May 10, 2011

Let It Begin with a Pencil

How do we best grasp the program principles and use them to solve our problems?  Perhaps it begins with allowing ourselves the Higher Power of courage. An old program adage reads, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers."

With courage, we can face ourselves and our difficulties, not allowing our problems to fester in a dark corner of our minds, where they only serve to feed a spiritual sickness.

We may come into the program thinking we know the full nature of our problems, but we may not have realized the power in writing things out in detail.  By not writing them down, we may be allowing the Inner Critic (so well trained by the most critical teacher) to be doing our "inventory" in secret.   The commitment  to write our minds out on paper helps us look clearly at the whole nature of our situation. We need to see our past errors AND our assets. Putting both into words that we can see can help us find new routes in addressing our problems. As we write, and become open to all our potential; we see ways to correct ourselves and we see our attitudes change. 

It seems to me that this is another way we ready for Step 4 well ahead of formal practice. 

I always like to stress with newcomers, that our writing is not a list of grievances against ourselves or others, but only an effort to "state the problem honestly."  We can get help in how to approach this work by asking for a temporary sponsor, someone who will take time to help us look at ourselves in a holistic way.  That person can even be our current therapist, if that person is aware of what our goals are in doing a "searching and fearless moral inventory."  (I like to remind myself that a moral inventory reveals my values and ideals for the life I want to live.)

By listing the positives and negatives of my life situation, I can begin to make subtle changes that lead to resolution. In this effort, I learn to change the one person that is in my power to change. Putting the focus on me,  leads me to stop blaming...  This allows me to see that not all my difficulties were created by someone else; I too played a part.  Yet let me not think this understanding will lead me to blame myself, either. For  a close look at my part, usually reveals at least one of my strengths. I can ask myself how to better apply that strength in future, when I discuss Step 5, and allow myself to consider the actions in Steps 6 and 7. 

It is through complete honesty that brings me self-understanding.  This is why I pray that my Higher Power will guide  me away from tendencies toward self-deception.

Inspired by April 14th's reading in ODAT

1 comment:

  1. Mostly I find pen on paper to be the best way for me. Sometimes it's a keyboard too but not when it comes to my fourth step work - for some reason... thanks for sharing.


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