4th Step Column by column

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.
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Wiganman
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4th Step Column by column

Post by Wiganman » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:04 am

Hello All. I was taking someone through their 4th step inventory and explaining to them that they fill it in column by column and not go across the sheet left to right.

I was then asked why that was. Other than explaining that's how we are instructed to do it I couldn't give a anymore reasoning.

Does anyone have anymore insight why it is better to do it this way?

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PaigeB
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by PaigeB » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:21 am

For me it was about seeing patterns.

I was literally sick of being the victim after columns 1 & 2... and after I did 5 or 10 names in the 4th column, I began to get a better picture of my behavior. I went back to some of the 1st few names and added to "my part" when I became aware of more things I was doing.

This is about a calm and measured assessment. I have to know the Truth about what I have in stock - what can be fixed and what has to be thrown out - I need to know what I need to make my business run smoothly and correctly if I am to be effective in the future.

Just as an aside... I needed a lot of encouragement to get finished my 1st time through. I had no experience with some of the promises and the Inventory felt like a useless exercise. I was frequently morose and had no inkling that my dark past might be the key to a new life and happiness for another alcoholic. I never know WHAT is going to help another, so I will want to be searching and fearless and thorough with my Inventory... every nut and bolt needs counted and matched!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Spirit Flower
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by Spirit Flower » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:38 am

Why?
Because the Big Book does it that way.

I personally didn't do it that way the first time. I wrote out everything; partly because in the 12x12 they have good questions to answer.
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Brock
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by Brock » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:23 am

I am not sure the book actually says we do it that way, not criticizing or disagreeing for disagreement sake, just trying to find an answer to the original question. These are the instructions I see -
In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. We listed people, institutions or principles with whom we were angry. We asked ourselves why we were angry…. On our grudge list we set opposite each name our injuries. Was it our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal, or sex relations, which had been interfered with?
It doesn't specify that we put the names first, then put why we are angry, and I don’t see that instruction in the 12 & 12 either, but if I am missing something would like to know. Where it does say we list something separately is the final column, (our part), like this -
We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle.
Maybe some sponsors give the recommendation to list the names first, it might be easier to just list everyone we are pissed off at, without complicating it with why, then come back to the why part after. But on the other hand, if I am thinking about someone who did me wrong, I am not only thinking about his name, at the same time my mind is on what I think he did, so I might as well write it down.

This is a good question to ask, and congratulations on not taking the easy way out, many sponsors would just say ‘that’s the way my sponsor showed me, that’s how I show others,’ without questioning the why. Maybe someone else can give a better answer as to why it’s best done with just names first.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Spirit Flower
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by Spirit Flower » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:51 am

The table on page 65 is what we are talking about; it shows names first.
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Brock
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by Brock » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:56 am

Yes it shows the name in the first column, then the cause and then how it affects us, three columns. Common sense says we write the name first, but the question is if we go down the page and write all the names, then fill out the other two columns once more going down the page. The original question mentioned this - “...and explaining to them that they fill it in column by column and not go across the sheet left to right.” I am saying that it does not say we mustn't go across left to right after we put the name.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by tomsteve » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:31 am

i started writing the resentments and cause. had no clue what it was effecting for a lot of it. if i took the time to go across for every column- beings how my resentment list was a few pages long- i would have been on the 4th for months. the lightbulbs on the effects started happening.

then theres the fear and sex inventory- when i did those it was quite easier as i had more knowledge of what i was lookin for.

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Spirit Flower
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by Spirit Flower » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:53 am

Brock wrote:Yes it shows the name in the first column, then the cause and then how it affects us, three columns. Common sense says we write the name first, but the question is if we go down the page and write all the names, then fill out the other two columns once more going down the page. The original question mentioned this - “...and explaining to them that they fill it in column by column and not go across the sheet left to right.” I am saying that it does not say we mustn't go across left to right after we put the name.
oh, ok, gotcha
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Blue Moon
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Re: 4th Step Column by column

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:24 am

It doesn't matter. I would be happier to see someone writing an inventory than not writing one. Whether they do it in rows or columns, doesn't really matter.

The "my part" column is the one I would leave until the end. But if some revelation or insight comes to mind while doing the first bit, I'd say write it down.
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