Step Ten

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

The principle behind Step Ten is PERSEVERANCE.

Greetings, fellow Steppers! Can you believe how far we've come in only 10 weeks? What an awesome summer this has been! And look at all those wonderful "Promises" we read about last time (often called “The Promises of Step Nine”)! We are certainly changing, aren't we? I know I went from a self-righteous poopy-head into someone who genuinely cared about how she treated other people. I came to this program to stop eating like an idiot, but I found a whole new way to be in this world — *AND* I stopped eating like an idiot! What a bargain! :-) [Slogan: "I came for the vanity, but I stayed for the sanity."]

Step Ten is one of the "maintenance" Steps. Some people say that once we get to this point, Steps Ten, Eleven and Twelve contain all we need to live this new life -- thinking of others, and *NOT* turning to our drug of choice (for me, sugar, white flour, quantities, and "grazing"). We "maintain" our spiritual fitness by doing Steps 10, 11 & 12 on a daily basis. Being spiritually fit keeps us out of the food. We have a "daily reprieve," but *ONLY* if we do the footwork. Food will stop "calling" us, but only if we do the footwork - DAILY. We can handle situations that used to baffle us, but only if we do the footwork - DAILY. We'll be serene, but only if we do the footwork - DAILY. And although I know I have to do it "for the rest of my life," I don't even have to go there! Because I only have to do it One Day At a Time.

I actually started to do Step Ten way back at Step Four -- not because I read ahead and knew this Step was coming. I started doing it because my list of CD's was so attention-grabbing that I became very aware of them (sometimes as I was doing them!), and I wanted to stop behaving like that. So, beginning around Step Four, whenever a CD popped up, I promptly admitted it and either apologized or repaired the "wrong." [It really *was* like I'd had a "personality transplant"!] :-)

One of the people with whom I'm sometimes "wrong" is my husband. I sometimes snap at him (poor thing), and I immediately apologize. I told him not long ago that he's becoming amazingly patient at waiting after my snap before *he* jumps in -- knowing that my apology is coming. It's made quite a difference in the way we interact now. Before the 12 Steps, things could escalate quickly. But now -- with one of us (me!) continuously "taking her personal inventory" (not his!) -- things don't have to escalate. We move and glide thru life so much more sanely and pleasantly than we did before OA.

One of the ways this is possible, of course, is thru my HP. The Step Ten prayer even says, "To always remember I need HP's help..." This takes me all the way back to Steps 2 and 3. In Step Two, I came to believe in this Higher Power. In Step Three, I was willing to depend on this HP's care for my thoughts (will) and actions (life). Now I'm all the way up to Step Ten, and I'm here *because* of the aid of my HP! I've started to experience the Promises of Step Nine *because* of the aid of my HP!

Looking now at the wording of Step Ten, I see that the very first word is "continued." This implies that something has been going on for a while. And what is that "something" that’s been going on for a while? It's "taking personal inventory." That's important for me because it reminds me that Step Four wasn't a one-off deal; it wasn't something I did once and "I don't ever have to do again, thank goodness!" <--- No, no, no! :-) It doesn't work like that. I'm supposed to *C*O*N*T*I*N*U*E* to take my own personal inventory *daily* (moment by moment, even!) in order to maintain my spiritual fitness -- which in turn maintains my abstinence -- which in turn maintains my serenity -- which in turn..... It's all connected: My spiritual, emotional and physical recovery are all intertwined. Remember the three-legged stool analogy? [My life sits on a 3-legged stool. The 3 legs are "Physical," "Emotional," "Spiritual."] If one of those legs is missing or is out of whack, my "stool" (my life!) will wobble and fall over. [Think: Relapse!] So it's incumbent upon me to *MAINTAIN* my emotional health, my physical health, and my spiritual health. This is a Spiritual Program, and Step Ten is designed to keep me "spiritually fit." [Quote: "Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to [HP] and the people about us." AABB p. 77]

Beautiful words to live by, huh? :-)


I pray I may continue
To grow in understanding & effectiveness;
To take daily spot-check inventories of myself;
To correct mistakes when I make them;
To take responsibility for my actions;
To be ever aware of my negative &
self-defeating attitudes & behaviors;
To keep my willfulness in check;
To always remember I need Your help, HP;
To keep love & tolerance of others as my code; &
To continue in daily prayer how I can best serve You,
My Higher Power.



A.) READ in the AABB, middle of pg. 84 to the bottom of pg. 85.
• Questions on the reading:

B.) Why do you think we need PERSEVERANCE at this Step?

C.) For some people, Step Ten is a written inventory at the end of their day. They look for examples of "selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear." They write about it, they send it to their sponsors, and they make plans to make amends at the very next opportunity. Other people call their sponsors right away when these CD's pop up or they've behaved in a less-than "spiritually fit" manner. Other people "do Step Ten" all day long, mentally -- checking their behavior from one moment to the next, cleaning up any "mess" they make along the way, "admitting it promptly." There are probably a million different ways to "do" Step Ten.
• Question: Are you already practicing Step Ten? If so, how do you do your Step Ten? If not, how do you think you'll do your Step Ten? Do you think you might include the Step Ten prayer in your own Step Ten?

D.) The Promises of Step Ten:

AABB pg. 84
• And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone -- even [food, food behaviors].
• For by this time sanity will have returned.
• We will seldom be interested in [trigger foods, compulsive food behaviors].
• If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.

AABB pg. 84-85
• We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically.

AABB pg. 85
• We will see that our new attitude toward [food/food behaviors] 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 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.

Wow, and I thought the Step Nine Promises were quite something, but look at these!!! Just wow........ :-)
Question on the Promises of Step Ten:
1. Take each Promise and tell us if they have come true for you (e.g., "yes," "no"). 2. Pick one promise (different from anything you picked for Part A) that has come true for you, and elaborate. [e.g., For "The problem has been removed," my Halloween story would be a perfect example for me to share.]

Here are some questions that some people use for their DAILY Step 10 (you don’t have to use these — your sponsor may have a different suggestion — I just throw them out for you if you find them useful):

DAILY Step Ten Inventory:

1. Was I resentful, selfish, dishonest or fearful today?

2. Do I owe an apology?

3. Have I kept something to myself that should be discussed with another person at once?

4. Was I kind and loving and thinking of what I could do for others?

5. Was I thinking of myself most of the time?

6. What did I do well and what self-care did I do today?

See you next week for Step Eleven! Remember to practice Step Ten DAILY!! :-)

- Susan

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Step Two
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