Step 4: Inventory

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory

Step 1: I can’t

Step 2: God Can

Step 3: I think I’ll let Him

Step 4: With God I can face my crap . . .

I’ve wandered around and dabbled with going through a full on 12-Step for close to 20 years, or thereabouts. Never fully committed to it.

Maybe because, as simple as the first three steps seem to be, simple isn’t really simple at all.

After all, how can I admit being powerless over my own thoughts and compulsive behaviors when they are mine? How can I admit that I can’t do the things that have always been expected of me by my family, myself, and society? How can I admit that I am as pathetic and weak as anyone who has ever caused harm to me or mine? I’ve been the glue that held everything together and the foundation that held everyone up with no one else around to do those things now that the adhesive isn’t binding and the wall is crumbling. I can’t possibly be powerless, I’ve got to stop it somehow, or at the very least maneuver and manipulate those around me to take care of business before I go completely under, which I can’t allow to happen.

Such a tiny little step. What a huge leap. *sigh*

I don’t have the energy left, the emotional or mental stability, or any of the externals left to hold the illusion of control in place. This Wizard has been completely exposed, Dorothy style. Okay, I get it. I’m powerless.

God can? Really? Why hasn’t He already? Which God? What do you mean Higher Power? WTF? I’m a gemini, so there’s a mystical, fantastical, woowoo, spiritual part of me that really, really, REALLY wants to believe that there is a power greater than myself and that there is an intelligent designer to the universe who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, and omnibenificient: All Powerful, All Knowing, Always Present, All Good All the time, and Always Beneficial. Then there’s the pragmatic, skeptical, Missouri-born in a former life “Show Me,” concrete, and rational side that says, “Seriously? 33 different books written by different people over thousands of years, compiled by other people generations later, with a circumstantial and political agenda are going to put their words in between two covers and call it God’s Word? Hmmm, I don’t think so.” If there’s this all knowing, all loving, all powerful God, then why is there so much pain, suffering, and EVIL crap done by people claiming that a god, any god, THE GOD told them to do it?

Then I look at the inexplicable coincidences that happened that saved me from the worst possible consequences of the worst possible choices and actions taken by others and myself throughout my life. I look around me and see the wreckage and devastation that is my life: my mind, my body and my relationships and I realize if I was really the one in control it all would have gone completely to hell in a handbasket a very, very long time ago. Ahem, so I may not always understand it, accept it or agree with it, but there’s something to it and obviously there is a power greater than myself at work around me and in the world, I just have to be willing to see it.

Okay. Step 1 – check. Step 2 – check. Step 3: Made a decision to turn my will and my life over to God, As I Understand Him.

I’ve got sticky fingers attached to layers and layers and LAYERS of guilt, shame, regret, resentment, bitterness, anger, and just plain unexpressed pain, bewilderment, and grief. Every time I think I’ve done let go and let God, I turn around and run, smack dab right back into myself and my crap, smashing my face against my own reflection in the process. I put the bag down, only to realize it’s attached to more than just my hands, there are all kinds of elastic threads attaching me to it. Letting go of the weight is a relief for a minute, but two steps away from the burden and I Just. Don’t. Feel. Right.

I guess that’s why I make the decision to turn my will and my life over. Making a decision is different from making it happen. Making the decision is just the first step in reaching the goal. Now comes the REALLY hard part.

The Inventory

The fourth step is where I let God decide which elastic string to reveal is limiting my movement and hindering my progress. This is where I actually open the bag and look at what all is really inside that I’ve been carrying around all these years. Only I’m not the one in charge of when the bag opens or what gets taken out and examined. That’s up to God. I’m just willing to let Him do the Extreme Life Makeover by having me admit to all the stuff and maybe even realize that there are some good things at the bottom of the bag waiting to be let out as well. Kind of like the little spark of Hope hanging out in Pandora’s box.

I haven’t officially done a full on fourth step because I’ve been fearful about the tidal wave of overwhelming grief and anger that have been held at bay for so very long. I kept forgetting it wasn’t up to me to Just Do It, all I need to do is Let God Do It.

This week I’ve realized, He’s been doing it all along, and progress has been made when I wasn’t even looking.



7 thoughts on “Step 4: Inventory

  1. Your fourth step should also be about loving yourself. You will realize things about yourself- awesome things- you may have failed to realize yet. I realized in my fourth step why I did some of the things I did- I found the root of my own behaviors. That was great. Go forward!

    1. KD,
      Thanks for stopping by and offering that piece of encouragement. I’m afraid that I’m still much more familiar and comfortable with self-hatred. But, I’m working on it.


        1. I’m not actually. There aren’t local meetings I can get to for a variety of reasons. However, I’ve just begun working with a new therapist. So, hopefully that will help. It’s hard staying self-motivated and self-directed. But, I’m doing what I can, as I can.

          1. Best of luck to you…there are online meetings via al anon’s website (I believe) as well in case you want to be part of a larger community. I have learned that reaching out is part of recovery and that isolation is not beneficial. But your blog is part of reaching out and you should be very proud of yourself for that!

Constructive comments and feedback appreciated and welcomed.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s