28April

With a Jewish Voice: Step 4

With a Jewish Voice: Step 4


“Wherever you go, God goes with you.”  Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:10

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.

And now the real work begins. It takes honesty, hope and faith to get here, and it will take courage to continue on. Here we are asked to look at ourselves in a mirror and to truly see. To not use the tools of avoidance and denial, but to give ourselves a critical eye and an honest assessment.

Where do I harbor resentments? What is the nature of this spiritual void that has taken more and more to fill? More food, more drink, more drug, more, more, more. Isn’t it enough that I stopped using?

Well, no, it isn’t enough, not if you really want it to stick.
“You must constantly struggle to know yourself,” says Rabbi Kerry Olitzky

It is so easy to get tripped up by this step. As an addict, I’m good at complicating the matter. I have to have the right paper, the right pen, enough memory in my hard drive. You need to do whatever it takes. For some, that means K.I.S.S., Keep It Simple, Stupid. For others, it’s “Think, Think, Think.”

There is something for everyone. The Big Book has a simple chart with four columns.  Hazelton has a 48-page guide. And then there’s anything in between. It’s your program, and you get to decide what you need. You might respond well to extensive questioning, or you might benefit from breaking it down into small bites.

As Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav taught, “The entire world is a narrow bridge; the main thing is not to be afraid.”

Written by Eric Miller, Posted in Counseling Services

About the Author

Eric Miller

Eric Miller

In recovery since 2008, Eric has a great deal of knowledge about substance abuse. He couples his experience with his observant Jewish upbringing to offer a Jewish lens to the issues of addiction and sobriety.