Most survivors, unless they are in a crisis, do not put much thought into what happened; the people, places, things, and reactions to events that have long-shaped their life. But if you have not yet taken a look at what traumata shaped your personality, behaviors, fears, and ways of responding in life, Step Four is a good opportunity to stop and think about it. Perhaps you have reached the day when you realize that you are not living your life as you really want to. Perhaps you feel a deep inner longing for healthy, secure attachment, love and a more kind relationship with yourself. You may experience a longing for life as you were told it was supposed to be but you have no evidence that you are living such a life.
You have worked Steps One and Two with a safe and trusted person – you have surrendered and you have demonstrated your willingness to try a new approach to your life experiences. When you admit your powerlessness over your traumatic history, you learn a comforting and critical truth: that you experienced certain painful life events that you absolutely could not have controlled. You were also not always in control of the coping patterns that have emerged. For some survivors, this can be a frightening and humbling experience. (More of this will be revealed through the Fourth and Fifth Steps).