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Pathway to peace

FEARLESS inventory with my sponsor and Higher Power. I hear many newcomers within the Fellowship approach the Fourth Step with fear and procrastination. Yet AA literature clearly explains Step Four is a ‘fearless moral inventory’ and there’s no mention in any AA literature of it being a ‘fearful immoral inventory’. At the start of my recovery Programme, I had agreed with my sponsor that I would put 110% effort into my sobriety because I’d previously put 100% into my drinking. This promise would later test my patience and tolerance but not be detrimental to my sobriety.

Whilst I was working on Step Four in very early sobriety, the process unearthed a traumatic event that happened to me in my childhood, which had been physically and mentally locked away in my head for almost 40 years. It brought back a great deal of pain, and all my initial thoughts were to get revenge. However, thankfully my sponsor suggested I approach this problem in a new way of thinking and not by my old traits, and he then reminded me of my promised willingness to give 110% to my sobriety (a promise I was willing to uphold). He asked me, if I wanted my pain to be lifted and I desperately agreed I did. But I hadn’t expected his suggestion, which was to pray for the individual that was the cause of this great pain.

I was very reluctant to consider his suggestion, but I hesitantly agreed I would pray ‘positively’ for that individual at least three times a day, and until my pain was lifted. I had little faith this method might work. However, I did as he suggested and it took over three weeks before my pain was lifted, and this method has proven so successful on many other occasions where resentments have popped up in sobriety.

God moves within us and after I had completed the Twelve Steps and was strong enough to start dealing with life on life’s terms, I had a request to share my E.S.H. at a meeting that was extremely close to where that traumatic event had occurred. Initially, I was very hesitant and reluctant to agree on doing the share due to the meeting locality. But after speaking with my sponsor (on speed dial), I agreed to share. On that day and before the meeting share, I went to the place where this event had happened some 40 years previously and prayed, cried, and thereafter felt a major weight being lifted from me. I was now completely at peace. I then went straight to the meeting and shared my E.S.H. That traumatic event sometimes does reappear in my thoughts, but it no longer lives there rent-free in my head, and it’s quickly disregarded. I promptly follow it with the Serenity Prayer, which is so appropriate when dealing with old and unresolved resentments. Now, so happy, joyous, sober and free in my life today (One Day At A Time).

JAMIE P, Basingstoke