Step Ten

Index for Step Ten

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I wanted to start by saying that Step Ten is the most misunderstood AND the
grandest step of all steps.  But that would be inappropriately honoring my
character defect of grandiosity - and what I honor...INCREASES.  And this
is NOT what I want to do in Step Ten or in Life - both of which are

Up to now, we have done the research and repair of our spiritual life
system.  We are not perfect, because we are a part of perfection, not
perfection itself, but we're ready to LIVE. Step Ten tells us HOW TO LIVE
*EACH* DAY - spelled out clearly on Pages 84 and 85 in the Big Book.

Step Ten does NOT tell us just to say "I'm sorry" to the offended every
time we goof up.  It tells us precisely how to LIVE EACH DAY.  The "Tenth
Step" is REALLY on P. 84-85.  There is also a new set of promises, (in the
NEXT paragraph) equally glorious to the twelve promises just discussed by

Enough intro - let's start:)

(Middle of p. 84 AABB:) "This thought brings us to *Step Ten*...

The thought it's referring to is at the end of the "regular" 12 promises
(P83-84) saying they will ALL come true IF we WORK for them.  Step Ten is
what we do to have ALL the promises demonstrated in our lives.).

"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."

So, ALL the stuff we learned HOW to do in ALL the steps from 4-9 is
repeated *every day*.  When Bill W, the author of the AABB refers to
"selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear;" he is referring to ALL the
CDs, since these are the ones he mentions in the earlier chapters, for the
most part, concerning inventories, admissions, etc.  Here are the ABCDEs of

A.  "When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them."

    The FIRST thing we do when we goof up (act out) is a mini Step 6 & 7.
We go to God as we understand God.

B.  "We *discuss* them with someone immediately..."

    We do a mini step 5 with someone BEFORE:

C.  "...[we] make amends quickly IF we have harmed anyone.

    Mini-step 8 & 9 - make restitution.

D.  "Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.

E.  "Love and tolerance of others is our code."

          This is the Way to Live (for the rest of your) Life.  Period.


A.  Notice the words "at once" "immediately" and "quickly." DO you react and
    DO something about *yourself* "quickly" when you spot one of your old CDs
    (character defects)?

B.  What do you DO when YOU spot a CD?  Do you turn to your sponsor,
    significant other, confidant, etc. for clarity on YOUR behavior?  (This
    takes courage, and should happen before making amends:)

C.  Is it possible that the work you did on Steps 4-9, cleaning up your
    stuff, has enabled you to look at deeper more subtle CDs which are now
    beginning to surface that you now are ready to get rid of?


SO, if we LIVE EVERY DAY FROM NOW ON as prescribed in the the first
paragraph of Step Ten (AABB page 84), then we experience an EXTENDED set of
twelve NEW promises.

1.  "WE HAVE ENTERED THE WORLD OF THE SPIRIT": -   This one occurs in the
middle of the first Step Ten paragraph (AABB p 84).

To enter the world of the spirit, to me, means to know that at the depth of
my own being is the solution to EVERY problem I experience.  God is no
longer OUT THERE, never was.  I can now see clearly that I reside within a
Power Greater than Me.  To know that there is depth to life is to begin to
know God as the total Spirit of things and to know that I am a part of THAT

2.  "And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even [food]." - At
the beginning of the last paragraph on p 84.

Quoted often to myself (AFTER I have been through a battle) I realize that
there is NO NEED to "do battle" any more with people or things which
offend.  I handle it ALL spiritually - and I have NEVER seen it fail!  I
pray for those I resent and follow the basis for living described earlier.

Useta be I would have the fiercest battle in my mind "Should I eat this, or
shouldn't I; just this once - only a small bite - blah blah blah."   These
thoughts don't occur as often and they come with less force and are easily

3.  "For by this time sanity will have returned."

Remember all the trouble from Step Two (Came to believe...restored to
sanity... who ME?...I'm not insane, I just eat a little extra
sometimes...")?  Well this promise says sanity has returned.  I can decide
and carry out my own actions AS DECIDED, most of the time.  Although
control has been a dirty word occasionally,  it means in terms of REAL
LIFE, I am now in control of what I eat (BECAUSE I'm on a spiritual basis,
drawing strength from HP continually.)

4.  "We will seldom be interested in [food]."

I remember the FIRST time, after entering Program, that gooey junk food
really DIDN'T interest me.  It felt SO GOOD to see food as a thing out
there, to which I wasn't irresistibly drawn.  I was asked if I wanted some,
and I responded "no thanks" and really meant it!  It was amazing.  I called
my sponsor and began:  "You'll never believe..."  She did.

5.  If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame

6.  We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened


D.  Tell us about a recent "flash of sanity."
E.  Write about ANY of the first six Step Ten promises above.


Here is my take on the second half of the Step Ten promises:

7.  "We will see that our new attitude toward [food] has been given us
without any thought or effort on our part.  It just comes!  That is the
miracle of it."

As we worked the first nine steps and changed the way we live, relate and
react to life, our attitude towards food was altered FOR us.

8.  "We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation."

9.  "We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality -
safe and protected."

Is this the same as what Michael Johnson meant when he talked about "being
in the zone?"

10.  "We have not even sworn off."

THAT sure never did any good before!  I wish I had a nickel for every time
I swore off a certain food, or a certain action, or a certain relationship,
or even a certain thought.

11.  "Instead, the problem has been removed.  It does not exist for us."

It's a lot better to have a problem removed than to have to *solve* a
problem.  Wow, what an idea!

12.  "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."

To "... keep in fit spiritual condition..." is accomplished as long as we
follow the guidelines listed in the first paragraph of Step Ten (see Part

This has little to do with going to church or reading certain spiritual
books.  It has all to do with living each day, being where we said we were
going to be, doing what we said we were going to do, making a mend to our
character when necessary, sticking with it, and being gentle with ourselves
and others.

It has to do with moving from a former condition of being marginally useful
to others into being truly useful to others.


F.  Please write about any of the above Step Ten promises .
G.  What does "in fit spiritual condition" mean to YOU?


The middle paragraph on Page 85 of the AABB says:

 "We are not cured of [compulsive overeating].  What we 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."

THIS is what Step Ten really is about - not (only) about saying I'm sorry
when we mess up.  It is being in constant contact with our own Higher
Power.  It is seeking Her will continuously. *** How can anyone DO that?

The only way I know is to first know that HP is the whole of which I am a
part.  To know that at the deepest part of my being dwells God and to
establish and maintain contact is about going within, not looking outside,
for answers.  KNOWING that God is within me (and within you) or better
stated that I am (we are all) within God, is the key to living peacefully
with myself and others.  When I dwell on that, I dwell in peace.

My will, to live in this manner, is the choice I make daily, because I want
THAT.  And, to my understanding, "that is the proper use of the will."

I can not say any better what the Big Book says in the last paragraph about
Step Ten.  It is quoted below, and I will end with it.  The specific manner
in which we are to establish and maintain constant contact with HP is what
the next step is about.

"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."

God Bless you all.

Bob A.

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