Posts Tagged ‘Step 4’


Originally Posted on The Church at Carrollto
Provisions and Protections – Psalm 91.

Psalm 91 King James Version

1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Provisions

“Father……according to psalm 91 you have promised to provide for me:

  • Answered Prayer
  • Long Life
  • Honor and Promotion
  • Angelic Protection
  • Peace
  • Divine Health
  • Joy
  • Intimacy with God
  • Revelation Knowledge
  • Boldness
  • Trust and Security
  • Anointing and Authority
  • Healing for my body
  • My Emotions
  • My Relationships
  • Love and Acceptance
  • Godly Companionship’s
  • Wisdom
  • Discernment
  • Skill and Ability
  • Faith
  • Goodness
  • Kindness and Mercy
  • Rest and Safety
  • Deliverance and Restoration
  • Satisfaction
  • Refuge
  • Guidance and Insight
  • Excellence and Endurance
  • Right Priorities and Understanding
  • People Skills
  • Cleansing and Forgiveness
  • Divine Supply and Care

Protections

“Father……according to Psalm 91 you have promised to protect me from:

  • Unseen Dangers
  • Plaques and Sickness
  • Enemy Attack When I travel
  • While I sleep
  • On the Job
  • At Home
  • The Fear of People
  • Fear of Failure and Rejection
  • Fear of Darkness
  • Fear of Death
  • Fear of Poverty
  • Fear of War
  • Fear of Accidents
  • Fear of Falling
  • Fear of Criticism
  • Temptation
  • The “snares” of the devil including:
  • overeating
  • anorexia
  • bulimia
  • sexual addiction
  • alcoholism
  • drugs
  • cigarettes
  • pornography
  • Inferiority and Worthlessness
  • Destruction of my home
  • My Business
  • My Property
  • My Family
  • My Possessions
  • Burn out and Stress
  • Insecurity and Confusion
  • Depression
  • Guilt and Shame
  • Demonic Attack

“Father…..I accept these Provisions and Protections for me and my family. Thank you”


Denial

Denial is a very interesting thing.  How do we know we are in denial if we are in denial?  The definition of the word denial is written below.

Denial

de·ni·al [dih-nahy-uhl] noun

1. an assertion that something said, believed, alleged, etc., is false: Despite his denials, we knew he had taken the purse. The politician issued a denial of his opponent’s charges.
2. refusal to believe a doctrine, theory, or the like.
3. disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing.
4. the refusal to satisfy a claim, request, desire, etc., or the refusal of a person making it.
5. refusal to recognize or acknowledge; a disowning or disavowal: the traitor’s denial of his country; Peter’s denial of Christ.

These are great definitions of denial but don’t clearly fit my idea of denial when it comes to addiction so I choose to look at Wikipedia for their description:

Denial (also called abnegation) is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.

The above is a much better description of the type of denial to which I am referring.  When a person enters real recovery, they leave the state of denial that left them in their addiction.  However, for some who believe they are in recovery, they continue to deny or minimize the addiction to certain sexual behaviors allowing them to prolong or feed the addiction.  Until the sexual addict fully steps out of denial, practicing rigorous honesty, and accepts their compulsive sexual behavior as fact, they will not find help, freedom, or sobriety from their addictive behaviors.

Per Wikipedia:

The concept of denial is important in twelve-step programs, where the abandonment or reversal of denial forms the basis of the first, fourth, fifth, eighth and tenth steps. The ability to deny or minimize is an essential part of what enables an addict to continue his or her behavior despite evidence that—to an outsider—appears overwhelming. This is cited as one of the reasons that compulsion is seldom effective in treating addiction—the habit of denial remains.

To remain in denial is to remain in the addiction.  Making excuses or defending the use of pornography, for example, is a great case of denial for a sexual addict.  Until the addict realizes how addictive the chemical high produced by the brain during the viewing of pornography can really be, they will continue to slip and slide in their recovery (although deny that they have slipped or relapsed).  Quite a few have made excuses for the occasional use of pornography in their “recovery” or acceptance of such material as “allowed” in order to not feel shame or guilt because of viewing the material.  It is my opinion that this mentality, does not, and will not lead to sexual sobriety and instead will lead the addict back into compulsive sexual behaviors.  Another point of denial is the recovering sex addict that believes they can visit an adult oriented business, such as a strip club or adult book store, with “look but don’t touch” mentality.  This, again, is an example of making excuses and living in the addiction and in denial.  It is very important to be connected with a sponsor or someone else in recovery who can review our sexual behaviors especially if we use the “three circle” method used in Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA).

In using the three circles, we might feel that we are “ok” by living in middle circle activity when in fact we should not even be engaging in that type of activity!  A sponsor can carefully evaluate the activity and see if we are in denial about our acting out and whether the activity needs to be moved into inner circle behavior.  Remember, the middle circle is for our protection to keep us away from compulsive sexual behaviors.  However, no activity in the middle circle should be “acceptable” and engaging in behaviors in the middle circle should sound alarms that something is not right in our recovery or life!  A more thorough analysis of the three circles will be made in a future blog post.

One of my favorite explanations of denial is an acrostic/acronym I once heard in a recovery meeting.

DENIAL – Don’t E ven kNow I Am Lying

When we work our Steps 1 and 4, we can see where we consistently lied to ourselves about issues concerning our compulsive sexual behavior to the point that we didn’t even realize that we were lying!  Compulsive sexual behavior became so ingrained in our lives that we saw it as truth and excused our actions with “everybody does it,” regardless of how insane our behaviors became.  In working a Step 5, we receive help from our sponsor and the Holy Spirit in further stepping out of any denial that may remain in our addictive sexual behavior.  Our sponsor and conviction by the Spirit can help point out parts of our lives where we may still live in denial of certain character defects or activities.  Then, we can step out of denial and realize that we had been lying to ourselves the entire time; we can begin to live in the truth!

It isn’t until we step out of our denial of our addiction and compulsive sexual behaviors and all activities associated with the behavior that we can fully enter a manner of living honestly and fully enter recovery as a lifestyle.  When we fully enter recovery, we relocate; we not longer live in the great State of Denial!

Take what you like and leave the rest.


Just a reminder to everyone that we are starting a third weekly Castimonia meeting on Thursday nights!  The meeting will be held “off campus” at another church who was gracious enough to donate one of their rooms for this Men’s Sexual Purity Support & Recovery group!

I look forward to seeing you this Thursday night!

Castimonia Men’s Sexual Purity Support & Recovery Group
Time: Thursday Nights, 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church – Epicentre Youth Building, Room 213
2655 South Mason Road
Katy, TX  77450
281.646.1903

  
Map to Church                            Campus Map


Today I am grateful for those that gave their lives so that I could enjoy the freedoms I have living in this country which iniclude the freedom to seek help for my addiction and the freedom to choose the recovery program that is best for me and my sobriety.

All Gave Some, Some Gave All….


Step 4 – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:40)

Have you ever seen the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” particularly the end scene in the movie?  This is the scene where a warehouse caretaker slowly rolls the Ark, now placed in a wooden crate, down an aisle and over to an unmarked section of a gigantic warehouse full of other wooden crates.  It is a great picture of the warehouse we have stored inside.  I’m sure the caretaker has written down every crate, it’s location, and its content and can easily find the needed crate when required.  Can you imagine if the caretaker did not write down this information and only did it by memory?  The Ark would be lost forever!

In understanding Step 4, we need to realize that Step 4 is a written inventory, not just one we think about.  We take time to write down all this information we discover about ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit and our friends in recovery.

A great Step 4 format I like to use is available in our resources section on Castimonia.org.  It is taken from royy.com and was produced by various Alcoholics Anonymous members.  I will discuss this format of working a proper Step 4.

Click here for the Step 4 PDF file

The first part of the inventory is our checklist of Flaws and Assets.  We select which flaws (also known as Character Defects) we currently are aware of and ask others to help us determine other flaws they see in us.  We also select our character assets as seen by ourselves and by others.  It is important not to bury ourselves in the negative of our character flaws; we must understand that we also have character assets!  Typically, we select double the amount of assets as we do flaws so as to not beat ourselves up over our defects of character.  The sheets have room for 12 flaws and 24 assets.

We then begin with the review of our flaws.  We list the specific flaw (or group of flaws if synonymous) and then we give an example of when this flaw came up in our lives.  For example, if we were impatient, we clearly describe when we were impatient, what happened, why we reacted with impatience.  The more thorough the description, the better the results.

After we write in our top 12 character flaws, we begin with our character assets.  Again, we list the asset and then give a clear description of how we used that asset and the circumstances surrounding it.  Perhaps we list brave as a character asset.  In giving an example of this asset, we can describe the first time we attended Castimonia or another sexual recovery meeting!  Again, the more thorough the description, the better the results.

In the next section, we tackle what is one of the most important issues we will face in working our recovery – our resentments!  In working a Step 4 inventory on our resentments, we are able to properly list out the resentment, give specifics about why we are resentful, and then in Column 3 describe in detail how it affects us personally (self-esteem, security, ambitions, personal relationships, sex relations). However, Column 4 is perhaps the most important column in this Step 4 resentment inventory. In Column 4, we describe where we are wrong in holding onto this resentment. We list where we were being selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened and thus held onto this resentment.  A thorough explanation can be found on the worksheet linked at the beginning of this post as well as from your sponsor.

After writing down all of our resentments and why we were wrong in holding on to them, we begin our list of fears.  Fear can be a very strong driving force in our addiction.  I once heard fear used as an acronym – Future/False Events Appearing Real.  In other words, things that have not yet occurred in real life, will definitely occur or have already occurred – in our minds!  There is a list of fears written on the preceding page, however, you can list others if you need.  I used the image of the creature from the movie Alien to represent something absurd I fear, something totally and completely in my mind.  I fear this creature even though it never existed.  There are of course, more realistic fears in life, financial, health, family, relationships, but again, most of our fear comes from our own minds and are things out of our control and can cripple us if we allow it.

Finally, we reach the last section of the worksheet.  This is something we are very familiar with in that we have looked at this problem in our 1st Step.  However, here we can tie in more specific reasons or feelings surrounding our sexual misconduct.  This will help us when we make a list of persons we had harmed in Step 8 and make amends in Step 9.

For today’s topic, I read through two books, The Twelve Steps for Christians and the Sex Addicts Anonymous Green Book as well as reviewed the Step 4 Inventory Workbook.  I like to read from both books because they are both extremely insightful.  The Twelve Steps for Christians touches my Christian roots and the SAA Green Book deals specifically with my sex addiction recovery.  The Step 4 Inventory workbook is one of the better, free, workbooks I have used.  I use this workbook whenever I need to work Steps 4 and 5.

Take what you like and leave the rest.


RESENTMENT

A friend in recovery once told me that “resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.  So in essence, resentment is like drinking poison.  We poison our minds with resentments we hold onto and in some way, shape, or form, hope that the person we resent “feels” our pain.

Well this simply is not the case.  The person whom we resent does not, and cannot feel our pain.  Resentment, however affects us deeply and we feel the pain from our own resentment of others.  No matter what has happened in your life, no matter what was done to you, to hold onto a resentment is your own fault, not someone else’s.

I was sexually abused as a child, and for many years I had this hidden level of resentment for my abusers.  I always kept it hidden deep inside and did not really open up and discuss the resentment I really had for these individuals but in really I was just in denial about the abuse.  I did not even see it as abuse and a resentment until a therapist helped me see my abuse for what it really was, childhood sexual abuse.  Once I opened that door to the truth, I was flooded with feelings of sadness, anger, rage, hate and found myself resenting these other people and what they took from me; my innocence.  I was under the illusion that it was not childhood sexual abuse because my abusers were my age or a little older.  Also, I actually enjoyed the sexual acting out with one girl in particular and never questioned my friends when asked to perform sexual acts with them.  I was under the illusion that sex was part of friendship and that being loved by a female was translated through her wanting to be sexual with me, initiating the sex.  I grew up with this misconception and it greatly affected numerous relationships I had as an adult.

So how do I work on my resentment?  Well the 12 Steps has a solution on working on these issues.  Step 4 states, “Made a Searching and Fearless Inventory of Ourselves.”  What does this mean?  It means we look deep into our character defects and part of this looking deep is to look at where we still hold onto our resentments.

In working a Step 4 inventory on my resentment, I was able to properly list out the resentment, give specifics about why I am resentful, and then in Column 3 describe in detail how it affects me personally (self-esteem, security, ambitions, personal relationships, sex relations).  However, Column 4 is perhaps the most important column in this Step 4 resentment inventory.  In Column 4, we describe where we are wrong in holding onto this resentment.  We list where we were being selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened and thus held onto this resentment.

For the sake of time and space, I won’t go into all the details of working a Step 4 on my particular resentment.  Please consult with your sponsor for a detailed analysis on working a proper Step 4, as he might see things in your that you cannot see for yourself.

Today’s meeting was held at Rick’s Ranch in Sealy, TX.  The address and directions to the ranch can be found below.  Two or three more meetings this year will be held at Rick’s and we have food, fun, and fellowship afterward.  Getting to know one another outside a normal meeting setting is very important for establishing trust and friendships with one another in our recovery!

April 28, 2012 – Castimonia at Rick’s Ranch
On Saturday, April 28, 2012, Castimonia will NOT be meeting at The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch.  The church will be holding a parent’s summit that Saturday.  Castimonia will meet at Rick’s Ranch near Sealy, TX.  We will have our regular meeting at 10am and have a food fellowship at 11:30am.  We should be finished by 12:30pm but you may leave earlier if needed.

Rick’s Ranch
9597 SE I-10 Frontage Road
Sealy, TX  77474

Here’s a bing map of the location: http://binged.it/JD7AIE

Click on the map below for a full-size image with driving directions.