The past is like an anchor stuck around a 100 lb. rock; no matter which way you pull on it, it will just not shake loose. With repeated efforts the anchor finally moves, but the rock is still holding on. Another way to look at it is this: it is like a ball and chain. I am putting one foot forward in my efforts to hold onto whatever spiritual understanding I have, while the past is holding me back.
Step 4 in the Twelve and Twelve refers to this state of being and tells us that, “emotional turmoil must come before serenity.”
Fact is, we must stop dragging the past around and get on with life today. “Easier said than done,” you say? You got that right! So how DO we “get ‘er done”?
Step 4 is the beginning of freedom from past bondage.
In the Big Book it appears as a complicated and difficult-to-understand process. However all the remaining steps fall upon our efforts with Step 4. It seems we have a complicated step for complicated people. The good news is, like everything else in life, there is a silver lining; we just need to come to see it. Step 4 in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous is not only a simple process, but with concentrated effort, it is life changing beyond understanding.
Yes the Big book is the guide. There are only three things to be done. They are Searching, Fearless and Moral.
Here is how it works:
a. Analyze resentments
b. Review fears
c. Review sex conduct.
2. Fearless: In a, b, and c, above, I look for my own faults. What is my part?
3. Moral: List assets and liabilities as stated in step 4 in the 12 & 12 or ‘goods’ & ‘bads’ referred to in the step 7 prayer.
Sound too simple? It may, but with the Big Book open before you, it will serve your purpose well to follow what the book says. When it tells you to do something stop and do it. When the book says write it down, write it down. Your inventory has no power whirling around in your head with all the unmanageable thoughts already there.
Don’t stop now, apply the rest of the steps and you will be amazed before you are half way through.