The 4th Step – Taking inventory

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Proverbs 4:23-27
4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
4:25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
4:27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

I’ve never actually done this, at least not as I’ve always envisioned it must be done.  To be perfectly honest, it scares me to think about doing this.

There’s a lot about my life I’ve forgotten.  I can recall some facts and sequences of events, bits and pieces here and there.  Occasionally, a conversation or some small thing may trigger a glimpse or a sense of deja vu, but I don’t have what I consider to be full memories.  However, the things I know about my life and myself are enough for me to want to stay hidden in shame, embarrassment, guilt, and bewilderment.

The thing is, I KNOW that I have never been able to “recover” beyond the point where I’m at now, because I couldn’t, wouldn’t, haven’t gone through this step.  This is where  The Serenity Prayer comes in – God grant me . . . courage . . . I need courage to turn around and take an honest and fearless look at my history – ALL of it.  I have been fearful of what I would have to face and own up to and afraid of the emotional ramification.  I’ve been afraid of what comes after – having to confess it all to God and another human being and then going through the amends process.  Basically, I’ve let fear control and halt my recovery, even allowed it to redirect me back into the path of food addiction and codependence.  I’ve let fear of having to face my own demons, actions, choices, and mistakes cause me to hurt and neglect the ones I love and care about.  I don’t want to do that anymore.

I don’t have a sponsor and due to scheduling conflicts, am not able to attend the face to face meetings of either Anonymous group that are specific to my issues.  So, I’ve been attending online Overeaters Anonymous meetings with an organization called The Recovery Group and one of the members there shared a 4th Step Resentment Prayer that she found at Friends of Bill W.  Today, I looked at the other prayers and found this one:

A Pre-Inventory prayer:

“God, please help me to honestly take stock. Help me to search out the flaws in my make-up which caused my failure. Help me to see where resentment has plagued me and resulted in spiritual malady, but more importantly help me to understand my part in these resentments. Help me to resolutely look for my own mistakes and to understand where I had been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened. Please help me to be searching and fearless in my endeavor to write my inventory.” (p. 64:2, 64:3, 67:2)

For today, I pray for the willingness and the courage to let go of my fear and take hold of my God’s hand and trust myself into his care so that I can face the things in my past.




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