Set Aside Prayer
"God, How can I best serve Thee?
Thy will (not mine) be done."
At this point, we have completed the basic core steps that are the basic principles to be practiced daily in our lives. Those of you who have done the work up to this point have chosen to let God direct your lives. In order to expand this new God-consciousness, we need to live the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Steps, on a daily basis. In the maintenance step 10, we learn to apply the Steps 4-9 in real time throughout the day as we go along through life. This is what it means to apply these principles in all our affairs.
Notice Step Ten says that when we were wrong we promptly admit it. It doesn't say when we were wrong we promptly justify it. The first three Steps are designed to bring us to the point where we become willing to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a Higher Power. Steps Four through Nine are how we turn our will and our lives over by removing what blocks us from actually doing so. The last three Steps are how we keep our will and our lives turned over to God indefinitely.
A large part of Step Ten is a summary of Steps Four through Nine, to be used quickly on a moment-by-moment basis throughout each day. The key to Step Ten are the words, "continue to take personal inventory." The "Big Book" emphasizes the importance of continuing to take the Steps.
Step Ten done in Real Time
We can sum up step ten by saying that it is the tools we learned in steps four though nine executed in real time. The word ‘continued’ in the step definition means that there isn’t anything new here. We are to apply it as we need it.
Because it is to be carried out in real time, we don’t set time aside to do it in the morning or evening, we do it right away. This is what is meant when we read "This thought brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along."
The "new mistakes" are any of the character defects (liabilities) that arise during our day to day life. Such as: resentment (anger that leads to resentment), fears, dishonesty, and selfishness. We learn that just cleaning the wreckage of the past isn’t enough. We are not saints and our liabilities are not gone forever. They may return or continue, and now that we’ve worked the steps one through nine, we have the tools to deal with them on a daily basis.
The word ‘vigorously means actively without delay in the quote, "We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the spirit." This is what is mean by real time.
Steps as Our Basic Tools
Now come more details of what we have to do on a daily basis. "Continue to watch for selfishness dishonesty resentment and fear." Those are our basic liabilities. From them stem all our other liabilities. So every liability that arises, be it envy, gossip, self pity, justification, procrastination etc… can be related to one of those four. 'Watching' means becoming aware of what happens as it happens.
We have the tools of dealing with resentment and fear. Those are steps 4-7, that should be applied in real time, immediately, every time a resentment or fear crop up. When selfishness or dishonesty or their related liabilities crop up we deal with those by steps 5-7.
"When those crop up we ask God at once to remove them. We discus them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we harmed anyone."
So we see that steps 4-7 are the tools for dealing with resentment and fear on a daily basis and steps 5-7 are the tools for dealing with other liabilities on a daily basis. If we cause harm we of course have to make amends as quickly as possible. And in addition to steps 4-7 we apply steps 8-9.
Step 12 is included in this when we read the following passages.
"Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help." This is the way to deal with our selfishness and self centeredness by helping others.
"Love and tolerance of others is our code"
NOTE: This code is an ideal of relationships with others. As an ideal it is something to light our path and show us the way. The Big Book deals with this subject in the chapter 'How it Works' It tells us that we ask God (pray) to help us live up to the ideal and we must be willing to grow toward it. And we do this by living all twelve steps on a daily basis.
More on Promises and the Warning
The first promise is that we live in harmony with ourselves and the world around us. "And we have ceased fighting anything and anyone even alcohol (trigger foods.) For by this time sanity will have returned."
Our obsession with food will be removed. That is why we cease fighting with food. The return of sanity is not only the removal of the obsession with food. It is the return to a manageable life by living the steps. Even if the insane food thoughts return momentarily we will know how to reject them.
Those promises emphasize that it is not I who remove my insanity. It is removed by H.P. I don't have to fight. I am placed in a position of neutrality safe and protected.
But there is a catch. All this happens as long as I keep in a fit spiritual condition. Keeping in a fit spiritual condition is MY job. It is NOT God's job.
Dealing with the wreckage of the past by steps 1-9, may leave us feeling very good, with better relationships with food, with ourselves with H.P. and with other people. So we may think that now we can relax and take it easy. We have done our part and the rest is just that, taking a rest. The Big Book tells us that this is not the case. We learned and practiced a new way of living, and we have to continue with it actively and vigorously or we will return actively and vigorously to our active disease.
The disease is not gone. It is in us just waiting to turn active again if we don't keep in a fit spiritual condition. "It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol (food) is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism (food addiction). What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition."
Recovery vs. Cured
A lot of people use the expression ' in recovery' or 'recovering' and avoid the word 'recovered' The Big Book on the other hand uses only the word recovered to describe a person who lives the twelve steps on a daily basis. I think that it is just a matter of definitions. If we follow the Big Book definition it says quite explicitly that recovered is not cured. It is a daily reprieve, so it is on a daily basis and it depends on our doing our work of maintaining our fit spiritual condition by daily work of all the steps.
So we have to live the spiritual life on a daily basis. We do this by living all the twelve steps on a daily basis. This is the way to keep in a fit spiritual condition and avoid regressing into active illness.
a) Carry a small notebook and pen with you wherever you go.
- Read the step ten directions and the step ten promises pages 84-85 every day. Make it a daily discipline.
- Make a discipline of working step ten every day without fail. Remember this step is not limited to a particular time of day. It is an on the spot step in real time.
b) Become aware of your feelings and actions during the day and deal immediately with every liability that raises its head.
c) If it is a resentment or fear, do a step four on it immediately in real time. First in your head and then in writing. The writing should preferably be in real time if possible. Remember you carry a small notebook and pen. Use it. The writing should follow exactly what you did when you wrote step 4 in this workshop. Share with someone. (Step 5)
Pray to H.P. and do the actions necessary to deal with those liabilities. If you don't remember what to do about resentments and fears then read again the shares and assignments on step four.
d) For any other liability including the resentments and fears do the actions of steps 6-7. If you don't remember how to work steps six and seven then read the shares and assignments on steps six and seven. Pay particular attention to the discussion on anger, guilt and self criticism and how to deal with them. This will help you understand how to deal with other liabilities. Always share with someone (step 5)
e) If you hurt or harmed someone, do the actions of steps 8-9 immediately. If you don't remember read the shares and assignments on steps 8-9. Always share with your sponsor or someone else who understands.
f) Remind yourself to find opportunities to help others during the day. Write down what you do during the day to help others.
g) Remind yourself of the code "Love and tolerance of others is our code" Write down whenever you behaved during the day according to this code.
h) During the day ask God many times to guide you on the path.
READINESS TO MOVE ON
Steps 10-12 are to be done as living steps. Once you’ve reached it to step ten you are ready to do step 11 and 12.
|A Program of Continued Action|
|Step 11 work||Read pages 84-88|
|At Night (86) Suggested Actions||Review and ask:|
|Steps 4-7||Was I or Am I now Resentful?|
|Steps 5-7||Was I selfish?|
|Steps 5-7||Was I dishonest|
|Steps 4-7||Am I afraid?|
|Steps 8-9 Do it-plan it for tomorrow||Do I owe an apology?|
|Tell them asap||Have I kept something to myself which should be discussed with another person at once?|
|Write details||Was I kind and loving toward all?|
|Write details||Did I help others today?|
|Write details & discuss with sponsor||What could I have done better?|
|Self refection for prayer||Was I thinking of myself most of the time or was I thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?|
|step 11 work||Pray for forgiveness and guidance for any correct behaviors (forgive yourself and let it go)|
|step 11 work||Meditate on what God would want you to do and Guidance|
|BALANCE||Take out and write the good we did for day and include our attributes list with new things|
|No morbid reflection!!!!! Afterwards we ask for|
forgiveness and guidance for any correct behaviors
|Step 10/11||   |
|Morning - prayer||God, How can I best serve Thee- Thy will (not mine) be done.|
|   ||God please direct my thinking, please divorce it from self-pity, dishonesty or self seeking motives.|
|   ||Consider plans for the day|
|   ||Before we begin the day we pray for God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.|
|   ||Meditate and allow him to tell us anything|
|   ||Prayer for the day (others not ourselves)|
|   ||Throughout the day we ask for his help in all situations that we are struggling with.|
|   ||We ask many times a day that his will be done…|
|(the need to control, for approval, and security (emotional & physical) separation||Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear."|
|   ||Those are our basic liabilities. From them stem all our other liabilities|
|Cheat sheet for working steps when discovering|
a need to work them when doing 10-11th steps
|Step 4||Step 4||Step 4||Step 4||Step 5||Step 5|
|I'm Resentful at, Fearful of, or have a Sexual (or general) misconduct||The cause
|Pride (Other's View)
||Where was I selfish, self seeking, dishonest, to blame, or Frightened?||Admit do God, Myself and another human being (sponsor)||CHARACTER DEFECTS-Attributes and characteristics of Self Will|
|Step 6||Step 6||Step 6||Step 6||Step 6||Step 6|
|ASSETS-Attributes and characteristics of God's Will||Benefits and Usefulness of hanging onto the liability||Describe the Damage and Harm my hanging onto this liability has caused me.||Is this a Defensive Behavior? - Describe Vulnerabilities associated if a defensive behavior||How this affects my life?||Are there steps I can take to overcome this? Write them down.|
|Step 7||Do I do a step 8-9?||Step 8||Step 8||Step 9||Step 9|
|Step 7 Share sixth step work with sponsor and say 7th step prayer.
My Creator I am now willing that You should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that You now remove from me, every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Grant me the strength, as I go out from here, to do Your biding. Amen.||Did I harm them? - if no stop if yes Who?||Describe exact harm||Am I willing, willing but hard, not willing, or can't make the amends?||Describe amends (share with sponsor)||Set date and time and do amends|