Blueprint for Progress: Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory Booklet
How did you prepare your Fourth Step? How do you help sponsees work through theirs? If you haven’t used the revised version of the Blueprint for Progress: Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory, then you are missing out on a valuable Fourth Step tool. It also makes for a wonderful way to lead a meeting on the Fourth Step. When I set out to accomplish my Fourth Step the first time I purchased the small booklet, then available, and attempted to sit down and answer the questions myself. That worked okay, but what I have found since then is what a fantastic thing it is to sit down with a sponsee or a group of members and go through each chapter one by one. The discussion can be illuminating!
In my town we even started a Step Study group that met outside the regular meeting, that eventually took us deep into this book. I found it deeply rewarding on several levels. It helped to move people forward in this Step, (where so many seem to flounder otherwise), and it helped to bring forward a lot of truths about ourselves that some may have glossed over if answering on their own. I found it helpful to share my own truths to get the ball rolling sometimes. It helped me to deepen my insight into my own truths as well: good, bad, and otherwise.
The book is divided into chapters that each tackle a certain topic. The chapters begin with a few introductory paragraphs and then list out several questions to get the old brain cells moving. In our Study Group we would discuss one chapter and then go home and think about it until the next meeting. This made for a long process, but it also allowed plenty of time for certain ideas to really develop. All of us involved have really gotten a lot from the process.
Using this book as a guide is helpful for working one-on-one with a sponsee as well. It really helps to get the conversational ball rolling.
As stated in the Blueprint for Progress: Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory,
The Fourth Step can be an essential tool for personal growth. Many of us have been so obsessed
with the behavior of an alcoholic that we developed a limited sense of ourselves. We may have lost sight of our personal goals, neglected our potential and become too concerned with our attempts to change someone else. Often our good qualities lay hidden behind frustration and fear. . .
There is no perfect way to do Step Four, but it is important simply to tell it like it is and to identify the areas where we have experienced the most trouble. It is also important to explore those areas where we have shown our greatest strengths. Our experience shows us that working with a knowledgeable Sponsor can help put us at ease and ensure that we get the full benefit of the healing process.”
So if you never purchased this book because you’d already done your Fourth Step, or you have the smaller book, or because you haven’t gotten to Step Four yet, I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy and delve into it with an open heart. It’s a gentle guide that will lead you to the introspection we all require to achieve the true serenity of recovery.
Illinois North, Panel 55