Sunday, February 7, 2010

Step Ten:

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

This is what the AA Big Book has to say about Step 10:

How It Works

This thought brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.
And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone--even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality--safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee--Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.

Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God-conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action.
-A.A. Big Book p.84-86

I was extremely blessed (see how my Higher Power works miracles?) to attend a Big Book Study meeting of AA last week and we read the parts about Steps 10 and 11. Because of the sharings I heard at this meeting, I have actively tried to work Step 7 more thoroughly through daily prayer and meditation.

It has made a huge difference.

I have noticed that I am better able to sense when I am being mean or irritable or short with others. I have also been able to take time to try to take a nap today, and not be panicked about the things that are not getting done in the cleaning of my apartment. I have enjoyed cuddling with my 4 year old daughter and my dog today, in bed. And we all seem to be happier. At one point I was fussing at my daughter, and she just put her hands over her ears. That really was a slap to attention for me.

She can't listen to what I am saying because of how I am saying it.

How often has this happened to me, in my own life? My family members have given me wisdom over the years and I have not heeded it because it was accompanied with negativity or insults or hurtful words.

It will take DAILY if not HOURLY inventory-taking of myself on my part to break the cycle of this shortcoming and take the sting out of my words to others.

Thank my HP that my youngest is only 4 and I can change my ways before she thinks of me as this shrill shrew forever.

Step 10 to me says that I will continue to work the 4th and possibly the 5th Step and then the 9th so I can continue to grow.

I know I have more shortcomings than I can ever address. I have to trust my HP to continue to bring these to my attention so I can work on them daily.

And the other piece - when I am wrong, I PROMPTLY admit it.

This is so hard for me. I hate to be wrong. (laughing out loud here) I mean, I'm in Al-Anon because I, in all my rightness, could not fix that alcoholic I married.

On the other hand, I named my blog The Not Right Writer. So on some level, I *know* I'm not right.

Admission of wrongs is very freeing. It lets me say, "Hey, this is not working," so I can go ahead and do something else.

If I do this on a daily basis, hourly basis, if I continue to take personal inventory, then I can do the next right thing the very next time. I can change my mind. I can make things better.

What a gift.


  1. These steps are indeed a gift.

    I think my communication skills are better now that I am in Al-Anon for over 2.5 years.

    Recently made some error but at least I'm catching on and taking my own inventory better..

    I think everyone could use the 12 steps whether they need al-anon or AA.. the steps are really a cool way to live.

    (hugs)...glad you had cuddle time with your little one and dog.

    Remember that HALT slogan..

  2. Tere,
    I really take joy and inspiration from this post. I say joy because I am so very proud of the progress you are making on your journey. You may see a lot more of the road to go but every now and then stop and take a moment to realize just how far you have come.

    The inspiration comes from your words of wisdom that can help us all to see how one person struggles and seeks to overcome.

    I also found myself smiling when I read the part where you were literally laughing out loud as you wrote. Thank you for making my day!