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Big Book Study - Post #22

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  • Jim K.
    Good morning! We are filling out the third column of the first of four parts of our 4th Step inventory. The
    Message 1 of 76 , Jul 2, 2007
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      Good morning! <No Post on Wednesday - Independence Day Holiday>

      We are filling out the third column of the first of four parts of our
      4th Step inventory. The four parts are:

      1. Resentments
      2. Fears
      3. Sexual Conduct
      4. Harms other than Sexual.

      After filling out column 2, "The Cause" we move to column 3, "Affects
      My". Opposite each of the names we list our injuries: "Was it our
      self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal or sex
      relations which had been interfered with?" Referring to page 65 in
      the text we see "(fear)" throughout our "Affects My" column. The root
      of our anger (and all of our defects) was fear associated with each
      of these instincts.

      In the next column, number 4, we list what we had done:

      "Putting out of mind the wrongs others have done I look for my own
      mistakes... What did I do, if anything, to set into motion trains of
      circumstances which in turn caused people or institutions to hurt me
      and eventually led to my resentment for them?"

      Did I fail to pay the car loan and then resented the bank for
      repossessing the car? Was I lazy at work and failed to perform a
      day's work for a day's pay, was terminated and became resentful as a
      result?

      Our last column, number 5, we look at ourselves:

      "...we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been
      selfish? Dishonest? Self-seeking? Frightened?"

      Which of the above character defects caused me to do what I did, or
      cause me to want to hold on to an old resentment even though I may
      have done nothing to cause it? Was it Pride? Anger? Greed? Gluttony?
      Lust? Envy? Sloth?

      Page 66 - "It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment
      leads only to futility and unhappiness...this business of resentment
      is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring
      such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit.
      The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again."

      Strong words! Here is the first indication that we are restored to
      sanity, but if we are harboring resentment we can drink again.
      Resentment seems to sabotage more long term sobriety than anything
      else.

      This is the basic 4th Step process. We will repeat the same five
      columns, three more times:

      1. A list of Fears
      2. A list of our Sex Conduct
      3. A list of Harms other than Sexual

      The names appearing in our 4th Step lists will comprise the basis for
      our Step 8 list.

      A prayer for Step 4 and resentment is found at the top of page 67:

      "We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and
      patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person
      offended we said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be
      helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'"

      We pray for those we resent in order to be rid of the resentment.

      Our sexual conduct is reviewed in the book on pages 68-70. There are
      three suggested prayers on the topic of sex:

      Page 69, paragraph 2: "We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to
      live up to them". In the next paragraph: "...we ask God what we
      should do about each specific matter."

      The last prayer is on page 70, paragraph 2: "...We earnestly pray for
      the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for
      sanity, and for strength to do the right thing."

      Sex is very troublesome for alcoholics because sex is frequently used
      for purposes other than expressing love or for procreation. It can be
      used as a weapon or as a source of power or to feed ego. With it we
      harm others, can be quite selfish, and bring unhappiness to those
      about us. We have used it to purchase security, to exact retribution
      and to control others. Here we look at it and try to formulate, and
      live up to, an ideal with God's help. We also remember that if our
      sex conduct continues to harm others we are in danger of drinking
      again.

      Bill summarizes our process in the last two paragraphs of the
      chapter. Page 71:

      "We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-
      will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a
      decision (Step 3), and an inventory (Step 4) of your grosser
      handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have
      swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself."

      In our next post we will go on to Chapter 6 "Into Action" and discuss
      Step 5.

      Have a great day!

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars

      For a weekly chuckle visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Friday_Chuckle
    • sottovoice
      Good morning! We are filling out the third column of the first of four parts of our 4th Step inventory. The four parts are: 1. Resentments 2. Fears 3. Sexual
      Message 76 of 76 , Mar 3
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        Good morning!

        We are filling out the third column of the first of four parts of our
        4th Step inventory. The four parts are:

        1. Resentments
        2. Fears
        3. Sexual Conduct
        4. Harms other than Sexual.

        After filling out column 2, "The Cause" we move to column 3, "Affects
        My". Opposite each of the names we list our injuries: "Was it our
        self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal or sex
        relations which had been interfered with?" Referring to page 65 in
        the text we see "(fear)" throughout our "Affects My" column. The root
        of our anger (and all of our defects) was fear associated with each
        of these instincts.

        In the next column, number 4, we list what we had done:

        "Putting out of mind the wrongs others have done I look for my own
        mistakes... What did I do, if anything, to set into motion trains of
        circumstances which in turn caused people or institutions to hurt me
        and eventually led to my resentment for them?"

        Did I fail to pay the car loan and then resented the bank for
        repossessing the car? Was I lazy at work and failed to perform a
        day's work for a day's pay, was terminated and became resentful as a
        result?

        Our last column, number 5, we look at ourselves:

        "...we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been
        selfish? Dishonest? Self-seeking? Frightened?"

        Which of the above character defects caused me to do what I did, or
        cause me to want to hold on to an old resentment even though I may
        have done nothing to cause it? Was it Pride? Anger? Greed? Gluttony?
        Lust? Envy? Sloth?

        Page 66 - "It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment
        leads only to futility and unhappiness...this business of resentment
        is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring
        such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit.
        The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again."

        Strong words! Here is the first indication that we are restored to
        sanity, but if we are harboring resentment we can drink again.
        Resentment seems to sabotage more long term sobriety than anything
        else.

        This is the basic 4th Step process. We will repeat the same five
        columns, three more times:

        1. A list of Fears
        2. A list of our Sex Conduct
        3. A list of Harms other than Sexual

        The names appearing in our 4th Step lists will comprise the basis for
        our Step 8 list.

        A prayer for Step 4 and resentment is found at the top of page 67:

        "We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and
        patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person
        offended we said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be
        helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'"

        We pray for those we resent in order to be rid of the resentment.

        Our sexual conduct is reviewed in the book on pages 68-70. There are
        three suggested prayers on the topic of sex:

        Page 69, paragraph 2: "We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to
        live up to them". In the next paragraph: "...we ask God what we
        should do about each specific matter."

        The last prayer is on page 70, paragraph 2: "...We earnestly pray for
        the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for
        sanity, and for strength to do the right thing."

        Sex is very troublesome for alcoholics because sex is frequently used
        for purposes other than expressing love or for procreation. It can be
        used as a weapon or as a source of power or to feed ego. With it we
        harm others, can be quite selfish, and bring unhappiness to those
        about us. We have used it to purchase security, to exact retribution
        and to control others. Here we look at it and try to formulate, and
        live up to, an ideal with God's help. We also remember that if our
        sex conduct continues to harm others we are in danger of drinking
        again.

        Bill summarizes our process in the last two paragraphs of the
        chapter. Page 71:

        "We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-
        will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a
        decision (Step 3), and an inventory (Step 4) of your grosser
        handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have
        swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself."

        In our next post we will go on to Chapter 6 "Into Action" and discuss
        Step 5.

        Have a great day!

        Jim

        Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars
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