We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them. We asked ourselves why we had them. Wasn’t it because self-reliance failed us? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn’t go far enough. Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn’t fully solve the fear problem, or any other. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, p 68
As the textbook of AA mentions, we often apply Self to our problems and desperately hope the prison of fear unlocks. How’s this been working for you? I know exactly how often it’s worked for me. Never. Knowing that, however, still doesn’t give me what I need for column 4.
Assignment for Stepping Fourth Part 3, Column 4: List your contribution to the ongoing problems of fear in your life.
The column heading asks, How did I contribute to the problem? One of the following suggestions may shed some light:
- Refusing to take action, denying personal responsibility
- Trying harder or using self-discipline to force my solutions
- Ignoring reality: denial, fantasy, pretending and escapism
- Using self-will instead of surrendering my will to God
With each of the above mock solutions, I let fear keep the key to my cell because I was choosing to stay imprisoned. That doesn’t mean that I knew I was doing this- but I was. As my honesty increased, the doors blew open at last.
We’re almost done.