This month we explore Step 4 of the 12 Step Program. I just can’t stress the importance of this step enough…
Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
What does this mean exactly? If you’re just beginning to walk off the path of drug and alcohol use, you may wonder if you even have morals anymore. Well, I’m here to tell you that you do, and step 4 will brush the dust off those morals and put them back in the spotlight.
The world of addiction is a nasty one, and it can lead us to make choices that we would have never before imagined. That isn’t who you are though. You are so much more than the hardships you’ve been facing. Soon you’ll see that the hardships you’ve faced actually make you a stronger and even more magnificent being.
The road that led to you discovering Turning Point may have been a rough and long trek, but what were you like before that? How were you as a child? What was important to you before addiction stepped in? What things did you take joy in doing? What did you enjoy having done for you?
Chances are that you have many wonderful, inherent qualities within you that have been neglected or even forgotten. I’m sure that there have been times when those qualities came out of hiding, even during the darkest of times. Now you’re in a place where you can let those qualities shine all the time; you need only to rediscover who you truly are.
Now that you’ve taken the time to remember qualities you’ve admired in yourself, let’s take a little time to reflect on some of those regrets. Do this with care though.
The purpose of this evaluation isn’t to beat yourself up (we can’t change the past so beating ourselves up is pointless). Thinking back on what we’ve done gives us a moral foundation. We know what we’re not okay with and why it’s not okay to us.
By knowing what we’ve done and why we’re not proud of it we can see that we have a moral ground stronger than we could have ever imagined.
There are so many people and situations that blend together to make us who we are. But while our experiences mold and define us, those people and situations do not.
We are not our past. If you choose to hold onto your past then you WILL bring the past into the present, but the past will stay in the past if you leave it there. By choosing to take a new direction you can move on from old “friends” and behaviors so you can be something bigger and brighter.
Most people carry “baggage” regardless of addiction problems, and so many people don’t understand that this baggage can be set down at any time. We don’t have to keep carrying it just because we’ve brought it this far. Our grip can be loosened the moment we’re ready to let it go and move onward.
The You That You Don’t See
When we look in the mirror we tend to see all the things we don’t like, never taking the time to notice things we can appreciate. You may very well find yourself in this boat. Luckily, there are people around you who see there’s much more beneath your surface.
If you’re finding it hard to find things to like about yourself, then ask someone. Whether it’s the barista you talk to every week or your favorite teacher, they will see the qualities that you can’t yet see in the mirror.
I hope you find step 4 helpful in your journey to a new you. Know that we are always happy to be of help. If you need any assistance during this time of powerful transformation, we’re always a call away.