Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
So how is your moral inventory going? Mine isn’t going very well primarily because I haven’t started it. Oh, I’ve started it in my head so many times, I’m telling myself I don’t need to do it because I already know what my flaws are. Something tells me, however, that this step is not going to work in my head. I need to get this down on paper or in a document on my computer. My head is completely unreliable to record my moral inventory especially when I spend most of the time explaining away my flaws to myself. Plus, one of my flaws is that I’m a procrastinator, so that one is kicking in right now.
I’m deciding that I’m going to complete my inventory over the weekend. I’m planning on sharing some of it with you, but not all of it. I have a feeling the sharing part will come with later steps. I’m also thinking that this work will be done over time. I’m not going to sit down and pop off my fearless moral inventory in a few minutes. It’s going to take coming back to again and again as I run into things I neglected to put down, sometimes conveniently.
This inventory is accurately called “searching” and “fearless.” “Searching” because it’s going to take a while to search and uncover what is so well buried, and “fearless” because it is going to take courage to be totally honest with myself.
We will never cease to learn from the Twelve Steps because we will never cease to run from ourselves. For this reason, Step Four is critical. It’s where we stop running and face ourselves. As Jens Christy, our BlogTalkRadio guest this week (see below for link) said, “We know less about ourselves than anybody does.” And since others may know more about us that we do, we should ask each other for help on this one. Let other people who know you be a part of this moral inventory. Others can see what we may be refusing to see. Just don’t defend yourself when they tell you.
Look for humility. One of the end results of this, if we’ve done it right, should be humility. But humility is a true sign of ongoing recovery. As Jens Christy says, “Show me someone who has lost his humility and I’ll show you someone who is going to relapse in about 30 days.”