Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Up until this point in our program, we have been preparing ourselves for the journey of our new life. As we look at the 10th step, we begin to put this new way of life into practice. We do so in good times and bad, one day at a time, to ensure we keep balance in our lives. Step 10, often referred to as a maintenance step, is one of the ways we help keep this balance in our new found way of life.
Step 10 is something we begin to practice daily. It is an opportunity to take a look at the events of the day and see where we have done wrong. As addicts, we find that if we are willing to make self-searching a daily habit, recognize our part in any wrongdoings over the course of the day, and become willing to immediately rectify those wrongs, we begin to live a joyous and free life. For some, this will be a daily practice as the day comes to a close, but for others, this may need to be done in the moment. Either way, checking ourselves and directly making amends for our actions is vital to our new way of life.
At the start, these practices may feel as if they consume too much time, or even that they are not beneficial. However, in time, if we are willing to change our perspective and see the benefit, they become second nature. Rather than dwelling on situations, we will find ourselves able to do a quick spot check analysis of the situation, understand our part, make the necessary amends if needed, and continue with our daily activities. These inventories also become a time for us to see where we are growing in our recovery.
As we look over our day, we can see how we are beginning to handle situations differently – seeing this growth in ourselves is a very gratifying feeling.
Through this process of self-reflection, we learn to live a more humble life. We begin to see that much like ourselves, there will be others we come in contact with in our day-to-day affairs who are also sick, which also helps us learn how to react to situations differently than we did in active addiction. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous makes us a promise at Step 10. It promises we will no longer fight anything or anyone, including alcohol. At this point in the 12 Step program, our sanity is restored. We will rarely have an interest in alcohol, but if the temptation should arise we turn away from it the same way we would if it were a hot flame. Our sane and normal reactions happen automatically. This new attitude has come about devoid of much effort on our part. The problem no longer exists for us – it has been removed. So long as we remain spiritually fit this is how we will continue to live.