Leader's Share and Step Questions
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.
In my last share we dealt with step nine and you had some preliminary
reading and writing assignments for steps 10 and 11.
Now it is my turn to share on step ten.
After beginning to make amends and committing to finish taking step nine to
The best of my ability without delay or procrastination, I cross over to the
Recovery stage, and the step nine promises begin to manifest in my life.
The Big Book says the following about the promises:
"Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled
Among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize
If we work for them." page 84.
Notice it says WORK and not WORKED.
Being in the recovery stage is a new beginning not an ending. The steps are
Spiritual principles that we have to incorporate into our life on a daily
Basis. By working steps 1-9 we cleaned up the wreckage of the past. We
Learned how to use the steps to deal with life's problems, and now we have
To continue cleaning on a daily basis in order to progress, grow and develop
There is no resting on our laurels. This is a new way of life that we have
To live daily.
It is important to realize that I don't wait till I finish step nine before
doing step ten.
If I began step nine and committed to completing it, I begin immediately
with step ten while I simultaneously continue with step nine.
Step Ten says: "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong
promptly admitted It."
The key words here are CONTINUED and PROMPTLY.
We continue to take an ON THE SPOT
inventory when needed and act promptly to correct our mistakes.
The Big Book says that the thought of working for the promises to
materialize, brings Us to step ten.
"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
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." page 84.
We are told that we have entered the world of the spirit by taking steps 1-9
We developed new sane relationships with ourselves with H.P. And with other
People. We now have a beginning of a conscious contact with H.P. We know how
to act when our Defects surface and we make mistakes, since we have
practiced steps 1-9. We have begun a new life. We will continue to practice
Principles (the steps) and incorporate them in our life as long as we live.
Now the Big Book gives us specific instructions on how to live Step Ten on a
"Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear [step
When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them [steps 6 & 7]. We
Discuss them with someone immediately [step 5] and make amends quickly if we
Have harmed anyone [steps 8 & 9]. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to
Someone we can help[part of step 12].
Love and tolerance of others is our code [general recovery principle]." page
As we can see, step ten comprises the application of steps 4-9 on a daily
We have to watch out for the manifestations of our self-centeredness
And self-will run riot, which are selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and
We have not turned into angels by working the steps.
Our character defects will surface from time to time.
We are new born, which means we are really like babies learning to live life
in the spiritual Dimensions. Our old patterns will surface, but now we have
the tools to deal with them on the spot.
We have to understand that the steps are not magic tricks to be performed
Once, so that they might solve all our problems.
Rather the steps are a discipline, a body of theory and technique that must
be studied and
Practiced if we are willing to apply this program to our lives. We continue
With the techniques we have begun to practice in the earlier steps. We
Continue to take our inventory. We continue to admit our shortcomings. We
Continue to ask God to remove our shortcomings, and we continue to make
Amends when we wrong others.
The last three of the twelve steps 10-12 are designed for daily living and
Practice to help me continue my spiritual growth. There is no standing in
Place on the spiritual path. We either grow and progress or we regress back
Into our illness. Working those steps on a daily basis helps me to move
Forward and grow spiritually and emotionally for the rest of my life.
What we do in Step Ten is a spot check and treatment by taking steps 4-9
Immediately in any life situation where we acted out our defects. Since this
Is on the spot treatment we cannot always write or call our sponsor, but we
are in a new stage now. If an inventory is necessary, which is the case for
resentments, fears and hurting others, we can go over the appropriate tables
In our head and see our part. We can share with someone who is a friend or a
Colleague. We don't have to wait for our sponsor since it is an immediate
treatment. And if we have to repair some harm that we have done, we make
amends immediately and don't delay, unless we are not entirely clear about
the situation and need to share with someone. Even then we find someone
suitable near us and share with him.
We practice steps 6-7 on the spot. We ask God to remove our
defects that appeared in that situation, and we act to practice the
conjugate assets. In addition to that we help others, which helps us
practice unselfishness, and we remember that our code of behavior is love
and tolerance of others. Of course we have to add to that, love and
tolerance of ourselves too. The first stage of approaching the code of love
Is to practice restraint and avoid retaliation or argument.
Let us now see some of the things the A.A. 12 & 12 has to say about step 10.
"A spot-check inventory can be of very great help in quieting stormy
Today's spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in
each day's march. The consideration of long-standing difficulties had better
when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that purpose. The quick
inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people
or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes.
"In all these situations 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. We need not be
discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these
disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not for perfection."
"Our first objective will be the development of self- restraint. This
carries a top priority rating. When we speak or act hastily or rashly, the
ability to be fair-minded and tolerant evaporates on the spot. One unkind
tirade or one willful snap judgment can ruin our relation with another
person for a whole day, or maybe a whole year. Nothing pays off like
restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and
furious, power-driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn.
These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our
first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we
should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor
act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic."
"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. It
will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to
become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the
pains of growing up."
"Such a radical change in our outlook will take time, maybe a lot of time.
Not many people can truthfully assert that they love everybody. Most of us
must admit that we have loved but a few; that we have been quite indifferent
To the many so long as none of them gave us trouble; and as for the
remainder -- well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these
attitudes are common enough, we find we need something much
better in order to keep our balance. We can't stand it if we hate deeply.
The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many,
and can continue to fear or hate anybody, has to be abandoned, if only a
little at a time."
"We can try to stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love. We can
show kindness where we had shown none. With those we dislike we can begin to
Practice justice and courtesy, perhaps going out of our way to understand
and help them."
"Whenever we fail any of these people, we can promptly admit it -- to
ourselves always, and to them also, when the admission would be helpful.
Courtesy, kindness, justice, and love are the keynotes by which we may come
into harmony with practically anybody. When in doubt we can always pause,
saying, 'Not my will, but Thine, be done.' And we can often ask ourselves,
Am I doing to others as I would have them do to me -- today?' " pages 88-93.
Now that we are in the recovery stage and working step 10, there are more
promises that materialize in our life.
Let us see the tenth step promises in the Big Book:
"And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol [food]. For by
This time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor
[trigger foods]. 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 liquor [food] has been given us
without any thought or effort on our 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
how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition." pages 84-85.
These promises deal with sanity and with our food compulsion. We don't
have to fight anything anymore even food, since our obsession has been
removed and we are acting sanely now. H.P. has removed our problem. This is
the miracle of this program, the removal of our food obsession.
This obsession removal with regard to food is real abstinence as defined by
the Big Book.
When our obsession is removed we can follow any food plan that suits our
needs without fighting and without relapsing.
Our recovery is contingent on our keeping in a fit spiritual constitution.
This means that our degree of recovery is dependent on our degree of daily
A RECOVERED PERSON IS ONE WHO PRACTICES STEPS 10-12 ON A DAILY BASIS.
We have to continue to practice the steps on a daily basis all our life,
otherwise our illness will take over again.
"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 [compulsive eating]. What we really 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."
BB page 85.
We are told explicitly that our recovery is on a daily basis only.
Our disease is not gone. It is in us just waiting to turn active again if we
Don't keep in a fit spiritual condition.
We have to progress, develop and grow by conforming our will to God's will.
How do we do it? By working all the steps and then steps 10-12 on a daily
Now a few words about our will and God's will.
Our will is important. We can do nothing without a will.
We cannot work the steps without being willing to do so.
So what is the meaning of 'your will not mine be done'? It means that we
Have to align our will with God's will. Using our will without God's
Direction is what leads us into trouble and active addiction. The proper
Use of our will is to do God's will. We are limited human beings. We don't
See the whole picture and furthermore our addiction twists our perception of
Ourselves,and of our reality.
Therefore we need help and guidance. We get it from God who is unlimited,
sees the whole
Picture and knows and wants what is good for us. Using our will to do God's
Will is using our will to do what is best for us instead of letting it run
Riot and destroy us.
It is important to know that although our perception of our reality is
twisted by our disease,
Our perception of the reality of other persons is usually correct.
This is why sharing with another person and having a sponsor is so helpful
since they can see our reality correctly and give us good suggestions.
I think this is the origin of the sentence God speaks through other people
As we continue to work step ten in our life, we shall see our character
defects become less frequent , our relationship with H.P. will become better
so will our relationship with others and with ourselves.
Working step ten includes steps 4-9 as needed on the spot, helping others
and practicing love and tolerance of others.
It does not have to be something spectacular. It can be saying a kind
word, giving a smile, giving a helping hand to someone, etc. These are
examples of helping others and acts of practicing love, tolerance and
Practicing restraint and not running off at the mouth is also a very
important practice of step ten. Not laughing at someone's expense. If I want
To laugh at something let me laugh at myself. Avoiding gossip. Also
regarding my work as service may help me avoid procrastination.
Being aware of acting out defects, asking God to remove them and practicing
the conjugate assets, is practicing steps 6 & 7 as part of step 10.
Sharing with friends and and learning from them is practicing step 5 in the
framework of step 10. When we become angry or frightened or if we hurt
someone, we may begin with going over the appropriate inventory table in our
Head and seeing our part and our defects.
Taking responsibility for our words and actions, continuing with steps 5, 6,
7 and if necessary 8 & 9 on the spot, is how we work step 10. Seems like a
lot of work, and in the beginning it needs a lot of attention and practice.
But with time our response to situations becomes more and more
program-oriented, and less illness-oriented.
We dealt with some specific defects and the way the program suggests we
handle them in my share 2 on step seven.
Let me go over them again and expand a bit to show how we do it in the
framework of step ten.
DEFECT: SELF-CRITICISM -- ASSET: SELF-ACCEPTANCE, SELF LOVE
Self-criticism is a very destructive defect. Some of us indulge in it all
Day long without even being aware of the damage they cause themselves. When
I criticize myself all the time I cannot accept myself and I cannot love
Myself. My self-worth is very low, and I cannot progress on the spiritual
Path. In order to practice step seven on self-criticism I have to be aware
Of it first. I have to notice when and how many times I criticize myself
During the day. This is very important since I cannot deal with things I am
Not aware of.
Here is how I deal with self-criticism. I carry with me a small notebook
(one that I can carry in my pocket) and a pen during the day. Whenever I
Notice that I belittle myself, or criticize myself, I take out my small
Notebook which I carry all the time, and write down that I
Criticize myself, and why I do it. This should be done in real time if
possible since it stops the flow of criticism. Also if I delay I
Tend to forget. The writing has therefore two important roles. It makes me
Aware of my self-criticism and it stops the flow of criticizing thoughts.
After writing it down I ask God to remove my self-criticism, and I continue
With my activities. This is the way the Big Book suggests we deal with our
Defects. When aware of them we ask God to remove them. I check the notebook
In the evening, to see how much I indulge in self-criticism.
At first I found out to my amazement that a very large part of my day was
Dedicated to self-criticism. I noticed that after two months of practicing
This method, I seldom criticized myself. I continued to make all kinds of
Mistakes but I usually dealt in correcting them and not in criticizing or
Belittling myself for making them.
We know that as a defect lessens there is more place for the conjugate asset
To shine through, which in this case means more self-acceptance and
DEFECT: GUILT -- ASSET: 1. RIGHT ACTION (amends). 2. SELF-WORTH
The main causes of guilt feelings are the following:
1. Hurting someone. We deal with that by steps 8 and 9.
2. Doing something right, usually for myself, and feeling guilty about it.
Usually I impose the values of others on myself because of lack of self
Worth, and this causes me to think that my actions were wrong and to feel
Guilty. This kind of guilt is much more common than the guilt which results
From really hurting others by my actions. The conjugate asset to this kind
Of "false" guilt is self-worth.
a) Buying something nice for myself and feeling guilty about it. The origin
Of the guilt is of course lack of self-worth (feeling that I am not worthy,
I don't deserve it, etc.). The values of others that I imposed on myself in
This case are: only special occasions like birthdays justify buying
Something for myself, and even then it is best that I wait for others to buy
Something for me. It is selfish to spend money on myself; it should be spent
On others like my spouse or my children, etc.
b) Going to a movie or some other fun activity and leaving my child with a
Babysitter. The source of the guilty feeling is lack of self-worth. The
Values of others I imposed on myself in this case are: a good parent spends
All his free time with his children and does not leave them with others.
Leaving my children with others is neglecting my duty to bring them up, etc.
c) My mother-in-law calls on the phone and does not stop criticizing and
Judging me. After a few minutes I tell her that I have to end this
conversation now, I say goodbye and hang up the phone. This is an act of
self-preservation and self-love. But I feel guilty because of lack of
self-worth: I think I shouldn't have hung up but let her go on, and that I
hurt her. The values of others I imposed on myself this time are: I should
listen to my elders (or other people) even when they belittle me and
criticize me unceasingly, since I have to show them respect at all times.
In order to decide what should be done about the guilt feeling I first have
to identify its source.
Does the guilt stem from doing something wrong and hurting someone, (then I
have to make amends), or from doing something right but feeling guilty
because of lack of self-worth?
In order to distinguish between the two I use a "Best Friend Criterion."
When I feel guilty I ask myself the following:
"If my best friend had a similar problem, would I advise him to do what I
did?" If the answer is yes, then my guilt is a manifestation of my lack of
I use my Best Friend criterion in real time without delay whenever I feel
guilty. If my answer is guilt because of lack of self-worth I take out my
small notebook and write what I did and why it is the right thing for me to
do. (It is right for me for the same reasons it is right for my friend.)
Then I write what values, opinions and beliefs of others I am imposing on
myself that make me feel guilty. Then I ask God to remove my guilt.
I check the notebook in the evening to see how much I indulge in guilt
feelings, which are the result of lack of self-worth. Of course if by
applying my best friend criterion the answer is that I acted wrongly then I
have to make amends.
It was amazing to realize how I confused between the two kinds of guilt
feelings and thought I harmed others by doing something for myself. My
self-worth was very low and I was not even aware of how I was hurting myself
By all these guilt feelings.
In my step four, I had whole pages listing harms I mistakenly thought I did
to others, just because of this defect and my low self-worth. When I did
step 5 with my sponsor, he just tore those pages up and told me to forget
about making amends to those people since I didn't harm any of them. It was
quite a relief.
I also thought that if I resented someone or feared someone it meant that I
harmed them, which of course was not always true. Then I learned that this
is a typical reaction of people who are called survivors of abuse, violence,
incest, etc., who feel guilty, resentful and afraid, and think that because
of those feelings they have to make amends to the people who harmed them.
This is of course another twisted and wrong perception caused by the disease
and lack of self-worth.
DEFECT: GOSSIP -- ASSET: HUMILITY, ACCEPTANCE
Gossip is a manifestation of criticism, judgment and vanity, and may cause
harm to others. Even if I don't gossip actively and just listen to it, I am
acting out my defect by quiet participation, which is a sign of agreement
and encourages others to continue. This defect is very common since it is
usually used to bolster my ego by belittling others.
The moment I am aware of my participating in gossip or even listening
passively to gossip, I should ask H.P. to remove this defect. In order to
practice the assets, I should avoid even quiet participation in gossip and
adopt the following rule of practicing the assets.
When I want to say something about someone I should first think if it
complies with ALL the three following criteria:
1. Is it the truth, as I understand it?
2. Is it compassionate?
3. Is it absolutely necessary to divulge?
If not, then better remain quiet.
Following those criterions is sure to save me from a lot of troubles.
RECOVERY ACTION: DWELLING ON THE NICE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO ME DURING THE
I pause several times during the day and ask myself if something nice or
satisfactory happened to me during the last hour, if it did, then I take
time to dwell on it. If it didn't, then I resolve to make something nice
happen in the following hour. It can be something as simple as a 10-minute
Our disease makes us dwell on the bad things in our life. Dwelling on the
good things is a very effective act of recovery.
RECOVERY ACTION : CULTIVATING AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
This is part of practicing our code of love and tolerance. An attitude of
gratitude is a way to become attuned to the power of H.P.
It is quite common in 12 step fellowships to write a daily gratitude list.
It is a nice way of cultivating this attitude. But there is an additional
very effective and powerful method that can be practiced every moment of the
day, and can become an integral part of our way of life. It is called:
BLESS THE PRESENT BY BLESSING EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING THAT REPRESENTS WHAT
To bless something means to give recognition or emphasis to a positive
quality, characteristic or condition, with the intent that what is
recognized or emphasized will increase, endure or come into being. The focus
On the blessing acts to increase the same good in my life.
The simplest and easiest way to bless is by words that express things like:
Admiration - giving a compliment or praise to something good that I notice.
E.g., that's a nice car, you are beautiful, such a nice full moon, you are
fun to be with, etc.
Affirmation - a specific statement of blessing for increase or endurance. E
g., I am getting slimmer every day, blessed be my health, bless the beauty
of this tree, etc.
Appreciation - an expression of gratitude that something good exists or has
happened. E.g., thank you, H.P., for an abstinent day. I give thanks to the
sun for shining today, etc.
Anticipation - a blessing for the future. E.g., we are going to have a great
Time together, bless your increased income, I wish you a happy journey, may
you recover quickly, etc.
The opposite of blessing is CURSING. By this I don't mean swearing. It
refers to the opposite of blessing. Namely, criticizing instead of admiring;
Doubting instead of affirming; blaming instead of appreciating; and worrying
Instead of anticipating with trust. Whenever any of those are done they tend
To cancel out some of the effects of blessing. It is some kind of spiritual
axiom that like draws like. So the more I curse the harder it will be and
the longer it will take to get to the good from a blessing. On the other
hand the more I bless the less harm any cursing will do. It is interesting
to note that in the physical world it is opposites that attract (in contrast
to the spiritual world), like positive electric charges attract negative
electric charges, electrons attract protons, the south pole of a magnet
attracts the north pole, etc.
Since the one thing that negates blessing is cursing, whenever I am aware of
Indulging in cursing, I ask H.P. to remove this defect, and immediately
practice blessing instead.
What should I bless you may ask?
The answer is, whatever you need and desire. Here are some suggestions that
may be used as guidelines. Of course anyone is free to extend or expand to
other areas in any way they want.
Health - Blessing healthy people, animals, and even plants. Everything which
Is well made or well constructed, and everything that expresses abundant
Happiness - Blessing all that is good, or the good that is in all people and
All things. All the signs of happiness that you see, hear or feel in people
or animals. All the potentials for happiness that you notice around you.
Prosperity - Blessing all signs of prosperity in your environment, including
Everything that money helped to make or do. All the money that you have in
any form, and all the money that circulates in the world.
Success - Blessing all signs of achievement and completion (such as
buildings, bridges and sports events); all arrivals at destinations (of
ships, planes, trains, cars and people); all signs of forward movement or
persistence; and all signs of enjoyment or fun.
Confidence - Blessing all signs of confidence in people and animals; all
signs of strength in people, animals and objects (including steel and
concrete); all signs of stability (like mountains and tall trees); and all
signs of purposeful power including big machines, power lines, etc.
Love and friendship - Blessing all signs of caring and nurturing, compassion
And support; all harmonious relationships in nature and architecture;
everything that is connected to or gently touching something else; all signs
Of cooperation, as in games or work; all sign of laughter and fun.
Inner peace - Blessing all signs of quietness, calmness, tranquility, and
serenity (such as quiet water or still air); all distant views (horizons,
stars, the Moon); all signs of beauty of sight, sound or touch; clear colors
And shapes; the details of natural or made objects.
Spiritual growth - Blessing all signs of growth development and change in
Nature; the transitions of dawn and twilight; the movement of sun, moon,
planets and stars; the flight of birds in the sky; and the movement of wind
The above ideas are suggestions only. Don't feel limited by them. Remember
that ANY quality, characteristic or condition can be blessed, whether it has
Existed, presently exists, or exists so far in your imagination alone.
E.g., you can bless slender poles, women models and slim animals to
encourage weight loss,
You can use blessing to help heal your body and mind, create loving
relationships with others, develop skills, and increase your income. It
helps your dreams come true since it brings you into closer contact with H.P
This share includes quite a lot of suggestions to adopt as a way of life.
Well, we are not perfect. Just remember that easy does it, and practice
whatever you can with love and a smile.
There is a lot more to be said and done, but let me leave it to step 11.
1. Commit to working step 10 as a spot check and action on a daily basis
whenever and wherever needed. And share this on a regular basis with your
Carry a small notebook and pen with you in order to write down your step ten
activities whenever possible.
2. When anger or fear surface during the day do the following on the spot:
A) Go over the anger (resentment) or fear tables in your head, and see what
was your part and what character defects of yours were involved in this case
If I have the time it is better to do the inventory in writing.
B) Share with someone suitable. It does not necessarily have to be your
sponsor or an OA member, if they are not available at the time.
C) Ask God to remove the defects you exhibited in this case.
D) Practice the conjugate assets whenever and wherever possible.
3. When defects which are not fear or anger surface, like envy, criticism,
etc., begin with 2. B) and continue to C) and D)
4. When your conduct harmed someone (emotionally, financially or physically)
Answer the nine harm questions like you did in step four and make amends
5. Practice the "recovery actions" presented in this share
6.) Remind yourself to find opportunities to help others during the day.
Write down what you do during the day to help others.
7) Remind yourself of the code "Love and tolerance or others is our code"
Write down whenever you behaved during the day with restraint according to
8) During the day ask God many times to guide you on the path.
9) Share with us on practicing step 10, how it affects your environment, and
the Changes you notice in your behavior after a while.
I invite you to send me questions and comments.
Have a nice and fruitful day
The Twelve Steps
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