONEST desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson.
Now here's a warning. We are not theorizing. To sum up about sex: This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the hornyness, when to yield would mean heartache. In your packet, right after the Sex and Harms Inventory guide, is a sheet that can be used to develop your ideal.
This form opens with all the references the Big Book gives for coming up with a future sex ideal, and then has blank space for writing your ideal. This ideal usually includes three aspects of a relationship: But if you ARE currently in a relationship, include positive attributes and behaviors that your partner already has that you can appreciate and notice more. We'll conclude Step Four with the last two paragraphs of the chapter, which has a little bit of a review and contain some more promises associated with doing the work up to this point.
Last full paragraph on page We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people.
4th step guide - fourth step inventory - Big Book Study Worksheets - 4th step inventory
If we have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward our enemies, and we did this through prayer and forgiveness during the Resentment Inventory, we certainly ARE beginning to experience that psychic change that Dr. Silkworth mentioned in the Doctor's Opinion. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can. In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could NOT do for ourselves.
We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him Step 2. If you have already made a decision, Step 3 and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, Step 4 you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself. I do believe that the Steps should be worked and reworked every year or two or when needed starting again from Step One, but I also try to encourage people to do different types of 4th Steps each time they do one so that they get a different and deeper look at how their ego self-will reasserts itself.
That's another reason why "self-knowledge avails us nothing", we need to find out what GOD wants us to be. Some people think that the Fourth Step is like cleaning your room by rearranging the same old stuff you've always been stuck with. This is absolutely not true.
In our Fourth Step inventories we will discover, for the most part, that our troubles were of our OWN making. We will see how we played a part in every resentment and fear we've ever had and how our conduct has harmed others.
By taking stock of ourselves and sharing our inventories with another person, we will gather a list of things about ourselves that we view as objectionable.
These are the very things that have blocked us from God, which is the ONLY Power that can remove the alcoholic obsession. The AA Program then goes on to ask that we become willing to have God relieve us of our defects of character in Steps Six and Seven and then asks you to make restitution to those whom you've harmed in Steps Eight and Nine.
Those of you who have never done a Fourth or Fifth Step and were NOT intending to, may have read something here that will motivate you to complete Steps Four and Five in the near future. We want you to know that everything you've read here is ALSO for your benefit.
We are now entering the phase of the program where more and more actions are required. But these actions produce many positive results.
Many of these results are in the form of promises, which as our lives change, become an integral part of our spiritual being. If our lives didn't get better, why would we want to stay sober? If all we had to look forward to was restlessness, irritability and discontentment, why do the work? Writing your 4th Step should not take more than three or four weeks, and an appointment for your 5th Step should be made for about a month after you begin writing your Fourth Step.
This will help in motivating you to complete the work. Please try to write some every day and make finishing it a priority. If you have done the first three Steps and have balked and procrastinated for months with writing only some or most of your 4th Step, please be advised that you are in a very vulnerable place. It's like being an open wound, psychologically and spiritually.
You have raised old issues that clog your system and cause difficulties if not processed immediately by the healing power of Steps Five through Nine. It has also been my experience that when these wounds have been raised and left undealt with, we begin to relive and participate in the behavior again because it is now back in our consciousness again.
If you have delayed in finishing your 4th Step, ask yourself one simple, yet powerful question of truth about your position: Oooops, there it is! Sorry, but I had to go there! You cannot take a vacation without this person going along! There is no way to escape the person you resent.
You lose neither efficiency nor happiness. So, if you want to be a slave - harbor resentments. If I am resentful, it is because someone did not do what I wanted them to do in the past. They did not do it my way. If I am angry, it is because someone is not doing what I want them to do right now. They are not doing it my way. If I am fearful it is because I know someone is not going to do what I want them to do in the future. They are not going to do it my way.
If I feel guilty or remorseful, it is because I got my own way at your expense. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us. What I hate in another, is usually what I struggle with myself.
Forgiveness is love in action. That's why self-knowledge avails us nothing. We need to find out what GOD wants us to be. The man who fights life's battles without fear fights one enemy - the real thing confronting him. But the man who fights with fears within him fights three enemies - the real thing to fight, plus the imaginary things built up by fear, plus the fear itself. And the greatest of these is fear. Fear is what looses from within itself the enemies that capture us within before the real fight with the outward enemy begins.
So boiled down to its essence, the conclusion is that there is nothing to fear save fear, nothing to worry about except worry.
Week 12 – How It Works – Step 4 – Sex Conduct and Harms Done
The more we fear a thing, the bigger it becomes, which in turn increases our fear. How lucky we are that our Higher Power awaits our call for the strength, the companionship that is guaranteed us!
We are in partnership, all the way, every day, if we'd only recognize it. We can move toward and through anything. And the added benefit is that we come to trust our partnership.
We soon know that all situations can be met. All experiences can be survived. Avoidance is no longer our technique for survival. Tackling with God's help that which seems impossible, reduces it to manageable size. It also deflates the power our fears have given it.
The problem was that our vision was distorted. It was distorted because we were looking at everything from a position of self-centeredness; we're looking at the universe with us at the center.
From that perspective, everything was screwed up. As soon as we change to being more God-centered or love-centered or others-centered, peace of mind becomes our constant state. Please protect me, Thy Will not mine be done. When we have gone through them they were in fact small speed bumps. I have done it, but I cannot undo it. I desperately need Your help. My mistakes are mine, and I will begin a searching and fearless truth-finding inventory. I pray for the strength to complete the task.
Help me to see that this is a sick man. Father, please show me how I can be helpful to him and save me from being angry. Lord, help me to avoid retaliation or argument. I know I can't be helpful to all people, but at least show me how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one. Our conquest of nature will soon be complete. Later he said, "Why conquer nature? Nature is our friend. Why not spend all that energy in overcoming the one single enemy of the human race: Healing occurs in the present, not the past.Scott L. - 4th Step Inventory
We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not giving in the present. It is the illusion that creates the feeling of separateness, which is the false sense of isolation that exists only in your imagination. So my fears and anxieties reveal my current agnosticism. And when I change the way I'm thinking about what's going on around me, my feelings toward them also change. Every time I have a negative emotional reaction, I am always telling myself something about what's happening.
And if I have a negative emotional reaction, whatever I'm telling myself is always a lie, and all I have to do to stop having these negative emotional reactions is to become aware that I am telling myself a lie, and the moment I know I'm telling myself a lie, I stop doing it. And then I stop having the negative emotional reaction.
It sounds complicated but it isn't. Of all judgments that I can make about what's going on, they all can be boiled down to two. I'm always telling myself one or the other of two lies whenever I am angry, disappointed, annoyed, afraid; whatever. I'm either telling myself: There is only one cure for resentment - detachment.
The detachment that comes from attachment, whole-souled attachment, to the One Who loves even the "unlovable" and the "undeserving" of love.
Our attachment needs to be on God and God alone. And since God is love, we get over resenting someone by loving them! Admission of them is what's called for. But non-sharing of them with another human being makes it impossible to experience the maximum experience of feeling ashamed of ourselves that gives the maximum hope of wanting to be rid of them all. Naturalists tell us that it stood for some four hundred years. It was a seedling when Columbus landed at San Salvador, and half grown when the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth.
During the course of its long life it was struck by lightning fourteen times, and the innumerable avalanches and storms of four centuries thundered past it. It survived them all. In the end, however, and army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. The insects ate their way through the bark and gradually destroyed the inner strength of the tree by their tiny but incessant attacks.
A forest giant, which age had not withered, not lightening blasted, nor storms subdued, fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and his thumb. Aren't we like that battling giant of the forest? Don't we manage somehow to survive the rare storms and avalanches and lightning blasts of life, only to let our hearts be eaten out by resentments? Since defective relations with other human beings have nearly always been the immediate cause of our woes, including our alcoholism, no field of investigation could yield more satisfying and valuable rewards than this one.
Calm, thoughtful reflection upon personal relations can deepen our insight. We can go far beyond those things which were superficially wrong with us, to see those flaws which were basic, flaws which sometimes were responsible for the whole pattern of our lives. Thoroughness, we have found, will pay - and pay handsomely.
If only you were more like me then I wouldn't have to be upset at you right now, so why don't you work at becoming more like I want you to be. They believe it's much easier to simply search their memories and identify the nature of their wrongs.
However, time and again, experience has shown that the opposite is true.