Step by Step
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
“…(W)e launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
‘Therefore, we started upon a personal inventory. This was Step Four.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, 1976, Ch 5 (“How It Works”), pp 63-4.
Today, courage and honesty to face alcoholism as a symptom of the “causes and conditions” of my addictive personality, and knowledge to treat those causes rather than just the symptoms. Courage, honesty and willingness are the prerequisite of the Fourth Step because, without all three, recovery from addiction cannot be fully realized and may set us up for failure by way of a relapse or simply trading one addiction for another. For many of us, drinking developed after years of hoarding emotional and spiritual garbage, and the pile grew in our drinking days. In coming to the decision that we no longer want and are eager to clean out the garbage, we may be on a solid foundation to make our Fourth Step as thorough as it can be. Grant that we be graced with the courage and strength to make our house as clean as it can be. And our common journey continues. Step by step. – Chris M., 2017