Bill W. in AS BILL SEES IT urges me to “survey the past”. Step 4 is an integral part of my recovery program which then guides me in subsequent steps to release those deep transgressions, which have darkened my soul, to the Higher Power of my understanding and to another human being. It is a fundamental process which leads to clearing the past that exists in my mind as a monumental impediment to a joyful and fulfilling future. This release enables my Higher Power to then use me in the work of recovery and discovery of my divine purpose.
However, it is not a ‘one and done’ deal. Step 10 then urges me to continue this inventory-taking and promptly clear the slate of any further hindering thoughts, words, and deeds. It is also means that I should continue surveying my past for those things which had been forgotten or deeply buried within my soul. This soul-searching is an ongoing endeavor which enhances a “joyful” recovery and frees me of self-loathing and doubt.
What also needs to be realized is that quite often those transgressions, which can be catastrophic in my mind, are usually a mere blip on the screens of victims of my selfishness. If I were to ask one of them, “Do you remember….”, they would probably reply in the negative or they would have processed that happening and moved onward with life. Rarely has my indiscretion devastated his/her life. Even if I have caused extreme hardship or harm to another and their forgiveness is not offered, I have a merciful, steadfast Higher Power which has the amazing capacity to forgive and restore.
It is not a selfish undertaking to view the damage I heaped upon myself physically and emotionally as the ultimate, most important target of my inventories, self-assessment and amends. Making amends to others is, of course, significant. However, I am the brokenness that needs to be fixed. As an alcoholic, I suffered a deep hatred of myself. It colored every day of my life and every relationship in which I participated. As a recovering alcoholic, I must see myself as deserving of a loving and compassionate God. When that happens I can get on with the work of serving in a meaningful way the humanity to which I belong.
as “BILL SEES IT”, pg 111