These Are the First Fruits of Step Four (Step 4 continued)

So when A. A. suggests a fearless moral inventory, it must seem to every newcomer that more is being asked of him than he can do. Both his pride and his fear beat him back every time he tries to look within himself. Pride says, “You need not pass this way,” and Fear says, “You dare not look!” But the testimony of A.A.’s who have really tried a moral inventory is that pride and fear of this sort turn out to be bogeymen, nothing else. Once we have a complete willingness to take inventory, and exert ourselves to do the job thoroughly, a wonderful light falls upon this foggy scene. As we persist, and brand-new kind of confidence is born, and the sense of relief at finally facing ourselves is indescribable. There are the first fruits of Step Four.

(I hope that if/when they update the language, they will not change “bogeymen.”)

The continued fruits of Step Four?

Changes in my life situation are making me a nervous wreck. Some caution is called for, maybe, but I spend way more time in worry and outright fear than is called for, or than I’d like. My mother made what I thought was an interesting comment about my worry when she said that at some point in my childhood, things may have been financially dicey, and maybe I internalized that. But things never were dicey. If she didn’t have enough money to support us, her parents most definitely would have. The fear of “not enough” has never, ever been realistic for me, but there it is.

I was wondering how sharing this fear with others in the program helps, as it certainly does. I know Big Book thumpers who put down the “we” at every turn. For the record, I HATE the word “we” when AAers us it as a noun. My WE. Yuck. But the fellowship. If I’ve worked the steps why am I so messed up?

Having, I hope, bottomed out on my experience of my current fear, I’m grateful for the tools I can use to attack it. I’ve used these tools for so long they are a part of me. Pride and Fear tell me not to look but AA and experience tell me the opposite. You better look! You won’t get better if you don’t look.


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