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Fourth-Step Notes

I start my fourth step "list" (people i think injured or harmed me and toward whom, therefore, i feel resentfful).
So i begin: "God, guide my pen."  "I am resentfful of....
The rest of the page remains blan, and has been so for two days.

Oh, there is plenty to resent* if i want to resent something   lots of situations.  The state of the  country and the world right now, from my unenlightened perspective, stinks.  I am a radical anarchist and followeer of  Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day and from that you can probably dedice which aspects of the world as it appears to our senses (including mind) offend me most.  But the fourth step is about me in relation to people, people that i have or have had relationships with.

There are pleny of people that i have harmed and to whom i owe amends; but anyone who has harmed me i have long-ago forgiven or forgotte.  As i dig into my barrel of resentmernts, i have so far found it empty.. And ub working my fourth step, i have to not only remember who these people were, but what they did to make me resentful of them, and how i felt about it (resentment  is feeling*) and what i did to contribute to the negativity of the situation..

But this is the AA way of starting a fourth step.  (But is it really Alcoholics Anonymous says there are many ways to do a fourth step).  Al-Anon has its own Blueprint For Progress which pays relatively little attention to resentments.  My sponsor suggests that i not try to do everything my way and has ignored my protestation that i do not feel resentment toward any one i know or have known and that it has been a  long time sine i felt any thing close to resentment in the negative sense.  But i will keep trying!

*  My AHD posts a brief Word History note.  Between the late 17th century and the middle of the 18th, "resent" referred to any strong feeling positive or negative.  So resentful referred also to feelings of gratitude or appreciation.  It was possible to say, as in a 1677 sermon: "Would we not be monstrously ingrarfeful if we did not deeply resent such kindness?"


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 13th, 2017 11:25 am (UTC)
Thanks for the note on "resent"!

If you have released your accounts it is a bondage to drag them back.
Jun. 14th, 2017 04:50 am (UTC)
dragging out forgotten injuries.
Aha! yes! Thanks.
Jun. 13th, 2017 03:08 pm (UTC)
I too find it easy to let go and hard to list "resentments."

I note that there's a bit of gender bias, too, there. Plenty of studies show that women (on average) tend to blame themselves for failures while men (on average) blame external forces. It seems for the mythical average woman, this would be a rather challenging list.

Perhaps you could start with misfortunes or harms you feel you have experienced? (Although this isn't about relationship to anyone other than your self, so perhaps it won't pass your sponsor's assessment.)

Thanks for bringing the word history out!
Jun. 14th, 2017 05:08 am (UTC)
Thank you. When i started this journal almost nine years ago, the major reason for making it public was to see if fellow travelers could help me along my spiritual journey. I get to few comments like this.

AA members were historically (and still are, i think) mostly males. Al Anon members are mostly females. (Meetings that i attend have three or more women for each man.) Al Anon does not suggest that the 4th step should follow this format. I am a member of Al Anon.
Jun. 15th, 2017 05:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing the steps of your journey sir. I appreciate the insight you bring to an aspect of sobriety I am not familiar with. And I adore that you've taught me such a gem about the origins of "resent". Namaste, my friend!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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