What About Step 4?
Step 4: Made a searching
and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 4 - Part 2 - Getting it
It doesn't seem to matter
if it's Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or some other 12 Step
Program, the 4th Step makes for lots of questions!
The first is usually,
"Do I have to do it?"
The answer is, of course,
yes! If you want to let go of your addiction and have the Promises of the
Program come true, a 4th Step is necessary.
Why Step 4 is important
It may help to understand
a bit about why a 4th Step is so important. The key is that in doing an
inventory we are starting to become honest with ourselves about our
Of course, we made a good
beginning when we admitted and came to terms with our addiction, but we
need to go further if we are to really change.
We need to be willing to
look at how we've wronged ourselves and other - both as a result of our
addiction, and as a result of the 'stinking thinking' that went along with
The temptation to ignore
or slight this Step is strong for it is anything but pleasant to look at
ourselves in what we know will be a less than favorable light. Besides,
we're so well practiced at lying to ourselves - that lack of self-honesty
is a major part of our addiction - that in the beginning of our recovery
we hardly notice that we tell ourselves less than the truth.
We're not as bad as we think
The other temptation is
to aggrandize our faults. It's as if we think that we must be worse than
Neither position is true
- we're looking for balance in our inventory as we are in the rest of our
willingness is the key to writing a 4th Step, just as it is with the rest
of our 12 Step Program.
Next time we'll look at
how to actually write the inventory. In the meantime, you might want to
look at the article on