Step 4: We made a searching and moral inventory of ourselves.
As I was growing up into adulthood, the people whom I looked up to and admired the most demonstrated high morals. They consistently seemed to make good choices, were honest and loved by many. This was not my lifestyle; and regardless of my efforts and attempts to live this way, I continued to be unsuccessful.
Prior to recovery I kept secrets and had more skeletons in my closet than I could hide. I had lost all of my self-respect and utilized my energy keeping these secrets from everyone. I lived in isolation filled with shame.
When I started my 4th step (taking a personal inventory), it was time for me to face the strengths and weaknesses of my past, to begin to forgive myself as easily as I offered forgiveness to everyone else, and to come out of isolation. This was a terrifying idea and it took me a long time to start this process.
Thankfully God was involved in that process. Job 33:33 says, “then listen to me, be silent and I will teach you wisdom.” God also put my first sponsor* in my life at just the right time. My sponsor held my hand and gave me the strength to keep going on my 4th step. I was pretty hard on myself; and my sponsor helped me to balance the bad with the good.
As I started to identify my true feelings, look at my past, and tear away at the denial, I began to feel clean and honest. I had started my way on the road to recovery.
Moral simply means being honest. It is learning to live in accord with standards of what is good and just, correct conduct, and being spot-on with an inner sense of right and wrong.
I try to live my life with high morals and surround myself with others of similar strengths. I practice honesty in all of my affairs, and can look myself in the mirror with respect and a smile. I can’t do this alone nor would I want to.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls down and has no one to help him up!”
My sponsor’s investment in me at this critical phase of my recovery helped me to start building relationships with others in the recovery process and completing a moral inventory.
Don’t walk this journey alone. Two are better than one.
Contributed by a leader at Celebrate Recovery on the Plateau.
*Never attempt to do a 4th step without a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who has worked the 12 steps, has a history of sobriety, and models a life based on the recovery principles. For more information about CR sponsors, click here.