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Bookmarks – April – Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Apr 9, 2022

Spring Cleaning for the Soul

Yes, Spring is finally here! Flowers are starting to bloom and the air is getting warmer.

If you’re like me, opening some windows tends to energize me. I want to clean and pack away the winter clothes; tackle a closet; put my house in order.

My home group holds a Step meeting on the first Monday of the month. It’s the fourth month so we talked about Step Four: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

For the meeting, we used the spiral-bound Reaching for Personal Freedom (P-92). It’s divided into three parts: Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts of Service.

But back to Step Four. Reaching for Personal Freedom is a great motivator for anyone who’s never done a Fourth Step, or just nibbled at the edges, or is thinking of revisiting it. The section on Step Four talks about how fear of taking a hard look at ourselves can prevent us from moving forward in recovery. It talks about how working the Fourth Step with a sponsor can provide some needed outside perspective when all we can see are our character defects. It talks about “owning my part” and coming to recognize and embrace our character strengths as well as our flaws. The section (pages 25-30) also includes ample space to answer questions.

Using the section on Step Four, members of our group shared their experiences of fear at the prospect of beginning a moral inventory, as well as the joy of greater self-esteem after completing the step. Character assets were revealed that once had been overshadowed by defects, both real and imagined. One member expressed how gratifying it was to become more self-aware; that aspects once considered faults were in fact admirable qualities, and past behaviors needed for survival had now become stumbling blocks to serenity.

Along with the sharings, I found the section from Reaching for Personal Freedom just the boost I need to begin my Fourth Step. Again. And for that I’ll go to Blueprint for Progress (P-5) and my joyful, patient sponsor. It’s time to come clean.

Thanks for letting me share!

In grateful service,

Ellen C.

Literature/Forum Coordinator

Panel 61