Doing the 4th in 1 Day

Doing the 4th in 1 Day

“We want to look our past in the face, see it for what it really was, and release it so we can live freely.” — NA, Page 28

I love the concept in program that tells us to be careful of what we are focusing on, as it grows bigger. I’ve heard that we ought to focus our magic magnifying glass on the good stuff. To stay out of the past and future, to live in the moment. I love that stuff. In fact, I live by it.

That said, there’s a lot to be gained by working a thorough 4th step. To dig deeply into the past, with the help of a loving sponsor, in an attempt to uncover, discover and discard our past clouds of darkness that prevent us from being the best person we can be, and fully loving life.

If you’re a newcomer, I’m a big fan of tackling this enormously productive endeavor in 1-2 days max. Did I suggest doing your 4th and 5th step in one or two days? Yep. I sure did. That’s because I’ve seen so many people struggle with this process, dragging it on for weeks or months, stewing in the pain of their shame and guilt of what they’ve done in the past, and the resentment towards those that hurt them long ago. Many of these actually went out before completing their 4th.

It may not seem easy to find someone willing to spend 4-6 hours with you, perhaps for two days in a row, but trust me, there are plenty of people in the program willing to do it. Most of us love to help others. That’s because being of service helps us stay sober. This person need not even be your sponsor, provided it’s a loving member in recovery who’s working the type of program that you admire.

For those of us who have done many 4th steps, it’s a bit different. I, myself, always have some type of 4th step workbook going on. This year I’m working out of AlAnon’s Reaching for Personal Freedom, and I love it. But if you’re approaching the 4th for the first time, my suggestion is to do it the best you can, but don’t let it drag on. Keep in mind that the goal is to finish them all, and then be able to help others work their steps. And it’s after step 9 that the promises begin to materialize in a powerful way.

By carefully examining my past I can finally discover the truth about it. I can see it for what it was. For once and all I can forgive those who hurt me, even if what they did was unacceptable. For once and all I can forgive myself for what I’ve done, even if what I did was unacceptable. I can finally let go of all the hurt, pain, sorrow, and fear, and start fresh today. I can finally be free to experience a life beyond my wildest dreams, one in which I can wake up each morning, and with all the earnest at my command, yell out “I LOVE MY LIFE!!!, and mean it, from the tips of my ties to the top of my head.

— JamieQ

Forgiveness: The Antivenom

“There is no other way but forgiveness to clean the wounds of all the poison.” – The Mastery Of Love

If you’re reading this, stop for just one moment at the end of this sentence, close your eyes, and think about any and all people that, because what they did was so bad, you just cannot possibly forgive.

Ok, if you’re like me, there were at least a couple. These people are poisoning us. Our hurt and anger over what they did will continue to live inside us until we forgive them. And by forgiving, I don’t mean to say that what they did was ok. It WASN’T! What they did was terrible. That’s why we are so upset.

Here’s the ones I have had trouble forgiving. Hal, my ex-step-father. Greg, an ex-client. Forest, my wife’s father. Myself, for hurting others when I was using.

But it’s time we let go and gave them, and their misdeeds, to God, especially if we are among those we can’t seem to forgive. Our higher power is much better equipped to handle it than us. By letting go, and letting God, we surrender our resentment, forgiving the trespasses as we would like to be forgiven ours. Of course, detach from anyone that’s toxic, but it’s time to surrender our anger and make space for more love. Because when I let go, let God, and open myself up to more love, ILML!

– JamieQ