Inventory extracts resentments, fears, and flawed, immoral conduct. It does this by helping us to see situations clearly. When we see things clearly, we become honest with ourselves, and when we become honest, we can forgive ourselves. And then, beautifully, when we forgive ourselves, we can forgive anyone.
An older post, Resentment Inventory, has gotten a number of hits lately, so after forgetting to ever follow it up with an example, here is some resentment inventory from my original 4th Step years ago.
1st Column: Mom
2nd Column: Thinks I should be medicated.
3rd Column: (Affects my…) Self-Esteem, Pride/Ambition, Personal/Sex Relations.
*Self-Seeking: I want to be seen as normal and sane.
*Selfish: I want Mom to leave me alone. I’m unable to see that Mom loves me and is just trying to help me.
*Dishonest: I know I am sick, but getting angry and resenting Mom helps me avoid being accountable and taking responsibility for my illness.
*Fear: I fear what Mom and others think of me. I fear facing my depression.
Once freed from our resentment through the new understanding we’ve gained, we must let go of our inventory by reading it to someone we confide in, if not someone who has gone through the process. After reading, we can sit quietly to reflect on what we’ve learned about ourselves, allowing us to let go even deeper. And finally, we can conclude with the recitation of the 7th Step prayer:
“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.76
God, please help me to see those things that block me from You and Others…