How Do I Practice Step 10?
Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Back when I was a newcomer I was told to read Step 10 every morning before I got started with my day. In the many years since that first year I no longer take a complete, fearless and thorough moral inventory of each incident that causes me conflict and requires self-examination to lead me away from resentment. I do what is called a spot-check inventory, written or just talking to a spiritual adviser, and that usually shows me what role I played in the situation, where I was wrong, whether I should make amends and how quickly.
Step 10 is my gateway to emotional sobriety, an attribute I want as part of my persona and a difficult one to achieve. The literature tells us we no longer have hangovers from too much to drink but rather hangovers created by excesses of emotion.
We read that instincts for food, love, and sex are natural and God-given but we have problems when those instincts go awry. Fortunately we have the 12 steps and the AA philosophy to guide us back to a reasonable approach to the problem and to life in general.
This step asks us “do we pass the acid test…can we stay sober, live to good purpose and keep in emotional balance under all conditions?”
Step 10 reminds us that gossip makes us feel comfortably superior to the people we are talking about, that we are not trying to be helpful with constructive criticism but rather seeking to punish the other person and that all people are to some extent emotionally ill and frequently wrong. If we can adopt this view only then can we approach true tolerance of our fellow men.
How do you work the principles in Step 10? Do you practice inventory taking on some level when life doesn’t go your way? Do you agree that even so-called jusfied anger is not for us; it is the dubious luxury of normal men; do you examine your motives and clear them of wrong doing? Do you practice restraint of tongue and pen, telephone and e-mail? Do you try to bring the spirit of this incredible program into all areas of your life?
Ladies, please share with us anything you feel about this life-changing step. The floor is now open for discussion.