Step Four

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

"Creation gave us instincts for a purpose. Without them we wouldn’t be complete human beings. If men and women didn’t exert made no effort to harvest food or construct shelter, there would be no survival. If they didn’t reproduce, the earth wouldn’t be populated. If there were no social instinct, there would be no society. So these desires are perfectly necessary and right."

Yet what happens when these instincts far exceed their proper functions? What do we do when our desires become the cause of all our problems? How should we behave when our natural assets have turned into physical and mental liabilities?

We take Step Four.

Step Four is "our vigorous and painstaking effort to discover what these liabilities in each of us have been, and are."

This is where we see that instinct run wild is the underlying cause of our destructive drinking. We made a list of the people in our lives and what had happened to drive them astray. Then we checked that list twice, thrice, four times if necessary. We got rid of the excuses and the alibis. And we found how we were at fault.

We also found that all our failings generated fear, and that fear, in turn, generated more character defects. We found ourselves spinning in a vicious circle. And we were dizzy.

But once we finally stopped and faced ourselves, the sense of relief was indescribable.

Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.

There are tried and true practices behind the Steps and the Traditions, and it is only through humility that we may find their wisdom. If Step Four permits us the humility to face ourselves without flinching, Tradition Four encourages us to stand alone among the many who’ve come before us.

We at Recovery Boot Camp are serious about the Steps and the Traditions for the very simple reason that we’ve seen they work wonders. We’ve seen the down and out man come to walk upright. And we’ve consequently witnessed the group succeeding as one. Who’d want to argue with miracles like that?

(Inspired by -- and taken from -- the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous,)

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