Step 4 – Think About It

Step 4

Made a searching and moral inventory of ourselves.

This step always seems scary.  In part because it’s honest and often times raw.  The good news is that when we go through the first time it can take a lot of time. We don’t have to attempt to do it all at once, thankfully.  The other thing is, that it is not only the character defects we look at, or the mistakes, but it also includes all the wonderful things that make us human beings.

For example many of us in Al-Anon that work a 12 step program either in conjunction with someone who is in AA or NA etc or on our own as ACOA’s  will recognize what I am about to say.

We are loving people.  Loving to a fault.  The fault being we may love into caretaking and enabling.  Neither one of those traits are characteristics that help ourselves or others.  It takes more than our share of energy and time to care take and enable.  However as we think about that we also can think about the fact that we do love.  And we do care.  Sometimes just too much.

Some of us are fine with pointing our our own flaws.  Many of us have in fact thrived upon it.  Others do not even entertain “seeing” the flaws. Others of us are fine with pointing out our good points or character benefits.  But many, a great many, are just as, if not more, uncomfortable pointing these out.  It can make us just as uncomfortable as any character flaw.

This is honest work here at step four.  Authentic and real and yes hard.  But the growth that comes from this step is beyond imaginable.  And it continues.   I can still see the lists in my head from both the positive and negative.  Now, I do this inventory everyday, and it is a part of how I live.  Sometimes it’s a day that requires writing it out but other days it is enough to look to my Higher Power and work the next step and continue to move forward and do the next right thing.


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