Okay...lets take a look at Step 4.
Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
You can find the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions on line HERE. Web sites with instructions, insights, opinions and commentaries abound. Just google any variation of 12 Steps and you will find them...lots of them.
It is Step 4 that deals mainly with introspections and self assessment. It starts out in a round about way...asking us to list those individuals or institutions we resent/hold grudges against/or are angry with. No trace of the moral inventory of OURSELVES there. Easy enough list to generate. No problem with column one. The actual worksheet describes it thusly:
1. Column 1: Page 64: “In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry.” (Complete column 1 from top to bottom. Do nothing with column 2,3,4 until column 1 has been completed.
Okay...on to the second column. In that column we identify just what it is about the person, situation or institution that pisses us off. The instructions say to start at the top...and work our way down...listing why we were angry with each of the people/things in Column 1. Again...not too difficult.
2. Column 2: Page 64: “We asked ourselves why we were angry.”
Okay, now what? We identify what was wounded. Again, not too difficult or humbling. In fact, so far, most egos probably revel in this process
3. Column 3: Page 65: “On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with? “
Again, pretty easy to identify. But then...THEN....we move on to the final column. This one is not so easy because it takes the focus off of them...and puts the focus on us. We have to look at ourselves. (There's that "put down the magnifying glass, pick up the mirror" thing again. Damn...not the mirror)
4. Column 4: Page 67: “Referring to our list again. Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation had not been entirely our fault, we tried to disregard the other person involved entirely. Where were we to blame? The inventory was ours, not the other man’s.”
Now, I should point out the the previous three steps have more or less acknowledged that we cannot do anything by self effort alone and it is God who will work the changes in us. This list is not about self effort or willpower or whatever. It is about awareness, thinking things through...acknowledging our part in difficult situations.
I think the introspection and self assessment shines the light of reason on these dark places in our hearts, these resentments that govern our thought process. Ray Prinzing used to say there was no need to curse the darkness. Simply turn on the light.
More about this tomorrow....