February 22, 2011

February 19: Another Take on Step Four

(Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Alanon.)

I have been belaboring my own Fourth Step inventory, wanting it to be perfect this time around.   Really.

I am looking forward to reading my fourth step out loud, even though I don't know who my fifth step person will be this time. Will it be my therapist or my minister?  My current sponsor is someone I only know electronically, and so I won't have a listening ear, and I won't be able to look into her eyes.

I've already seen some behavior patterns that paralleled that of my dysfunctional family member.  I too get angry and my fear gets the better of me, just like them.  By seeing these traits, I  realize that I participate in my disagreements with my family member. I choose to take everything personally, and react to my family member  out of my fears.

Change begins when I am able to admit my shortcomings and admit that I have choices in how I behave.  I know that I will continue to get  into situations that will remind me of my Fourth Step, but with new awareness, my reactions will be less extreme.

Even since doing a mini Step Four regarding my recent relapse, I can see that some things about my dysfunctional family member that used to bother me terribly no longer matter so much. Putting the focus on myself as the only person I can change, I am grateful to say that what I have learned from my relapse has led to unexpected changes.

"I am learning the 'nature of my nature' through the Twelve Steps. I trust that I will uncover what I need to know for now, and leave the rest for another time. I am worth learning about."

"When we take Step 5... we demonstrate a willingness to change." In all our affairs

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