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Step 4 – Courage – Principled Recovery Series



“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

A SOZO Client’s Point of View: 

“This is where I’m expected to make “a fearless and moral inventory of myself”. The words “fearless and “moral” make me feel a little uncomfortable. A helpful resident explained to me that it was like writing my life’s story, concentrating on good and not-so-good traits in my personality and past behaviors. SOZO staff and A.A. members suggested that I identify resentments, fears, and other things that probably made me feel like drinking/drugging in the past. A staff member promised me that we weren’t just “digging up dirt on me”, but that he was going to show me how, by doing this, I could reduce the power these thoughts and past behaviors had over me. I started writing, using both the journals and the 4th step inventory lists. At first, I could only write a little, but then the words came more easily and before I knew it, I was facing things that I had feared almost my whole life. My counselor said that I showed courage in doing this. It didn’t feel like “courage”. But, when I took the 5th step and reviewed my 4th step with my sponsor and my higher power, who I was now calling God, I could see that maybe my counselor was right— I had shown some courage to do this. It felt good. I guess I was a little proud of myself. I’m now working on the life recovery bible step workbook. A.A.’s life-saving 12 steps came right out of the bible!


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) defines the 12 Steps as “a set of principles, spiritual in nature, when practiced as a way of life, that can expel the obsession to drink (or use drugs) and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”

The 12 steps are a process of getting honest with yourself, cleaning up the wreckage of your past, and learning how to live your life in a better, more meaningful & principled way. Based on the idea of God as each individual understands him, the 12 steps are generally spiritual in nature. 

In this article series, we examine each of the 12 step principles from a  SOZO client’s perspective, as they journey through the twelve steps. Through direct survey feedback, we’ll join various clients and their growing awareness of the spiritual principles behind each step in this series of articles.