1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
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So You Are Going Through The Steps Again

So you have been "goosed" by God to do the steps again, GO FOR IT!! I am sure I would, too, if my HP, Charlie, goosed me again today, just as I have done so in the past ... there is no error made in that look deep down within to find the underlying cause(s) and conditions of the fear, the lack of trust ...

Some find the root cause(s) and conditions easier than others, some sooner, some later, some never do, but the results of the effort to seek is damn well worth it... and the results are as I wrote ... a stable, fearless, confident, loving, giving, whooping and hollering, fun loving, joyful and free soul, fully alive in the sufficiency of God's grace, amidst all the seeming chaos and poverty and ugliness in the world, and also the completeness, the beauty and grace, too, at ONE...

One thing I am absolutely positive about, is that none can do it alone, it always takes two ... you know, the basis of the saying "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be in their midst" Two are stronger than one alone to uncover and discover, that is the why and the wherefore of the 4th being shared with another in the 5th ... We are all victims of our own flinch, we can only get so close to the truth of whatever trauma set us up in the first place, before we flinch away from it. In sharing with a "sponsor", another human being, we set our collective strength against the fear that causes the flinch ...

Now, since you are once again on the path thru the steps, remember that the whole process is aimed at just one thing, the re-cognition that God is in Control of ALL aspects of Life, including the doing of all of the steps ... especially the 4th ... My recommendation, because this is what my sponsor had me do, and it worked ... now this I will have to narrate as it happened....

I was maybe 4 weeks sober, had read thru the book a couple of times, understood with no doubt that I had to do the steps, and was earnestly trying, as best I could, had understood the significance of the ABCs and the statement immediately after, being convinced, I was now at step three ... and thought I had that well in hand ... yes, I had made the decision ... so the next thing to do was proceed on to the 4th ... Asked Tex about it, listened to his advice, went home, got out a fresh pad of paper, 6 new sharp pencils and a pen, opened the window in the den so God could get in, sat down at the desk, got my name and the date at the top of the page, broke out in a cold sweat and couldn't write nothing, double negative, nada ... shook and trembled ... frightened half out of my wits ...

Next morning I went to Tex and told him what had happened ... he just grinned, said "I knew that would happen." I wanted to hit him but I was too frightened, and asked him what was I going to do?

He said, "It looks like you are going to have to do it a bit different." I knew that, hell, I knew I was different.

"Here is what you do," he said, "Go down to the store, get yourself a 3x5 spiral notebook that will fit in your pocket, slip a short stub thru the spirol so you will have something to write with, and THEN as something occurs to you during the day, write it down. Doesn't have to be a whole lot of words, just enough so that you can recall it when we get to the 5th step. Now, when you get home at night, review what you have written, don't try to edit it 'cause your editor is broken, and if it is still true, take it out of the book and put it someplace for safekeeping, a shoebox or under the mat in the trunk of the car. If it is not still true, rip it out of the book, wad it up and throw it in the shit can. All we are looking for is the TRUTH. The reason I am having you take it out of the book is that I want you to start each day with a clean slate, and the reason I suggest that you write it down 'as something occurs to you' is that we are trying to get God in Control in your life, including writing your 4th step. Now if you will do this diligently, when it comes time to do a 5th step, you will have a damn fine 4th step."

"Ok, I will do that Tex, but how will I know when to do the 5th?" "Dumbass, when you have to make a CONSCIOUS DECISION to do the 5th, or go get drunk!! That is when you will do the 5th!!" and that is the way it happened ...

Since then there have been many 4ths and 5ths, all done the same way, as more was revealed, as they occurred as the result of God's "goosing" me. In fact, a whole lot of my writings are just that.

Then Tex also had me look at the 4th step and read it out loud ... several times ... then asked me what kind of an inventory I was going to take ... and I went off into a dialog of how I was going to write down every time I had screwed up ...

"No," he said, "you are to take a MORAL inventory, what are Bob's morals, his standards, that he has broken over and over again because of fear, greed, lust, anger, you know, the 7 deadlys mentioned in the 12x12, and how you have broken your own ethical and moral standards all your life, to cause you grief, remorse, shame, guilt and resentments. And while your are at it read the paragraph on page 47 of the 12x12 that tells how you became alcoholic in the first place and what you are going to do about it ... it starts off 'We thought' ... "

He also said that as I was going thru the 12x12 and the BigBook if a question was asked and it caused a thought to occur, if it rang any bells, to write about it ... so I did ... I followed his instructions ... and I still do to this day ... there are at least 3 or 4 3x5 note pads on the shelf above me as I write this ... these days, of course, the writings are not so much of how I have broken my standards at all, but of what I have learned and experienced as a result of holding to them in all my affairs ... for one thing, I don't create as much havoc or chaos in my life as I once did. I finally understand that God is in control of all things at all times in all places, in all circumstances and situations, and that I have lessons to learn throughout my days in this life. That nothing occurs without a spiritual lesson for me in its hands. Even the writing of this.

Another thing I discovered about that search deep down within ... Start with the now and work your way backward ... one thing written will trigger a thought about something earlier ... and the earlier we can get, down to the point of our flinch, the better. Then when we find our selves flinching, we share that with another so they can help us get past it and then even earlier and deeper ... when a particular hurt or trauma, either physical or emotional, is faced with its own power, and we recognize the Truth of it, it blows, and has no further power over us ... and at the same time any blockages in the chain above it blow too ... and we are then free to search deeper ...

As JC said in the gospel of Thomas, his brother, "Jesus said, If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring forth that from within you, what you do not bring forth [will] kill you." - Gospel of Thomas 70

It is in addressing these issues for myself, and expounding and making them true for me as I have experienced them in my life, and witnessed them in the lives of others, that I wrote and put up on the web in recent months this series of pages ...

Getting "It" ... http://www.barefootsworld.net/it.html
Ancient Wisdom - A Starting Point ... http://www.barefootsworld.net/ancientwisdom.html
Something to Ponder ... http://www.barefootsworld.net/somethingtoponder.html
Elimination of the Ego-Self ... http://www.barefootsworld.net/imemine.html

Each of these pages give me something to think about for review and guidance as I continue to seek one day at a time. For the same reason, I go back to all my other writings, which are the result of all the years of seeking, to remind myself of that which I already know, to see if it can be improved upon or expanded. I am never in a static position, always exploring, always seeking new guidance "as it occurs to me", as God gooses me ... He wants to see my Footprints in the Sand alongside His and walk the walk with Him ...

And there you have it ... Mizpah!!

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book



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On the Web September 5, 2002 in the Spirit of Cooperation

Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY