When we break it down, we find that there is only one failure—the failure to trust in oneself. Ralph Waldo Emerson described self-trust as the iron string to which all else vibrates.
Step Four in AA’s addiction recovery program invites us to make a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves. The requirement of this inventory is but minimally met if its only yield is a laggard’s list of shortcomings and missteps. The real work in Step Four is to identify and investigate our dependencies. When a dependency is discovered, the remedial act cannot be second-guessed, negotiated or dithered over. We take an axe to its root.
What we do may bring happiness to others but work will not bring happiness to ourselves. If we were human doings, yes, that would be the case, but we are beings, not doings.
Don’t get involved with your thoughts. Let them come. And let them go.
AA is a wonderful organization. In many respects, it is more like the church than the church is. But it is also the home of a misunderstanding. Yes, there is a Higher Power but, no, it is not exclusive of one’s innermost self. Believing otherwise has the effect of estranging men from their own essence, of turning divinity into a cumulonimbus. This is not a stand-alone mistake. It’s a child of the belief that we are the body.
I am not my body.