Progress is what matters. As long as you are stepping in the right direction, it doesn't matter how big the steps are.
The personal inventory in step 4 is rather personal, so I won't be sharing gory details in a blog entry but I will say I have made progress. This is the third time I've done step 4, and I feel like it's the first time. My first time taking this step, I seemed intent on telling my life story. But in actuality I have been doing that all my life because I have a tendency to revisit the past in my head over and over on a daily basis because I'm a masochistic self-analyst of sorts. I the first time through step 4 was like rolling up all of those tendencies into a big wad and rolling in it until it was flat. Then I proceeded to show this spread to my Bishop in step 5.
In a way, this was good. But after taking step 5 I couldn't honestly say I felt better. Other people talked about how taking step 5 was a big relief and a weight of the shoulders. I didn't feel that way. I didn't know why.
The second time through, I only focused on now instead of dicing into the past. I dealt with the things that popped into my head, but I was kind of brisk about it and so I think I might have caused problems with the way I excitedly tried to make amends all at once (when really that isn't supposed to happen until step 9).
This time, I feel like I'm really doing it! I've made parallels with patterns of behavior I recognize in myself that stem from my weaknesses. I have noticed how my strengths have sometimes begat my weaknesses. Strange add that may seem, all of those things feed each other and the result is me. I'm finally taking step 4 as a way to define myself. It really feels good!
And on another note! I faced my first encounter with pure temptation the other morning. I felt the slight desire to give in to addictive behavior (self gratification) and I did not fail! Cheers! It's in those little successes we must celebrate! I do feel like the tension on this may grow though. So I'm on my guard. And I am thinking I need to carry out my step 5 soon.