Step 4 Realization and Step 12 Compassionate Action

 Step 4 Realization and Step 12 Compassionate Action

Compassionate Action


Until one of our recent meetings, I never understood the connection between Step 4 and Step 12.

Judy pointed out that the realization section in Step 4 is where we begin to develop compassion, which is the outcome of Step 12.

The Unpopular Guides also suggest that the outcome of the last 3 Steps is compassionate action.  And, up until this point, I did not understand what they meant.

The Unpopular Guides suggest that first we need to get to the place of humility where we do not know what we should do. Once our ego is deflated, during Step 11 prayer and meditation we can then be in the place where we can be open and willing to ask God what HE wants us to do, rather than telling God what WE think He should do. And then, in Step 12, we do it.

In program, Step 4 is the initiation of the daily inventory process of Step 10.  We begin to learn compassion for others when we ask ourselves, “have I ever done to the person I resent or another person what they did to me?”  Through this process, we become willing to forgive the other person.  We become able to transform our anger and resentment into compassion.  We then realize that we are all just human beings, doing the best we can with what we have.

I created the chart below, (which I made into a picture, so that it would fit the blog well) in order to illustrate the connection between the realization and overcoming resentments in the BBA 4th Step Inventory and compassion action in Step 12.

Realization and Compassionate Action

The outcome, as Judy reminded us, is “we must undergo a change of heart. To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude.” (AA BB 143:1)

Thank you everyone for sharing this journey with me.

With blessings,



AA BigBook.pdf version

Unpopular guide to steps 10 11 12



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