In deference to living and working an honest program, I have a confession to make. I did not grow up in a home where honesty was practiced or rewarded. For most of my growing up years I lied when it was easier to tell the truth. It was a habit. It was a safety measure in light of my family system. Partly it was fantasy living. Mostly it was trying to read the room and figure out what others expected from me and then giving the people what they wanted.
Today I understand that this was my attempt to win approval, avoid punishment and seek positive attention - but I did not understand it then. My adult self has compassion for the little girl who felt like she had to perform like a circus clown to get anyone’s attention. It was a terrible habit that turned into a character defect and although it worked fine at home, out in the real world most people prefer to relate to people they can trust.
When I turned my life over to God, I was ill-equipped to deal with the truth. I expected God to be either apathetic or downright hostile towards me. I still struggle to maintain a more accurate view of God and his love for me. My first Fourth Step reflected my lack of understanding of God’s love for me. Undergirding all my efforts to become a more honest human has required me to increase my conscious contact with who God is, not who I imagined him to be, as I looked for him in my father. I use scriptures to teach me that I can trust this God, which has turned out to be a better guide than what I heard from the pulpit in my grandparent’s church or the speculations of others who often tried to convince me that I needed to be afraid and perform for God.
You may also struggle with this, so before we get into the weeds of Step Four - here is a reminder of who God is....
This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
~ 1 John 4:9-10, The Message
Sin - living independently of God, only a problem in that living independently of God is not healthy focus.
God - not as worried about how we live as he is about the effects of how we have lived and our relationship with him, ourselves and others. God is not worried about his reputation; he is not asking us to be good so that he feels better. He is focused on the object of his love - us - and is deeply committed to healing our wounds.
Keep this in mind, we might just need this kind of support going forward. And, FYI, as you are building a team to support your work, make sure it is people who don’t practice shame or blame or are judgy McJudgsters. However, they do need to be people who can not only hear the truth, but can speak it too.