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Working Step 10: Inner Peace and a Level of Acceptance

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Updated on

I’ve been told Step 10 is one of the “maintenance steps” in the program. Personally, I don’t want to settle for maintaining my recovery, but rather I want to be constantly growing. Step 10 states we “continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong we promptly admit it.” What that means to me is having been through steps one to nine, being restored to sanity and gaining emotional stability (aka inner peace), the goal is to maintain that level as my baseline. How I do that is by practicing Step 10 and the inventory process regularly.

Now there are two different types of inventory I implement. One is the “spot check inventory” when I take a moment to reflect on an interaction with another individual and whether or not an amends needs to be made to them later that day or tomorrow. Then there is a nightly inventory before I go to bed where I mentally review my day.

If something stands out to me and I feel like I missed a situation and need to make it right, I’ll be sure to do it the next day.

Basically, I’m keeping my side of the street clean. I did a thorough inventory in Step 4, shared that inventory with my sponsor in Step 5, and now in Step 10, I’m making sure the slate remains clean. At this point in the program, we are able to recognize when our words and actions are not spiritual in nature. Simply put, we have to remember the Golden Rule.

I remember a time my mother and I were discussing my active addiction. I got very defensive about a specific situation because we both remembered things happening differently. I was rude and disrespectful towards her, which she immediately pointed out hurt her feelings and was reminiscent of her relationship with someone else. The moment she said I hurt her, a switch went off and I immediately knew I needed to remedy the situation and fix the wrongdoing. I gave her a hug and apologized, then we both let it go.

The longer I let a negative situation linger, the more it’s going to hurt me because it rents space in my head – clouding judgment and making me upset isn’t the best way to maintain inner peace. For me, inner peace and being sober are the two things I want more than anything. I’m able to gauge my spiritual fitness based on times when someone says something that triggers me. If I’m at peace and my level of acceptance is high, life is incredible.

  • Ryan Teague

    Ryan Teague, CRC is an Alumni Coordinator for Lakeview Health. His own personal journey through addiction allows for a unique and personal approach to helping people recover. For Ryan, being able to give back to the recovery community is very gratifying. He considers helping the newcomer find the path to long-term recovery a privilege and necessary for his own recovery. Born in St. Louis, he moved to the Jacksonville Beach area in 1986 and has been there ever since. When he is not at work or in an AA meeting he enjoys golfing and taking his boat out.

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