WTS ~ WORKING THE STEPS

2009

STEP TEN
Continued to take personal inventory and
when we were wrong promptly admitted it.



Can we stay sober and keep emotional balance under all conditions?

When the past is settled with, present challenges can be met.

It is my belief that some of us have bigger and deeper pasts than others. Regardless of the past though, it takes what it takes. There is no room for self pity here unless you want to allow yourself to relapse. For those of us with huge issues that needed amended we may need to have those listed in black and white, be ready to make amends, arrange to pay off debts, etc., and go on to step ten without delay so that we don't start piling up debris on the sidewalk faster than we can sweep it off in the first place.

In the Big Book it states that sanity with the food has come by now. We have ceased fighting it or anyone else for that matter. (p. 84) If I am not experiencing this then I need to go back and work steps 4-9 deeply until I do experience it. The deeper the issues and pain, the deeper I must go in those steps to get to the bottom of it. Assuming you are abstinent now we can go on to step ten.

If you are not abstinent, you can study step ten, but you may not be able to refrain from compulsive overeating just by studying the step. To recover, we must actually work the step which requires further surrender of our daily lives that we will likely not be willing to do unless we are abstaining consistently.

How do I work step ten? I try for simplicity. This is the the wording on page 84-85 that I try to live by each day.



I watch for

selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.

When I notice I am troubled

I ask God to release me from these old coping skills.

Instead I choose to practice

willingness, honesty, tolerance, forgiveness and trust.

I make amends if I harmed anyone

and then I "RESOLUTELY" turn to someone I can help.

I try to take a vision of God's will into all my activities.

I ask HP to give me strength, direction and inspiration.

I open up to intuition and imagination so the Spirit can quide me.


So what does this really look like in my daily life? Very imperfect!


I still have major challenges in relationships. For one thing, I still want to be nice. Being nice does not work so well in the adult world. As a child, it kept me alive and it almost pleased my parents and teachers. Then they came to expect it. When I would be less than nice and be merely human I experienced alot of rejection and harsh correction.. It took me half a century to discover that my desire or need to be nice was about some less than stellar motivation instead of being kind for kindness sake.

A nice person is elevated above all others. She/he is super human--an angel so to speak. This is nothing but false pride. A nice person has to put their lives on hold so that more people can have their own selfish way! This means the nice person is a manipulator and a people pleaser not a God pleaser. A nice person is often full of fear to be anything but nice. This is not faith or justice either one. A nice person usually has to practice some kind of addiction to hide their true feelings of resentment and fear.

Today, my goal is to stay centered in God and his will for me. Sometimes this means being fair and equal. I do not have to have my way. But I do have to take care of myself. Sometimes I need to be assertive in my office because this is more honest and facilitates my coworker's growth! I have blocked her growth for far too long! I am not sure what kind of amends to do with this situation yet except to do a living amends by being real and honest in the office and saying what I really think and how I really feel. This I have begun to do.

In the past, I worked my life around everyone else. I ended up feeling pulled in a dozen different directions. Today I live my life and try to contribute to the lives of others when I can. I like that saying we have, "To give what we can, when we can."

Most days when I ask for direction, strength, inspiration and wisdom I am able to step right into the next right thing. When I don't know, I can pause today. In the past with my addict's mind I was unable to wait over 3 seconds for anything ever!!!

I tend to be an "innie" not an "outie" so I rarely have to make direct amends unless I just make a mistake of some kind. But I constantly find I have to do living amends because of my tendency to selfishly isolate, be dishonest and judgmental, over protective of self, defensive, and resentful from not speaking up.

These attitudes and behaviors require honesty and accountability or I can slip back into them very easily just like a pair of old shoes. I share with my sponsor frequently about my feelings around my food and relationships. When I feel disconnected or out of sorts, often my food is getting in the yellow zone where I need to return to safer foods for a while. My food is a very good barometer for my feelings and program. To say my food is good when it is not would hurt me very badly. I do not believe we have to relapse but I do believe it is a miracle that we don't! It is so easy to let up on our spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels and pretend all is well. That hurts me in the end. Not good. It is always easier to stay abstinent than to get abstinent. I try to remember that.

Another practice I have is to imagine how I can behave differently when I feel troubled either with resentment or fear. When someone bullies me instead of resenting it or fearing them I try to imagine all the different ways I can respond to the situation! I have had alot of practice with this by the way! Recently in one situation, every time the person started again to behave poorly, I got up quietly, picked up a couple of personal items and said I am going to take a walk, and walked out the door. After about a week of this twice a day, the obnoxious behavior ended.

I also have imagined walking straighter, taller, and more confidently, speaking more like an assertive adult until those actions became more normal for me. I believe we do teach people how to treat us. I am now showing them how to not treat me, too. Not that I can control them, but they do know whether I will be receptive to being mistreated by past experience, body language, etc.

Step ten has become very intuitive for me. I find it to be the great mood stabilizer. When I keep track of Linda and let HP drive the bus, the route goes alot smoother! I try to follow his lead!

Here are questions to consider in your study of step 10 and then you can decide if you want to actually "WORK" step ten and enjoy the results which were mentioned at the top of this week's study:

Can we stay sober and keep emotional balance under all conditions?

When the past is settled with, present challenges can be met.


Assignments:

AA BIG BOOK: Page 84-85

AA 12x12: Page 8 summary Step 10 page 88-95

OA 12x12: Step 10 page 83-90

Questions for reflection:

AA Big Book:

1. What mistakes are you likely to make when you become selfish and self centered?

2. What mistakes might you make when being dishonest emotionally or when not speaking up?

3. What mistakes do you eventually make when you harbor resentment?

4. What mistakes do you make when you are fearful?

5. In each of these situations what could you do instead?

6. Read page 85 and share with us in summary what this means to you regarding spirituality.

AA 12x12:

1. What is meant by the sentence on page 90: "It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something worng with us"? Please give a personal example from your own experience.

2. What character trait will help us in every troublesome situation?

3. Give an example of a time you practiced restraint of tongue or pen.

4. All people are to some extent ___________________ as well as _____________.

How does this help us when we realize it as a truth?

5. Share with us some good intentions, good thoughts and good acts you have had this week.

OA 12x12:

1. Read page 90 and share how you feel about your work on step 10 so far.

2. On page 87 it says we discuss our problems and successes with our Higher Power in prayer--write a prayer about your problems and successes this week.

3. We also are to share our inventory with our sponsor or trusted friend, mentor, spiritual advisor. Share one issue you shared with someone and what feedback you received.

Step 10 is a living step. It is all in the details. All those little and big issues that built up over time, increased our stress, and triggered our eating issues as well as many other problems in our life. Keeping things from building up is essential to our spirituality as well as our emotional and physical health!

In that way, step ten is really good medicine!

Optional visual assignment:

Step 10 keeps us centered in our solution. Draw 3 circles inside of each other each a little larger than the last one. In the center circle put your HP in large letters and put your name right beneath it in smaller letters or draw a happy face. In the next larger circle, the medium size one, put the words "my program" and in the outer largest circle put the words Life on life's terms. Keep this as a reminder that if you stay centered in your higher power and your program you can face today's challenges or in other words, life on life's terms.

Have a blessed week--I look forward to hearing from you as we develop our maintenance steps!




Surrendering still,

Linda E



 
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