Step 4’s Lessons: The Bedrock of Financial and Spiritual Recovery

"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves"

Thought for today:

When we were debting, life was full of anxiety.  Now, if we want to clear the emotional wreckage of the past, we need to take a fearless moral inventory.   We need to  carefully consider the recurring themes in our lives that have caused emotionally disruption.  When we look inside in this new way, it helps our outer lives.

DA Step 4

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

A member shares:

“I was a nervous wreck when I joined DA.  Desperate for some relief from worry and remorse, I was willing to do anything to stay solvent and get my life back.

“They told me I needed to look at the times when I was debting, and check my motives.  Was I trying to recapture some joy from my childhood?  Was I trying to buy someone else’s happiness?  Did I feel deprived and justified in overspending?  Was I afraid?

“I had to be willing to look beyond any selfishness, into my fears, and beyond them, into a life of the opposite of fear – a life of faith and trust.  I had to be willing to admit that at times I was not thinking in my right mind.

“This self-honesty was the beginning of getting my life back.  Today, when I look back on the lessons I learned from the Fourth Step I realize that they have been the bedrock of my financial and spiritual recovery in DA.”

Happiness in a life well-lived

When we look at ourselves honestly with the Fourth Step, we can cut blockages that have accumulated over years.  We put a pen to paper and write out our resentments, our fears, and any other shortcomings.  We look at what motivated these behaviors – what part of us felt threatened.  After doing this, the insights we uncover will carry us through the rest of the Steps, into a life of solvency, prosperity, and peace beyond what we can imagine.


“Am I willing to look at myself?”

Meditation for today:

We spend so much of life producing material results, that it is wise to take breaks that can renew our spirits.  We can still find peace and solace in knowing that we are not alone.  We are not unique in our suffering.   The way to move into happiness is to be merciful with ourselves, and honestly admit we are a “work in progress”.

Affirmation for today:

“Just for this day, I will remember that there are infinite sources of help available to me.  I do not have to be alone.  I will reach out to another DA member and find hope and encouragement for my situation, even if it seems hopeless to me right now.” *

* From DA’s “Just For This Day” bookmark – literature P-129.

Recommended reading:  

See our Fourth Step Template which helps us to take a fearless moral inventory.

For a detailed analysis of all the steps, read Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

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