Step Four is not just about agonizing about what we have done in our pasts, instead it is about getting to know ourselves better. Step four is about opportunity to explore about ourselves about our pasts, feelings, motivations, behaviours and attitudes. Some will look at it as a housecleaning step, sort through your life – what do you want to keep and throw the rest of it away.
We can do an inventory of your personal history What are your most significant relationships ships? events of your life? How did we react to them? How have we behaved in our lives? For me I used to lie, manipulate and do whatever I could to keep doing my addiction. I did not care who I hurt in the process. What are your feelings and attitudes towards life? How are you the person you are today? These are some hard questions to ask yourself. Writing down these things will help you focus on what you need in this step and can help further down the road in other steps.
We are encouraged to take out a piece of paper and write your experiences, our feelings what we have done in our addiction and what others have done to us. For me I only did what was safe for me to think about, because I have been through some horrific things and we are not trying to re-traumatize here. One of the big things I wrote down was I used to be scared to get to close to others because if I let them in I was scared of rejection or abandonment. I still am careful who comes in my life but as I wrote in a previous post people will let us down; but God will always be there.
This step is so important even if we feel overwhelmed or scared. Recently I read that courage does not mean the absence of fear it means acting in the face of fear. I like that. We do not have to do this alone seek help if your needing it. I go see an amazing Christian counselor who helps me break down my past so it’s not so overwhelming. I could not do this process with my past alone. Sometimes we just can’t go back there, then maybe it’s not time to do this step right now and sometimes we just need more time.
The hardest thing for me was not to gloss over the truth but to admit to myself what I had done or others had done to me. I needed to write it down and not for me to feel guilty or shameful. Our addictions made us already feel so much of this. I needed to make this right and own up for my responsibilities. For me writing about parts of my past in blogs has helped me heal from those painful things that happened to me. I also knew that if I didn’t do this step it’s like a hard pebble in my shoe it always is there waiting to come out. I would rather do this step and move on to what God has for me in my life now.
As well as the negative things I created a list strengths about myself What do I do best? what are my success’? When have I done the right thing? What do I like about myself? I liked this part as it balances my life and I could learn things about myself maybe I had not thought of. It’s like getting to know ourselves. Take your time and be gentle ( oh! no I sound like my counselor ) with yourself. Let the process unfold and pray along the way.
This process will be so worth it in the end. It was hard for me to do my fourth step and even though I shed tears I found this a very humbling experience. Who knew!