Step 4 states “[We] took a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” What were our first impressions? What did we fear? What did we find? What was our experience of working Step 4? How has it enhanced our lives? Kelli, Erika, and Spencer talk about our experience, strength, and hope around Step 4.
What does it mean to “trust the process?” What is “the process?” Is it meetings? The Steps? Working with a sponsor? Reading the literature? Swetha, Spencer, and special guest Anne H share our experience, strength, and hope on these questions and others. We welcome special guest Anne H to the podcast.
At the beginning, the only trust we had was that coming to a meeting might help. We really weren’t sure how, but we had run out of other options. More trust came later, as we started to see that Al-Anon had helped other people to live a happier, more serene life in the face of alcoholism and addiction.
We talk about blame — how we blame others, how we take blame on ourselves and how we can move past blaming. We have learned that blaming is often a result of black and white thinking, and that we can have healthier relationships when we can look at our part in a conflict realistically, rather than assuming that one party must be totally at fault. Understanding that most people are doing the best they can most of the time lets us detach from, forgive, or accept others behavior rather than blaming them for what they did “to us.”
We talk about asking for help. When we came in, we did not have experience asking for help in a healthy way. We didn’t want to impose on people we barely knew, we still thought we could do it ourselves. How did we come to understand that reaching out was not weakness, that others gained as much as we did by being asked, and that asking for help did not mean giving up? How do we feel and respond when someone asks us for help and support?
Step 3, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God. How do we understand and use it in our lives?
Swetha, Spencer, and Kelli talk about our experience and understanding of Step 3, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.” Spencer kicks off the discussion by with his initial problem with that step. He did not grow up with an image of a God that he was willing to turn his life over to. Kelli agrees that she felt similarly, and asks for feedback from listeners who came into the program with a helpful concept of God. Her initial reaction was “how can I get around this step?” Swetha also talks about her disbelief in the God of her parents. We all wanted to retain control of our lives.