Redoing 4 & 5?

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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:29 pm

I don't have any family now so I don't have ongoing resentments.

But, for dysfunctional family issues, I did do more than one 4th/5th. I did need to go deeper.
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Brock » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:28 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:
Brock wrote:
….remember that we do 4-5th steps through out our lives and so first time perfection is not necessary as you are scraping the surface.



I enjoyed EZ’s contribution, but the statement reproduced above was written by someone else this morning, I quoted it because it reminded me of something I don’t agree with. I am more of a 10 & 11 person who is saying go back as far as 6 & 7 when problems present themselves, however I respect the opinion of those who find it necessary to go back to 4 & 5.
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Tosh » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:50 pm

I was listening to Sandy B recently (a great speaker to listen to) and he was pointing out that the Big Book is a book full of compromises. Due to the editing process it went through there's a lot of stuff in there from different people. I'm sure most of us know this anyway.

Even the Step 3 and 7 prayers were made up by Bill and it even says "The wording was, of course, quite optional so long as we expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation."

I know when I said my Step 3 prayer, I didn't really understand what it meant, so beside my sponsor, on our knees, I just thought to myself "I'll be honest and do this thing properly" (I hadn't prior to that). I guess that was my real Step 3 prayer.

My point is, it's not some tight-dogmatic program; it even describes itself as a 'broad highway', so if doing annual written inventories works, then use it. Or if we think we need to do just one that's fearless and thorough, that's fine too. The best thing about our program is that it's all testable; we don't have to believe in 13 impossible things before breakfast to recover, all we need do is take the actions with an honest, open and willing mind, and we can judge the results for ourself.

I think there's something very clever about that.

I've never heard anyone do a 2nd Step 4 and 5 and share it was a waste of time though.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:01 pm

Brock wrote:I enjoyed EZ’s contribution, but the statement reproduced above was written by someone else this morning, I quoted it because it reminded me of something I don’t agree with. I am more of a 10 & 11 person who is saying go back as far as 6 & 7 when problems present themselves, however I respect the opinion of those who find it necessary to go back to 4 & 5.


What I've learned from my experiences working with the Steps of the AA program is that they are like a "change" machine. i.e. I put in $1's worth of effort and I get back a $1's worth of "change", put in $5 and I get $5 worth of "change", and so on and so forth. Regardless of the value of my effort, if I only go through this process once, that's all the "change" I'm going get. When I came to understand this, I also came to understand it wasn't enough. I wanted more so I did more. I still want more. I have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes on this spiritual enlightenment thing, but the deeper I go and the more I learn, the deeper I want to go and the more I want to learn. To each his own...
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:48 pm

Tosh wrote:My point is, it's not some tight-dogmatic program; it even describes itself as a 'broad highway'


I have to disagree with this...Because I don't like hearing it. The spiritual path...Broad highway...

We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.
We can only clear the ground a bit. If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.
pg 55

To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek.
pg 46

The program of recovery....Sounds pretty exact to me.

To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book.
Foreword

If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking -"What do I have to do?"
It Is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done. Before going into a detailed discussion, it may be well to summarize some points as we see them.

pg 20

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
pg 58


If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us.
pg 85

It's hard to deny that....
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Tosh » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:06 pm

Oh, is it my turn to be wrong this time! :lol:

Stepchild, it's book; try learning a little of the history behind it and you may find you don't have to treat it like some dogmatic religious text. Even Bill W didn't like it called the 'A.A. Bible', he said the guys who wrote it were far from Biblical.

And none of what you posted indicates that it is a tight dogmatic spiritual path.

If someone wants to do another Step 4 and 5 later in their sobriety, that's fine, and it would still be A.A..

You sure do like to argue over words though. I wonder if you can see where they point to?
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:36 pm

Tosh wrote:You sure do like to argue over words though.


It's not for the sake of argument Tosh....I've already said it's not important to me how many fourth steps people want to work....Are multiple fourth steps required to stay recovered? No.

If the book said...Further on we have some broad and roomy directions....I'd be cool with it. It doesn't.

Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered.
pg 29

They use words like "Precisely"...."Thoroughly" and "Clear-cut" for a reason.

I think if more newcomers were introduced to that...Maybe the success rate would be a little higher.

Here are some synonyms for clear-cut....
synonyms: definite, distinct, clear, well defined, precise, specific, explicit, unambiguous, unequivocal, black and white, cut and dried
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:36 pm

The Big Book allows us to read other books and find help. In fact spiritual growth, required for ongoing sobriety, requires it. That is how I continue to grow. It wasn't just the Big Book.
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:19 pm

I think becoming recovered and expanding our spirituality are two different animals....The Big Book is the only one I've seen with clear-cut directions how to do it.
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:51 pm

Here is some food for thought...From page 25.

There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation.

They don't say....Almost none of us liked it....So we did it again. They talk about the process being consummated.

Consummation: the point at which something is complete or finalized.

They go on to say...

But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby johnd » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:52 pm

Great comments throughout this thread. I can actually see that I am working with the steps accordingly. I recall how my sponsor would help me to understand how to maintain my sobriety focusing on steps 10-12... The personal inventory is always vital. Correcting and changing what needs to be changed. If you really see that as we continue to take our personal inventory, we can catch ourselves right away and put to rest any possibility of a resentment or misunderstandings that occur throughout our daily lives. Then of course learning to meditate and keep a conscious contact with our HP {step 11} while leading by examples to others in and out of AA {Step 12} . The heavy work has been done earlier on in the first 9 steps. The promises begin from that point. Many of them have materialized for me. Sobriety is and will always be in the number 1 slot for me. I will do whatever I need to do to keep it. I wanted the pain to stop over 28 years ago when I had my last drink. I had no idea what was going to happen from that point. I came to AA broken, lost, and willing to try anything to stop the chaos. I went to meetings I saw the 12 steps on every wall at every meeting. I heard how they changed the lives of the people before me. I can recall attending my very first Big Book meeting. I also found a 12 &12 meeting. I didn't quite understand what I was reading or listening to. I just reached out to a person who became my sponsor and he guided through this journey.
I had great success in sobriety because I haven't found it necessary to pick up a drink again due to these steps.
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Tosh » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:08 pm

Stepchild wrote:Here is some food for thought...From page 25.

There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation.

They don't say....Almost none of us liked it....So we did it again. They talk about the process being consummated.

Consummation: the point at which something is complete or finalized.

They go on to say...

But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.


Stepchild, your constant nit picking and determination to be right is to be commended. And I thank you for keeping an eye out for everyone, making sure our thinking is directed in the right way. That can't be easy.

However the Big Book suggests that we:

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking


Now it is within the realms of possibility that someone does that and a thought might appear "Hey, I think I might benefit from doing another Step 4!"

It's not going to hurt and as I say, I've never heard anyone who has done a subsequent Step 4 and 5 then share "Well, that was a complete waste of time!"

Notice it says that we ask God to direct our thinking.

Stepchild wrote:Here is some food for thought...


But thank you for trying to direct mine. :lol:

Sorry, I think God's having an off day with me and my sarcasm. :oops:

I do agree that the Big Book shows us a clear spiritual path, that's unambiguous, that offers clear cut directions and is specific. Paradoxically it's also wide, loving and roomy. Even with the Step 3 prayer it says we don't have to say those words, as long as we express the sentiment.

And it is a book of compromises; I'd like to think that that's what God wanted. Bill wanted people on their knees at Step 7, maybe it was God that shouted, "Stand them up you idiot!"?

Who knows. My sponsor got down on his knees and asked me to join him in prayer for my Step 3 and 7 prayers, so in my instance God wanted me on my knees. For others He mightn't?

I'm just a recovered alkie, not God (that's me reminding myself, not telling you :lol: ); I know what has worked for me, but I cannot say that works for everyone. I've no claim on God.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Stepchild » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:14 am

Tosh wrote:
However the Big Book suggests that we:

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking


You are a trip!
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby Tosh » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:26 am

Stepchild wrote:
Tosh wrote:
However the Big Book suggests that we:

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking


You are a trip!


Thank you. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Redoing 4 & 5?

Postby clouds » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:20 am

Hi Brock,

I did a 4 and 5, then 6 and 7 ,8 and 9 about forty years ago. Some hard things happened in sobriety since then and I just wasnt able to face facts and be rid of some of it. I didnt understand what was wrong with me, but I felt sure the steps had the answer. My recent serious, thourough and honest step four, done according to the Big Book, (with especial attention to resentments) then follwing through with 5, 6 and seven have had a profound effect on the quality of my sobriety. For years I hadnt really been dealing with those things I found myself writing down in my recent inventory, even though I was doing 10, 11 and 12 on a daily basis. I sure dont regret my decision to do another hard look at myself. I really needed it. I have a feeling my sobriety was on shaky ground and I wasnt facing up to it.

As far as I know there is no stale date on any of the steps.
Basically its just "Do steps before getting drunk." imo.

Now I must get on with following through on 8 and 9.

Definately this is an admission on my part that required some humility to say because I had some serious resentments and pride that wouldnt budge without a thorough revisit to the simple path outlined in the book in step 4.
These steps work. They really do.

Having told my experience on this topic, I want to say and emphasize that I don't have any quarrel with anyone who does the steps 10 through 12 and is good on those. Lets face it not everybody has to face these hard life struggles and then burry them for so long! I did that and coming out of the fog I'm so grateful the steps are still working for me to keep sober.
Thanks everyone for being here and sober!
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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