"CONTINUED TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY AND WHEN WE WERE WRONG
PROMPTLY ADMITTED IT"
(From 12 & 12)
1. When we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use.
2. A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities for us.
3. The emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotions -- anger, fear, jealousy, etc., is experienced by us whether drinking or not.
4. The elimination of the emotional hangover requires an admission and correction of errors NOW.
5. Although all inventories are alike in principle, the time factor does distinguish one from another.
a) "Spot-check" inventory is taken at any time of day whenever we find ourselves getting tangled up.
b) The day's-end inventory is to review the happenings of the hours just past.
c) Then there are those occasions, when alone, or in the company of our sponsor or spiritual advisor, we make a careful review of our progress since the last time.
6. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because a great many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate self-appraisal.
7. It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
8. In daily living we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere.
9. Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint; for we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.
10. As an insurance against "big shotism" we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours.
11. Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent, emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means.
12. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore many, and can continue to fear or hate ANYBODY, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time.
13. Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual progress, a necessary stimulus to our growth.
14. Learning daily to spot, admit, and correct these flaws (motives in each thought or act that appears to be wrong) is the essence of character- building and good living.
15. An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try to better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek.
(From the Big Book)
1. Step Ten suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along.
2. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness.
3. This function is:
a) Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.
b) When present, we ask God at once to remove them.
c) We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed someone.
d) Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.
4. We have ceased fighting anything or anyone -- even alcohol.
5. What we really have is a daily reprieve (from alcohol) contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
6. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all our activities. "How can I best serve Thee -- Thy will (not mine) be done". These are the thoughts which must go with us constantly.
7. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.
8. 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.
1) Alcoholics Anonymous (big book), Chp. 6, p. 84, 3rd par. through p. 85, 3rd par.
2) Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions, Step Ten.
TENTH STEP GUIDE
"CONTINUED TO TAKE PERSONAL INVENTORY AND WHEN WE WERE WRONG PROMPTLY ADMITTED IT"
Beginning with Step Four, we commenced to search out the acquired charac¬ter defects that brought us to physical, moral, and spiritual bankruptcy. Step Five allowed us to share with God and another person the exact nature of our wrongs. Step Six and Seven made us aware that God may remove these defects and shortcomings if we are so willing. Step Eight continued the house-cleaning by our listing of all the people we had harmed. In Step Nine we then made those direct amends to such people except when to do so would injure them or others. Thus, if Steps Four through Nine have been completed honestly, then the past has been laid to rest.
Step Ten is concerned with the present and is a maintenance step. The past is done with -- now we are ready to really practice living the princi¬ples of A.A. -- one day at a time. Step Ten will keep us on the straight and narrow and keep us from accumulating wreckage from the present. Howev¬er, in order to do this we must take a daily personal inventory and admit when we are wrong. We will be practicing Steps Four through Nine each day if we are honestly willing to do Step Ten.
The first portion of Step Ten is to "continue to take personal inventory". Although we have a searching and fearless inventory from Step Four, it is not enough. Step Ten suggests that we take a personal inventory daily. The greatest awareness of the acquired character defects and how they still cause havoc in our daily lives is what we are after. The person¬al inventory is of three types. The "spot-check" inventory finds its chief application to situations which arise daily. In these situations, we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, and a willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. The second inventory, done at the end of each day, allows us to carefully examine our motives in each thought or act. Here we recognize that we did act or think negatively, try to see how we might have done better, resolve with God's help to carry these lessons over into tomorrow, and make any amends still neglected. The third type of inventory involves, when we are alone or with our sponsor, a careful review of our progress. This is a periodic house-cleaning, much like the Fourth and Fifth Steps, except we sweep away the wreckage of the immediate past.
The remainder of Step Ten asks us "when we are wrong promptly admit it". This practice will become easier and we become aware that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as fre¬quently wrong. The false self will resist admitting its wrongs. The only way to decrease the control of the false self is to defeat the ego. We can defeat the ego by continually admitting the wrongs done. When we harm others, we must promptly admit it -- to ourselves always -- to others when the admission would be constructive progress. We continually ask ourselves, "Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me -- TODAY"?
In the daily practice of living Step Ten, we are developing self-re¬straint. We can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic. The idea that we can love a few, ignore many, and continue to fear and hate ANYBODY, has to be abandoned. Practicing daily to spot, admit, and correct the acquired defects is the essence of good character building and good living.
The purpose of writing the Tenth Step is to help us acquire the habit of accurate self-appraisal and on a daily basis admitting our wrongs, to ourselves first, and then to others when the admission would be helpful. Our continued sobriety is dependent on how well we practice this step.
Go through the following examples and be as honest and specific as you are able to at this time. You are out to develop self-restraint, honest analysis, willingness to admit your wrongs, and willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere.
1. What does "continued to take personal inventory" mean to you?
2. Explain the three different types of inventories as outlined in Step Ten (12 & 12).
3. Do you think that you have acquired the habit of accurate self-apprais¬al? Why or why not? If not, how do you acquire it?
4. Why is the development of self-restraint our first objective?
5. Are you aware that all people, including yourself, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong? Why?
6. Why is it necessary to spot, admit, and correct our acquired defects of character on a daily basis?
7. How do you grow in understanding and effectiveness? (Big Book, Step Ten).
8. Have you ceased fighting anything and anybody? If not, what or who are you still fighting?
9. Why is it important to promptly admit when you are wrong?
10. For the next week, keep a diary of an accurate self-appraisal for each day. Each day a) list the amends that have been made or are to be made; b) list the defects involved; c) examine your motives in each thought or act; and d) ask God to remove these defects.
11. Why is Step Ten called a maintenance step?
12. How are you going to live Step Ten?
The development of an accurate Self-Appraisal is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY and is an indication of how your program is working for you.
from the Top of the Hill group
840 17th St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Shared with love,
Candy Smith, Oak Harbor, Washington June 4,1980
Phyllis Brett, Coupeville, Washington June 21,1987