Step 10 is the first of the maintenance Steps. The next three Steps, 10, 11 and 12 are not only what helps us keep what we have gained through working Steps 1 through 9 but also brings us further toward awareness of living our lives within divine consciousness. We are not separate from our Higher Power.
"As we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions." (A.A. 12x12. pg. 88).
With Step 10 we begin to learn how to live happy, joyous and free .....no matter what is happening in our lives. And we learn to do so on a daily basis. This is indeed great news.
Living my life by looking at what is going on with me rather than looking at and blaming or holding resentments or any of the other negative thoughts of my self centered ego, gives me the ability to open up to happiness, joyfulness and freedom . Step 10 is a concrete and practical way to keep on track each day.
Step 10 has become something I do habitually now. And it shows in my attitude and in my relationships with people, places and things. With Step 10 I take responsibility for my life as it is in the present and set right my mistakes immediately.
The A.A. Big Book says that when we work Step 10 on a daily basis:
"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."
And then it goes on to tell us exactly what we must do:
"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 other is our code." (AABB pg. 84).
We will not be perfect, we will make mistakes, but we must rectify our
1. We see the mistake (selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear)
2. We discuss them with someone immediately.
3. We make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone.
4. With decisiveness, we turn our thoughts to someone we can help.
Pretty simple! But not always easy. Practice, practice, practice. The maintenance Steps are my spiritual practice.
I have found that all of my problems come from self-centered fear. When I am selfish, dishonest, resentful, jealous or anything else there is always some fear at the bottom of it all.
I have found writing a 10th step in the form of a letter to God very helpful. I tell God who or what I am resentful at and then I write...."because I fear".....and I keep going with what it is I fear until I feel that I have gotten to the heart of the matter. I always know when that happens because I will get that feeling of "Oh yes that is it!" If amends are necessary I make them.
With the use of Step 10 on a daily basis:
".....We have ceased fighting anything or anyone----even (food). For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in (trigger foods or compulsive overeating). If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward (food) has been given us without any thought or effort on out part. It just comes? That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality---safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react SO LONG AS WE ARE IN FIT SPIRITUAL CONDITION. (emphasis is mine). (AABB pg. 85)
That is the crux of the matter for compulsive overeaters. We get this 10th step promise as long as we stay in fit spiritual condition, and the 10th step is something we compulsive overeaters cannot do without. If we want the promise on page 85, we need to follow the instructions on page 84.
With this 10th Step tool we begin to have the ability to be happy, joyful and free.. We continually clear out our minds of all the negative guck by admitting our mistakes and making amends as needed, thus keeping our side of the street clean. In doing so, we make ourselves available for true joy which is: "not in the attainment of things desired, nor in the achievement of goals made, but in the feeling that lies within you." and we "know that this Joy is unaffected by outer circumstances" and is therefore, ours "forever."
Remembering always that this is a program of progress and not perfection. Be kind to yourself, if not, do a 10th step immediately because it is a mistake not to be.
all my love,
(originally posted by Dreena in December, 2002)
STEP TEN ~ QUESTIONS
1) Do a Step 10 for today. How did you do it?
2) "We have ceased fighting anything or anyone."
Please explain your understanding of this statement and
how it fits with Step 10.
3) Can you see how Step 10 brings us to a truly
abstinent way of life?
4) What is it like to have entered the world of the Spirit?
How do you experience this phenomena of knowing that
you are not separate?
5) Knowing that this is a program of progress and not
perfection helps me to be very kind and patient with myself.
List two ways you have experienced progress in being
kind and patient with yourself.
6) What would it be like to feel that never ending joy
within regardless of circumstances.
7) What are three things you are grateful for at this point
in your recovery.
(originally posted by Dreena in December, 2002)