Step Ten

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







Leader's Share and Step Questions


Hi everyone My name is Shlomo I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.

ASSIGNMENT 1: READ pages 84-85 and page 86 second paragraph " When we retire at night..." in the Big Book. Copy the sentences that speak to you and the sentences that give you new information. Reflect and share with us.

ASSIGNMENT 2 : Read the chapter on step ten in the AA 12&12 pages 88-95. Copy the sentences that speak to you and the sentences that give you new information. Notice the following: The spiritual axiom; self restraint; sober only by the grace of God;do to others today as you would have them do to you; difference between the spot check and the daily review; inventory taking is not always done in red ink; examine your motives. Reflect and share with us.

In the Big Book the nightly review is given as part of the step eleven activities. In the AA 12&12 it is given as part of the step ten activities. Names don't matter as long as the job is done, but a lot of people who work the steps came to think that step ten is only the nightly review and neglect the spot check. I know from personal experience that the spot check is very important . Therefore I will follow the way the Big Book presents the step ten and eleven activities and deal here with step ten as a spot check.

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 (a spot check) inventory when needed and act promptly to correct our mistakes.

At this stage of our recovery the Big Book uses the word mistakes instead of character defects or wrongs. Since now we are aware of what we are doing and if we mistakenly stray from the path of recovery we have the awareness and the means to get back on the path.

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. about our addiction. 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 these spiritual principles (the steps), and incorporate them into our life as long as we live.

Now the Big Book gives us specific instructions on how to live Step Ten on a daily basis: "Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear [step 4]. 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 84 One useful way of following this code is to check every one of our actions or intended actions by asking ourselves: Does it contribute to, or keep the balance of love in this world?.

As we can see, step ten comprises the application of steps 4-9 on a daily basis. We have to watch out for the manifestations of our self-centeredness and self-will run riot, which are selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. 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 dimension. 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 then practice our assets, 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 and tolerance 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 emotions. 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 be postponed, 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 condition. This means that our degree of recovery is dependent on our degree of daily spiritual living.

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 lives, 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 basis.

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 and 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 goodwill.

Practicing restraint and not running off at the mouth is also a very important practice of step ten. other important step ten practices are: Not laughing at someone's expense. If I want to laugh at something let me laugh at myself. Avoiding gossip. regarding my work as service. this 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 tables 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 on step seven.

ASSIGNMENT 3: Read my share on step seven with special attention on the examples of dealing with anger fear and self criticism. Share with us how you deal with those defects when they arise during the day..

Let me give you an additional example 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.

ANOTHER RECOVERY ACTION: DWELLING ON THE NICE OR SATISFYING THINGS THAT I DID OR THAT HAPPENED TO ME DURING THE DAY I pause several times during the day and ask myself if I did something nice or satisfactory during the last hour, or if something nice or satisfactory happened to me. 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 coffee break.

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 YOU WANT.

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 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. like positive electric charges attract negative electric charges, electrons attract protons, the south pole of a magnet attracts the north pole, etc. In the spiritual world like attracts like

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 energy.

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 and sea.

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.

ADDITIONAL ASSIGNMENTS. 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 sponsor 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 you 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 progress towards this code.

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. An share with us some examples of what you were asked to do in the assignments.

Have a nice and fruitful day

Shlomo






Introduction
Step One
Step Two
Step Three
Step Four-part one
Step Four-part two
Step Four-part three
Step Four-part four
Step Four-part five
Step Five
Step Six
Step Seven
Step Eight
Step Nine
Step Ten


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