Alcoholics Anonymous Blog & Video | April 14 2004 - 2014 | DonInLondon | Step 4 "Fear Less Inventory"
DonInLondon April 12, 2014: step four month: "fear less inventory." And what about steps 10, 11 and 12? When is it the right time to learn about the steps, sequentially? I do believe that we can learn about the steps from day one of sobriety. Like anything we are learning, putting things into practice takes time, we learn, we adopt, we try out, we make mistakes and we make mistakes and we make mistakes over and over again. It is never too late or too early to keep on learning what the steps mean in reality.
I heard this recently: "My sponsor has me on step one, and I'm still on it, after a year!" The good news is we are always on step one, if we are in tune with the principles of living life with freedom and without the need to manipulate and control anything. The bad news, sitting on step one, or continually wondering what happens in step two for a whole year may not be very helpful. All the steps work together as we live life one day at a time. So whether we like it or not, or we feel we have not done a particular step, after a while, being sober, you cannot fail to be doing the steps! The question is: "are you consciously aware of what you are doing and the impact of the steps, or are you sort of mysteriously wondering whether or not a mystical presence is working in your life?"
If I ruled the world, every day would start with step one, a meditation, and reminder of what it is to have freedom of choice based on powerlessness over a substance or thing, and not making my life unmanageable. When I say, "if I ruled the world," what I mean is I would be trying to impose step one on everybody else and not me! So I better stick to my own behaviour and actions when it comes to the steps. The steps I take apply to me and my actions, my attitudes and what goes on in my mind. So if I tread on your toes, tell me to bugger off.
Sometimes it can be very difficult to work out what to do next, and when we feel we are being held back for some reason, there needs to be a reason, not some vague statement about, "not ready." And there is nothing to stop you as a human being, advancing your understanding of the steps, by doing a bit of reading, doing some research, and having a go to see what happens. And if you are uncertain about anything, you can always ask someone sitting next to you in a meeting, and if they don't know maybe both of you need a little bit more help from other sources. Ignorance is not bliss, ignorance leads to thinking that life is moving in mysterious ways? Indeed, life does move in mysterious ways, usually because somebody is not telling us what is going on. Fearless inventory is about you, and your judgement of yourself. Don't get bogged down by other people's judgements one day at a time.
We don't always get our own way in recovery, in my experience, letting go my way, the narrow path of life is absolutely necessary. The more I don't know and need to ask about the more possibilities open up, because I am not limited to my own opinion or beliefs. Much of what we do on a daily basis is make sense of what we can do next to cover our needs and feel secure. More than this? Needs met, wants forgotten, and then we have more time to play one day at a time.
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