I wrote a long post on the Fourth Step the other day and got so bored with it I ditched it before I posted it. At least I think I ditched it my mind isn't what it use to be it is better in some areas and worse in others.
What do I know about the Fourth Step? I have done the dirty deed a few times over the past 20 years but finding the truth about yourself can be difficult depending on the thickness of the layer of denial you have built up over the years. How honest can you be if you have spent most of your life hiding things from yourself?
My sponsor a very smart and enlightened person started me out with an easy assignment for the Fourth Step. She told me to write my life's story or the story of my life up until that time. I was pretty excited it seemed like a fun task actually after all it is all about me.
I started with all the things that happened to me and all the people that hurt me. At that time most of my life I had been a victim of one tragic thing after another and I was pretty hurt. I don't do anger just hurt. It helped me to see just how sad my story was. It was good to get it out on paper.
I still wasn't ready to take any responsibility for my part in anything. I was always victim without control which turned me into the most passive aggressive person on the planet. I controlled everything in my own way and when alcoholism came into my life it gave me the very excuse I needed to hone my skills even further. With the steps I began to see who I really was and the my world of denial began to come crashing down.
My worst fears came true I was a terrible person after all and I did deserve everything that happened to me. It isn't true of course. This is where Fifth Step come in handy. The Fourth Step is about finding out your not perfect you are just like everyone else and maybe just a little bit like the people you are complaining about.
Admitting that we have flaws makes us more human and compassionate. We can relax and not spend so much energy maintaining that perfect exterior we show to the world.
It was actually very freeing to let go of the denial. As long as I focused on other people then I couldn't move forward. With the Fourth Step the program could start to be about something I could control, me.
Admitting we have flaws especially when we feel that alcoholism has ruined our lives is really hard. Not admitting it doesn't mean we don't have flaws it just means we are in denial. With the Fourth Step we only admitting them to ourselves and not making them public. Baby steps is the way to go here.
Denial is a place of protection for me when I can't deal with the reality of my life. When I don't feel I can control anything that is making me unhappy or I don't feel I have the energy to make a change. This is a reoccurring theme in my life each time to a lesser degree. I find that eventually I will get there or something will happen to force me to change. At this point I think I am talking about my life right now.