Step Ten

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

“As we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions?”

Step Ten means taking “a continuous look at our assets and liabilities,: as well as having “a real desire to learn and to grow.” These are necessities for us. Other, wiser, people have practiced self-survey and criticism. That’s where they got wisdom. We, on the other hand, have seldom summoned either the time or the courage to step back and take a daily good look at ourselves.

We’ve taken a thorough inventory of our past and put it all behind us. Now that we’ve given ourselves a clean slate, igt’s wholly up to us to keep it clean. That requires new forms of inventory.

Inventories come in many forms, and all will be helpful. The spot-check inventory allows us to immediately check ourselves when we went off half-cocked, and gives us a chance to correct things at once. The daily and/or nightly inventory permits us to reflect on the events of the day and spot its given patterns. The weekly or monthly or bi-annual inventory, which is often taken with the aid of a sponsor or spiritual advisor, grants us a more longform perspective.

Our inventories need not be all negative behaviors. Surely in the course of any given hour or day or week we’ve done something good. Be mindful of those instances too. Even if we’ve tried and failed, knowing we’ve done our best is an accomplishment. And we need to be as aware of our accomplishments as we are of our failings.

Once we’ve developed a practice of self-evaluation, checking ourselves will become second nature. We’ll begin to see the benefits of all our actions. And how our actions begin to benefit others too. We enter the adventure of a new life.

That brings us to:

Tradition Ten

Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinions on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.

A.A.’s never fight among themselves. Ever. Why? Because they don’t take sides. Neither individually, as a group, nor as an organization. It’s that simple. A.A.’s steer clear of religion, politics and all other social constructs, for to do otherwise would distract us from our one true goal. That is, to lead sober lives.

Both Tradition Ten and Step Ten give us the freedom to focus. The first on our collective sobriety; the second on our emotional sobriety. And, as we at Recovery Boot Camp know through practice, both free us to become better human beings.

(Inspired by -- and taken from -- Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.)

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