In Step 4, people undergoing the 12-Step programme make a searching and fearless inventory of themselves, says Karen Griessel, a social worker at SANCA Wedge Gardens.
“The first question to ask when starting this step, is what it is that recovery means to you. Thus begins the journey of rediscovery. We can use the analogy of the onion peeling away denial, disease of addiction, character of defect and the harm caused to get to the core authenticity of the true self that is healthy and pure. This will hopefully be your spiritual awakening.
“Let’s look at ‘searching’ and ‘fearless’ as guiding words in this step. Taking a fearless inventory means going ahead despite our fear by having the courage to be honest and the determination to carry on even when it gets tough. This is where the hard work starts in the step work… by taking a moral inventory which broadly takes into consideration individual morality, values and principles of oneself.
“The inventory should be recorded which will include resentments, feelings, guilt, shame, fears, relationships, sexual relationships, abuse, assets, secrets and, ultimately, what it takes to move on. At the end of the day, it is about getting real with oneself, like taking off that continuous scab so that the wound can finally heal.”
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