Alcoholics Anonymous Blog/Video Oct 1 DonInLondon Step 10 "Reality Check"
October 1, 2013 Step Ten Month: "continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it." What an order! Letting go the old behaviour where pride, ego and fear prevails and trying new behaviour where courage to change, faith in doing the next right thing and building confidence through our actions and not our intentions. It is difficult to be a human, being a human being.
Over the years, in recovery life has its ups and downs. Sometimes we are working reasonably well and our needs are met on a daily basis. And sometimes we seem to be working harder and life is just one long trudge and we cannot meet our needs. Forget the wants of the past; living in poverty is no joke. And very often in my early years, I was stricken by poverty. I did learn a lot, how to budget, and also see that no matter what I might try, there is never enough. After taking a radical step, I survive just, by my own endeavours and being very careful one day at a time. Friends in recovery who go through hard times find themselves in utter disbelief about how tough life can be. Expectations about support and help feed resentments in poverty. And sometimes we only know just how tough life can be when we are there.
Taking personal inventory on a daily basis, it may seem like a chore and it is because we have always favoured a particular way of being. We are not all riddled with pride ego and fear all the time and we are not always in the mood to be courageous, rely on our faith and have confidence that we are on the right track. Life is a mixture of everything, sometimes we are thrown into abject extremes of behaviour when we are in extreme situations. On the other hand we might find ourselves in extremes of feeling and behaviour when as far as the rest of the world is concerned, everything is okay.
When I go to meetings and the atmosphere at the beginning may seem boisterous and happy, I sometimes look around and see who is quiet, certainly not boisterous and happy, and maybe engage in conversation with the unhappy people around me. Simply, sometimes we can be so happy, our behaviour is full of courage, faith and confidence, and it really makes unhappy people really angry and resentful. And then it is up to each person to consider how they might be helpful, without falling into the mire of unhappiness.
Step ten, dealing with life in the moment of now, the spot-check inventory which keeps us mindful not only of our own emotional and spiritual condition, we might consider the emotional and spiritual conditions prevailing around us all day long. Spirituality: feelings fitting with our current reality and being able to cope is difficult enough on our own. Then adding how other people are with their feelings might be quite different and their mood opposite to ours is always going to be a challenge from moment to moment. Most of the time we do pick up on how other people are, or do we?
We are all sensitive emotional and spiritual beings, coping with the reality of now, good bad or ugly. Knowing our part in matters is not an isolated thinking task, to know our part in what is going on; we get feedback from others one way or another. Assumptions, they are the devil in the detail, just because we feel happy the way things are, we are often treading on the toes of others and we can be quite ignorant about what we do and how we do it. Step ten illuminates a path of inclusion with others and taking account of their feelings. Sometimes when we don't like the situation, we might consider withdrawing, challenging or simply getting out of the way. We can all be disagreeable some of the time. We can do step ten on our own, but then it simply remains an intellectual exercise, step ten in the moment of this feedback as we promptly admit what is going on. Not very easy when we know we are right in our thinking and they are wrong in theirs!
I'm very happy this morning, even though physically the usual complaints, and the usual pains and aches, at the same time I making progress moment by moment through inclusion and discussion with those I need be onside with, and they onside with me.
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