M(3), 4/14: Taking Stock of Yourself

First Monday meeting back from vacation, and an awesome turnout!  Fourteen people, so many attendees that we didn’t have time for everyone to share… that’s a first for us!

Today was a step meeting, we covered Step Four:

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

For a more detailed discussion on this step please read my post The Twelve Steps in Everyday Living, Part Four.  Today, the consensus about step four:  it is a process that is much, much scarier to anticipate than it is to actually do.  My fear prior to taking this step was that I would not be able to do it perfectly, and so, like the good alcoholic I am, I would rather do nothing at all than to do something imperfectly.  To which my sponsor said, “Knock it off, pick up the pen, and get writing!”  (full disclosure, since my sponsor does read this blog:  she probably did not say those words exactly, but definitely something to that effect, I often need a kick in the pants to get started on any new venture!).

Sitting down and taking an honest look at your life is an eye-opening experience.  For me, the process of making a searching and fearless moral inventory gave me one of the greatest gifts of sobriety that I treasure to this day:  the ability to understand that anything about which I worry, anything that causes me stress, anxiety, anger, anything that disrupts my peace and serenity… the ability to fix what is wrong lies within me.  There is no one else to blame, no outside source that can correct it, the responsibility is mine and mine alone.

Had you spoken those words to me prior to making my 4th step inventory, I would have laughed in your face.  I mean, come on!  Surely there are instances where others are to blame.  Well, sure, people make mistakes, people cause hurt and anger, but the bottom line is I am responsible for my feelings.  If I am upset, it is my responsibility to accept that which cannot be changed, it is my responsibility to summon the courage to change the things that I can, and it is my responsibility to seek the wisdom to know the difference.  Mind-blowing stuff for those of us who liked to self-righteously declare what is wrong with the world!

While the action required in step four is a finite thing (you write down your personal inventory, and you have thus completed the step), the process of self-discovery should be ongoing.  As I read through the step this morning, there are a few things on my mind, even with some sober time under my belt, that I realize I could benefit from revisiting the inventory process.  And I bet that if I sat down to write a new inventory, I would find some new things, and remember a few things that did not occur to me the first time around.  Those in today’s meeting with decades of sobriety agree, and have thus completed the step four inventory numerous times.  Self-discovery is a life-long process, and the rewards of getting to your best self are priceless.

Today’s Miracle:

Getting back to my Monday meeting after a hiatus:  absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder!

Posted on April 14, 2014, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. You’ve pretty much said it all there, Josie. The BB talks about stepping on the toes of others and they retaliate. And that’s how it is – our self-will runs riot and our impulses get out of control (on all accounts) and of course, people will have a reaction. And then we wonder what the hell is wrong with these people? I was just minding my busines when…blah blah blah. We always held justified resentments. The world was against us. We’re just darling lambs in the wrong place at the wrong time.


    The inventory process certainly opened my eyes to how I played in my life. For me, the victim card was heavy as was my manipulation and control (or attempt at, at least) of others. It also showed me that all my problems were of my own making. It was on my plate, which means I must have ordered it, you know?

    I have done a formal first and one or two mini-fourths. I was just thinking the other day that I may have a few more things stored up to do another – usually things that I was not consciuos of in my last inventories, or stuff that I haven’t been able to shake through step 10. It’s a good way to look at things, but also not getting into too much navel gazing.

    Great post, and also great playlist for Christy’s Six Songs thing!

    Welcome back!



    • Paul, I have commented/replied a lot in a short period of time, and I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself. But I am so glad to be back in the blogosphere, and I am so grateful for each and every one of your comments and posts.

      Thanks for being such a vital part of my sober support network!


  2. runningonsober

    Welcome back, Josie, glad you had a great meeting.
    Enjoyed your 6 songs a lot too! Thank you for sharing with us all. xo


  3. Great post! Steps 4 & 5, 8 & 9 looked a lot scarier on paper than they did in real life, to be sure. My sponsor really helped me out by giving me a time limit…”It seems to me you could finish this list by our meeting next week.” i was so busy trying to get everything done before the deadline that i barely had any time to freak out about doing it!


  4. Ho Josie! Welcome back! Woot woot!
    Love this step, but it can be thought. The fist time I did my 4th, my pride went in reverse and I piled it all up and threw myself a pity party and you know what happened next, yep, I got drunk. So I always mention that because I think it’s really important to stay objective and maybe even add a list of good things we did.

    Btw, I read your vacation post and it was great, I loved that you put sobriety as #1!


  5. Love that your Monday meeting has grown by so much! Great topic too, and especially nice to read the reminder that inventories can be taken again and again. I will mull over tackling mine again…might be fun to see how things have changed since the first time around. Thanks for the inspiration.


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