A place of Neutrality Safe and protected From Addiction
I used think blaming my past and fearing my future was all there was to life
I now know that life has just begun for me living in the now
Step 10 – Continued to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admitted it.
“A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities for us. We alcoholics have learned this the hard way. More experienced people, of course, in all times and places have practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism. For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.”
The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions – Alcoholics Anonymous
Step 10 suggests we continue to live in the truth of our reality by taking regular inventory on a DAILY basis. We need to be vigorous about our efforts to clean up the past. We have entered the world of the spirit. But what exactly is the ‘world of the spirit” and what happens there?
In my case it was pretty simple, there was a loud popping noise in my ears when I finally pulled my head out of my ass and showed up in the present for the first time in my life. This was when It finally dawned on me that I had been asleep in the spirit all of my life. Asleep to the present. I went to school asleep, started work asleep, got married and divorced asleep, had multiple relationships in my sleep, had children in my sleep, up until now I had never experienced life living in the now. I had always been living in the guilt and shame of the past or fear of the future. Anything but right here right now is where I would dwell.
Being present in the present is where we need to live our lives from now on. Living in the present is living in our reality and therefore the fantasy and lies of our past and future that used to haunt us, cannot exist in our minds at all.
You may or may not have by now observed that this process of spirituality that you have been experiencing whilst working these steps, has been nothing more than a process of elimination. In Step One we eliminated the delusion that we were in control of our drinking. Step Two we eliminated our prejudice against God. Step Three we eliminated the need to play God in our own lives and the lives of others. Step Four we eliminated the desperate need to be right about everything once we discovered how wrong we had been about our lives. Step Five we eliminated our sick secrets that we had clung on to for so long. Step Six we eliminated our toxic need to cling on to our ego’s. Step Seven we eliminated our pride by letting God take full control of the wreckage of our past. Step 8 we eliminated our belligerent stubbornness that our problems were of other peoples making. Step 9 we eliminated the guilt and shame of the past.
In essence the 12 Step program is a gradually deflation of our ego’s. Our lives up until now have been the tale of the tragedy of the ego. Ekhart Tolle describes the ego as nothing more than a man made false sense of self. How tragically true this is for the alcoholic. Our ego’s have tortured us into a life of self-loathing and intrepid fear of what others think about us.
How stunning and simple life is without our ego’s there to dictate and drive our self-destruction. At the end of the day all we are up against everyday is ourselves and our to perspective on life, nothing else!
So now that we have entered the world of the spirit how do we stay there and progress in understanding and effectiveness.
The Step Ten promises state that we have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol. In other words we are now living in an undisturbed state of conscious contact with God. We need to remain in an undisturbed state if we are to maintain our conscious contact with God. Step Ten gives us an extremely simple but powerful tool of practicing self-restraint and then honest analysis as follows:
Firstly we continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up we ask God to remove them. We discuss them with someone else immediately and make amends if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to helping someone else. Love and tolerance is our code.
The Step Ten Promises
- And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol.
- For by this time sanity will have returned.
- We will seldom be interested in liquor.
- If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.
- We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically.
- We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it.
- We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation.
- We feel like we have been placed in a position of neutrality safe and protected.
- We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.
- We are neither cocky nor are we afraid.
Paul. N – Author and Blog Writer