I felt the need to talk about humility and the process of step 10, as it has been a consistent theme in my life over the past few months. Everyone’s experience of the steps is different, but I have found a profound importance and need of the principles of this step lately and wanted to share them with you.
Continued to Take Personal Inventory
Step 10 in Alcoholics Anonymous reads:
“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
Let’s talk about the first part. “Continued to take personal inventory.” We will remember this language from step four, when we make our first inventory. But the importance of the concepts of step four go far beyond it and it’s no mistake that Bill mentions it again in this step.
Continuing to take a personal inventory, for me, means that I do not forget about my defects and shortcomings as they came out on the fourth step and were then worked on during six and seven. It means that I am constantly aware of my assets and liabilities as well as how they affect others in my daily life.
When We Were Wrong Promptly Admitted It
This is where step 10 really shines. I will be the first to tell you that when I am wrong, usually I just try to explain myself. I like to believe that I have a reason for everything that I do. If only you would just see my point of view, you would understand why I made that mistake and not fault me for it. It’s crazy thinking, but it’s how my mind works.
It still works that way. Yet I have found that every time I try to rationalize or justify my behavior when I am being called out on it, I inevitably feel guilty afterwards. Due to all the work I put in on my fourth through seventh steps, my defects are extremely apparent to me. It’s simply more work for me to ignore them than to be humble and make amends immediately.
Humility is the Key
This brings me to my main point. Humility. I have found that humility is the only thing that works to keep me right-sized. I tend to forget that I am just a worker among workers, and that I need to be able to hear a message from anyone. I tend to let my judgmental mind get the better of me, always thinking I know what’s best, when all I have to do is look into my past and see that that clearly isn’t true!
Working step 10 in my daily life by promptly admitting when I am wrong has helped keep me spiritually fit. I almost immediately feel better when I get humble to the fact that I am, at times, wrong. It is this admittance, rather than defiance that in turn helps me stay sober.
How do you work step 10 in your daily life?