Hi All, Lanaya here, compulsive overeater. I am very late posting this. I sincerely apologize! I had to make two out-of-state, over-night trips for work in the last week and it just wore me out. So, this post is going to be a lot shorter and different than those prior.
Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
So, do we have to keep digging and rehashing? What in the world for? What good purpose does it solve?
First, we must remember that we are often plagued by denial, self justification and rationalization. We have not acquired the habit of accurate self appraisal.
I cannot take inventory and then file it away and expect to get well and stay well. That defies a chronic illness, which we have. We have to take inventory each day to stay abstinent and in recovery.
The first nine steps are our original house-cleaning where we clear away the wreckage of the past so that the Grace of God can enter us and expel the obsession. Step 10-11and 12 are how we can live each day and make up for anything we left out, for after all, remember all that talk about how the first 9 steps are but beginnings?
We do 3 kinds of inventories...spot checks, it tells us exactly how to do it on p. 84 of the BB.
"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."
This is telling me that I have not arrived, rather I am continuing to grow...I get to continue to watch for those character defects so common to us that cause so much damage! I have done this exact procedure more times than I can tell and it has helped me tremendously!
In fact in the AA 12 and 12 on p 90 it goes so far as to say that, "It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us an we are sore, we are in the wrong also."
This is a very hard pill to swallow. If you have not done the reading yet, I strongly suggest you read the entire chapter to put this into context.
Then there are the long standing difficulties we can take a look at in annual or semi-annual house cleanings. I take inventory every time I take a sponsee through the steps. This helps to keep me balanced and again, God constantly reveals more to us. We really are human and this kind of practice and growth takes time...sometimes a lot of time. Progress, not perfection.
Courtesy, kindness, justice and love are the characteristics we can do our best to employ in step 10 and come into harmony with most people. We were trying to put our lives in order in steps 1-9 and now in steps 10 we begin to find our real purpose which is to fit ourselves to be of maximum usefulness to God and the people about us according to the BB on p.77
It really is a poor day when we do not do something right. If I look honestly I will see positive actions and attitudes. This is part of my 10th step as well. I can follow the directions from p.86/87 for the night time inventory. It asks me to review the day.....and end with a prayer for forgiveness and direction from God. Again, please take a moment to read these pages to put this into context.
I will close by saying that emotional turmoil always precedes serenity. And that this is the step where they tell us that if tempted we will recoil as though from a hot flame. We will have regained our sanity! The problem has been removed. That is how we react as long as we stay in fit spiritual condition. All we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the mntnc of our spiritual condition.
And then...in the 12 and 12 it will tell us that if we get upset by others and try to launch a headlong assault on the problem that we really have got the cart before the horse. Spiritual growth must come before the satisfaction of instincts.
Remember we have a deadly illness and we agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths to fine a spiritual experience and victory over alcohol/food.
This step works.
Do you do a 10th step at night from the Big Book?
If not, do you expect to get the results they got without doing what they did?
Do you do spot checks through out the day from p. 84? Try it this week if you dare with your sponsor.
Do you do annual or semi annual housecleanings?
What happens if you get a backlog of character defects and the consequences of that behavior?
Are you vulnerable to a relapse? Has that happened to you in the past?
How did you get back?