Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
This step is discussed in the Big Book on pages 84-85, and at more length in the 12×12 starting on p. 88. This step involves – for me – a process of continuing to “look at our [my] assets and liabilities…” with “a real desire to learn and grow by this means” (12/12, p. 88)
What a challenge! To keep looking at both my strengths and what I think are my weaknesses and maintain a willingness to keep growing! Sometimes that growth process involves a lot of emotional focus that is not comfortable for me (maybe always?) And as I think about it today, it can be as uncomfortable to look at my assets with the same focus as my weaknesses. It strikes me just now that part of the reason to admit my assets is to keep in mind what I might be called to do, or add, or offer in a situation – to keep an open mind and heart to how I might be being called to contribute.
This step calls me to try and be aware of what I am doing right now and how that might affect others right now. I want to be alert to the symptoms of emotional imbalance and how I react to situations where I am emotionally disturbed right now, in this moment, so I have a chance to apologize and make the situation as right as I can… The step also recommends that I do a daily taking of an inventory to see how my day went – where was I helpful (what worked) and where did my defects pop up like weeds in my garden?
I am more adept at the “spot-check inventory,” the recognizing of where I am a mess right now – than I am at doing the day-end inventory. After talking with my sponsor about this, we have added to my daily short list of gratitudes a reflection of my day as it played out using Step 10 as a lens. I write this in my journal – I keep it to one page – and photograph it and text it to her. I find this sharing helps so much as it is one of the things I can do to make the program of AA come really alive.
One of the promises in this step is that this will help me stay emotionally sober – a state I’m coming to prize highly. It also makes an amazing claim that I have found does, indeed, come true (another promise) in the Big Book on p. 84, “And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned.” What an amazing promise – that I, Laura, can be in a place where I don’t fight anyone or anything.
I am looking forward to hearing how you use Step 10 and / or how you might find Step 10 a challenge.
Thank you for letting me chair this meeting and letting my share – my name is Laura B. and I am an alcoholic.