"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 (food) is a subtle foe. We are not cured of (compulsive overeating). What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day we must carry the vision of God's will into all our activities. "How can I best serve Thee---They will (not mine) be done."
These are the thoughts that 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. ("Alcoholics Anonymous" pg. 85).
With step 10, self searching becomes a regular habit. We set up guard rails on our recovery path and although we fall into them now and then, they are there to protect us from falling over into the muck of the disease. The "guard rails" are the maintenance steps. Steps 10, 11 and 12. This week we begin maintaining what we have been given with Step 10.
You can find an excellent 10th step inventory worksheet at this website: http://thetaoofrecovery.com/2012/12/28/step-ten-living-
the-program/ . There are also some great insights, that I could not have put better.
I have been practicing the 10th step for over 20 years. Some days are better than others. The spot check inventory is essential for me if I want to maintain abstinence. When I let up on the 10th step I know I am headed for trouble and I know that via experience. I must keep my side of the street clean...not paranoidly so, but simply. I know when I have fallen on the guard rails; I feel it in my body and witness it in my mind and it's only a big deal if I make it so. I pray for guidance in setting things right and if necessary, I check with my sponsor or other persons in recovery. If I'm hanging over the guardrail I can't trust my own thinking. If I've just bumped into it, I can set things right immediately. If I am doing the 10th step daily, I will always be able to take care of business immediately.
In the evening, I go over my day to make sure I have taken care of any 10th step work that needs to be taken care of. If I have a resentment that I can't seem to get passed, I say the "resentment prayer" found on page 522 in the Big Book (4th edition). I say the prayer for two weeks and will, more often than not, find I have moved on. I no longer feel that resentment. If it is still there,
I know I need to do some work around it, making sure to uncover the character defect that is hiding in that resentment. Some of those defects play the game of hide and seek so very well. I no longer take my defects personally, they are patterns of thinking and behavior that have wrapped themselves around me and working the maintenance steps help me unwrap that muck.
My life is meaningful when I live it this way. I love this program of recovery.
Tenth Step Prayer
God, I pray that I continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, I humbly ask You to remove them at once. I pray that I discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if I have harmed anyone. I pray that I turn my thoughts to someone I can help. I pray that love and tolerance of others be my code. I pray for a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition. Every day is a day I must carry the vision of Your will into all of my activities. How can I best serve Thee – Thy will, not mine, be done. Amen
Be sure to read Step 10 in the "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" and pages 84 - 85 in "Alcoholics Anonymous."
1. Can you see the importance of a daily reprieve via Step 10?
2. Have you or can you see yourself making Step 10 a way of life?
3. Do you have any experience with Step 10 that you would like to share with us?
If you have any questions, as always, you can contact me via phone (number below) or email. I am
very available to be there for you. If for some reason I do not answer the phone, please leave a message
and I will definitely and without doubt get back to you.
All my love,
The Twelve Steps