My home group meeting last night was on Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We talked about the willingness to inventory ourselves in order to make progress in recovery.
When I did my inventory for Step Four, I did feel pain as I relived reasons for resentments that I felt. And it was hard to acknowledge that my attitudes had alienated me from others and from myself, as the person that I wanted to be. It was hard for me to realize that I had many positive attributes.
One of the things that we did last night was to talk about being willing to acknowledge the positive things about ourselves as well as the negative. It was hard for some of the members to list many positive things. Most of us tend to concentrate on our character defects. We are more comfortable emphasizing what's wrong with us.
But a moral inventory means the right and wrong things. Add to that the idea of being fearless and the inventory becomes a powerful and beneficial thing. As long as I'm willing to examine my strengths, weaknesses, self-destructive behaviors and aspects of goodness, I can begin to change for the better.
I think that the foundation of the first three steps is critical in doing an inventory. I had to face my powerlessness and the inability to manage my own life before I did the inventory. And I turned to my belief in a Higher Power who could restore me to sanity as I worked Step Four.
It was important that I left nothing out as I did Step Four. I had to be honest and get rid of my denial about what was hurting me and others. The purpose of Step Four is not to make ourselves feel worse, but to begin to remove those things that block out joy and love.
I've come to accept that I have good and bad traits. I know that there is a beast within. But I'm not afraid or fearful of those parts of myself that are untamed. I like my spirit, energy and vitality. I like that my beast can let go of complicated thoughts at times and just enjoy simple pleasures. I guess that I don't have much desire to be a castrated angel.
If not for the beast within us we would be castrated angels.