In many respects, the Fellowship is like a reasonably happy cruise ship or, in time of trouble, like a convoy. But in the long run each of us must chart his or her own course through life. When the seas are smooth we may become careless. By neglecting Step Ten, we may get out of the habit of checking our position. If we’re mindful of Step Ten, however, then we rarely are so far wrong that we can’t make a few corrections and get back on course again. “Do I realize that regular practice of Step Ten can help me determine what other step is needed to bring me into a happier frame of mind and into serenity?”
May Step Ten be the sextant by which I read my whereabouts on the sea of life, so that I can correct my course if I am heading for dangerous territory. May I keep in mind that if it weren’t for an all-knowing Captain (that would be G-d) and the vigilance of my fellow crew members, that my life could go adrift and I get into real trouble.
Here are some things we can ask ourselves. You can rate yourself 1 – 10 for each, 1 representing No success in that area and 10 means that you are having habitual success. How am I doing in each of the following areas?
- Thankfulness: It is the habit of my life to thank my higher power and others for what they have done…I can honestly say that I am a thankful person and often express my gratitude.
- Gentleness: My life is free from all outbursts of selfish anger or rage. I am approachable, quiet in spirit, open to criticism, and don’t get defensive when I am corrected or rebuked.
- Humility: I do not have an inflated self-opinion and consistently consider others as equal with myself. I have a teachable spirit and avoid all bragging, name-dropping and spiritual pride.
- Pure Attitudes: My lifestyle is one of the right relationships, not just outwardly but inwardly too. I have no hate, ill will, malice or bitterness toward any other person anywhere on this earth.
- Acceptance: I refuse to fight back when people criticize, condemn, reject or complain against me, even if they do it with wrong motives. I practice giving a soft answer to turn away their wrath.
- Peacemaking: It is my practice to try to bring peace between others who are at odds. I don’t just stand by and allow division to fester without trying to get involved to bring peace.
- Boldness: I have been able to launch out and take risks for my recovery and beliefs, keeping fear under control and taking risks when my higher power calls to me to do something. There is nothing now that My Higher Power is asking me to do which I’m resisting because of fear.
- Trust: I not only believe, but “act as if” my higher power is guiding my life and situations. My life is one of simple reliance on my Higher Power. I’m free from fretting, worry or anxiety about the future.
- Persistence: It is normal for me to hang in there, when I am acting in healthy ways, when things get difficult, stressful and unrewarding, even if I must face suffering difficulty and persecution. My persistence keeps me from giving up too easily and I just keep on keeping on.
- Harmony: I’m not a participant in any group evil, like quarreling, dissension, fighting or factions in my family or in my place of worship, fellowship or work.
- Submission/Surrender: I do not resist those placed in authority over me, even if they’re less competent or gifted. When I “turn my will and life over” to the care of my Higher Power, it means I follow my H.P.’s direction even if I question it at first.
- Right Relationships: Reflecting on all my relationships past and present, I’m able to say there are no broken relationships with anybody, anywhere, which I have not attempted to straighten out.
- Giving Living: I regularly practice generous giving to my family, place of worship, AA/NA, and homeless, helpless, widows, orphans, and other needy folk. Generosity is a normal behavior to me.
- Family Time: It is the routine of my life to control the amount of time I spend in work, pleasure or other activities which take too much time from my family. I obey my spiritual leading and make my Family time the top priority of my relationship life.
- Forgiveness: If there is an individual or group of people who have hurt me in the past, I release my resentment, bitterness or grudge against them. I have fully forgiven everyone who has ever hurt me.
- Restoring others: I hurt when temptation overtakes a brother or sister in the fellowship or elsewhere in my life, so I do not avoid or exclude them; rather I often get involved, humbly coming alongside to help them back to their feet spiritually.
- Restitution: If I’ve ever taken things which do not belong to me, or hurt people by what I said or did, I have gone back and made restitution for everything my Higher Power has prompted me about so far (knowing that my H.P. would not prompt me to do so if it would cause harm to me or another person).
- Resisting Materialism: I resist the grasping materialistic lifestyle of my culture, choosing rather to live a life of contentment and satisfaction with what I have. I’m not always “wanting more”.
- Selfish Ambition: I have laid aside all envy and selfish ambition. I have no jealousy of another’s success. I do not eagerly hunger to climb the ladder to gain personal power and position.
- Spiritual Intimacy: It is the routine of my life to spend time alone with my Higher Power each day to read spiritual books, meditate and pray…and beyond that I “practice the presence” of my Higher Power all day long. I’m constantly sensing my Higher Power’s surrounding presence in my life like the air I breath.
- Thought Life: My thought life is absolutely free from all impure thoughts. I have habitual victory over all tempting sexual fantasies, daydreams, or other selfish thoughts. I never get high on “old highs”.
- Living Above Reproach: I painstakingly avoid situations which could feed lustful or selfish desires or even tempt others to gossip about me. I have no dangerous emotional bonds which could lead to trouble. I carefully attend to all my relationships so that not even the hint of impropriety exists.
- Truthfulness: My yes is yes, my 200 is 200, my five-point buck is a five-point buck, and the fish is whatever size it is. I totally avoid half-truths, white lies, flattery or exaggeration. I practice absolute honesty both in my relationships with others and myself. I do not lie in order to allow myself or others to avoid unpleasant emotions.
- Tongue Stewardship: I abstain from slander, gossip, harshness, unkindness, biting criticism, caustic remarks, obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking. Instead I use my tongue to build others up, giving words of encouragement, comfort, help, inspiration, and challenge. My tongue is completely under my Higher Power’s control.
- Living my Recovery: I typically share my recovery with both straight and chemically dependent people every time my Higher Power prompts me to do it. Twelfth stepping is a habit of my life.
- Spiritual Passion: I hunger to become more spiritual and take my spiritual growth seriously. I do not ignore, dismiss or excuse areas where I fall short, even those I have listed above, since I have a spiritual passion for becoming more like my Higher Power would have me be, the I AM of Him.