From Big Book page 65 on the back of sheet 10 in our notebook,
we write headings on the top. Also use section 2 for this.
It is not unusual to need another notebook for the resentments -- turnaround process.
|I'm resentful at:||The cause:||Affects my:|
|Mergantha||She's a meanie!||Self Esteem|
|She got restraining||Emotional security|
Every Big Book sentence about step 4 offers guidance on thinhg and acting to overcome the suffering of resentments. The 4th step prayer paragraph is thought by my friends as particularly useful to contemplate each time we ponder a newly writtendescription of a resentment. Big Book page 66 : It is appears on the path to the analysis and growth directions.
4th step prayer.
|This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done. We avoid retaliation or argument.|
So far, we have described the resentment. We frequently contemplate the 4th step prayer. Next is a structured analysis of the description. We learn how to perceive and retrain defects in thinking and acting that contributed to the episode.
Called the "Turnarounds" in our East Coast Big Book Step Study groups founded on Cape Cod, the headings of 4 categories of basic flaws are: Selfish; Dishonest; Self Seeking; Frightened? (Big Book page67. 3rdEd.)" The 12&12 added specific manifestations of the basic four. These are the seven cardinal sins. But note that the 12&12, again, does not repeat but adds to understanding of the earlier Basic Text. The forward of the 12&12 coments on this important point. The two books are not either or but are both together for the entire AA 12 step process.
We contemplate and write a short phrase or more about each "Affects my:" that applied in previous description of the resentment. Thoroughness with this part teaches growth. How to act effectively today inherently requires outside guidance learning and advice for living skills that were not previously learned by many suffering persons.
As 4th and 5th steppers learn how to research "sane ideals" and to spot "flaws which block us", gradually they become freed of underlying causes of addictions and undesired types of dependence. Next is an example of a "Turnaround" -- the analysis of each "Affects my" from the resentment description.
Turnarounds Selfish: (our Thoughts): I wanted her to act the way I wanted her to act // I wanted her to think I was the greatest// I wanted her to depend on me // I wanted her to work more // wanted her to be a willing partner// I wanted sex only when I wanted it//I wanted............ These statements of selfishness describe our personal thoughts for each "Affects my:" from the left page. We don't put the action on the thought here. We describe the action under Self Seeking. Dishonest: (Analysis): Illegal to hit her // Was copping out by drinking //Irrational to think I can not be happy if she leaves me // I did not have effective communication skills. // Irrational to think that it was her fault // Not realistic to think I can sleep around without arousing suspicion //.......... Consider all else written on this page as we list: Conflicts with the law and religious principles of choice. Indiscreet actions, Self delusion, Irrational thinking, Rationalization, Lack of skills -- particularly communication. Self Seeking: (action or omission of action)(emotions = feelings in action!): I drank that night // I hit her //I slept with Suzy Q // Now I am sober // I'm putting into action my decision to work the 12 steps // I don't cheat on my beloved bimbo // I take care of the kids firsta fter my sobriety // I treat my wife as if she is a sick Alanon-- (page 452, BB) //
The action or omission of appropriate action. Did we drink, etc, over this resentment?
What would a recovered person do today in a similar event? We probably don't accurately know up to this phase of recovery. Now is the time to learn! Frightened: (Feelings): Fear she won't keep me // Fear I may need to find have another place to ive // Fear I will flip out // Fear I will drink // Fear I'll never a healthy relation // Fear I won't get along with people ever // Fear I won't feel sexually full filled //Fear of................//Fear that........... Plug each Fear one by one into the Fear Prayer on next page............. At once we commence to outgrow fear !
Big Book p 68 3rd ed.