Recently there was some confusion generated by comments made about Step 10, ” Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
The confusion was around whether or not we have to admit we were wrong to the person whom we caused harm, or just to ourselves. Well this could be a tempting tid bit if we were really looking for a morcel of excuse to avoid what keeps us in fit spiritual condition. For clarification purposes, after conversation about this with my sponsor, the only reason we could come up with where we would not promptly proceed to make amends for wrongs done is as is discussed in Step 9, ” …except when to do so would injure them or others.” For example, if we have gossiped about a person without their knowledge, we would certainly not apologize to that person for gossiping about them when they didn’t know we had done so. However, we do promptly apologize to the person(s) with whom we were doing the gossiping, admitting that we were in the wrong to have gossiped and that we regret our harmful words. We ask their forgiveness, and then we go forward in ” living amends,” practicing kindness and respect in our communications, and recommitting to minding our own business.
With Step 10, we always want to clean up our side of the street as promptly as possible. This is a selfish act in a way, because we need to keep the clutter of guilt, shame and resentment out of our lives. Step 10, like Step 9 is about taking care of us. In the past, it triggered too much damage for us and others to continue nurturing the presence in our lives of these unhelpful feelings of shame or guilt that result from our wrong doings. They cause us to feel uncomfortable, out of sorts and that puts us in a precarious position. They stand in the way of our sanity and serenity in Alanon, and our sanity, serenity and sobriety in AA. Step 10 is our daily reprieve, our daily discipline to nurture the happiness, joy and freedom that we realize as stated in the Promises. How insightful of the founders to be inspired to add this simple and oh so important maintenance step to our tool kit. It is a well used item, and it works.
Affirmation for the Day – ” I am promptly cleaning my side of the street. ”
Remember to say the affirmation at least 3 times whenever you remember it, preferably in front of a mirror.
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