the tenth step in the program of recovery
10. Continued to Take Personal Inventory and When We Were Wrong Promptly Admitted
The tenth step as discussed in The Big Book is not just about taking inventory once a day. It’s about taking our own inventory constantly as we walk through the day. It’s as if we were above ourselves, watching ourselves having a human experience, making the mistakes that all humans make. The difference between other humans and us is that we have run out of choices, whether or not we seek God’s power. The truth revealed out of our experience with powerlessness/unmanageability has removed the options of our lives run by self-will and self-reliance. We are without choice. Therefore, the tenth step is vitally important to the continuing awareness that we need “to grow in understanding (spirit world/6th sense/God Consciousness) and effectiveness (human life)”.
The first 9 steps are the launching pad into the spiritual dimension of steps 10, 11, and 12. The tenth step is about staying awake and present in our daily lives. Several spiritual practices are embedded in this step. We can take any one of them and practice it for months. WATCH. We observe our internal space and look for resentment, fear, selfishness, and dishonesty. When these crop up, and they will, we ASK God at once to remove them. They may not be removed at once but our task is to ASK at once. We resolutely TURN our thoughts to someone we can help or we TURN our thoughts to the task at hand. When we fall asleep and harm another, we quickly make amends. We practice a code of love and tolerance. We CEASE fighting drugs, alcohol, people, and circumstances. All suffering is resistance to what is. This step allows us to see this and practice a moment by moment submission.
By far, the tenth step is the most difficult one to practice but the results are magnificent. We experience the greatest promise in The Big Book — the POSITION of NEUTRALITY. We stop fighting. True humility emerges. But the tenth step does not stop there. The authors of The Big Book believed in VISION work. They state on page 85: “Every day is a day when we must carry a VISION of God’s will into all of our activities.” This is the proper use of the will. Most people in the rooms pray, some pray and meditate, but very few pray, meditate, and work with vision. With these practices, the possibilities are endless. Our responsibility is to develop these spiritual skills so we can grow in understanding and effectiveness.