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Step 10/Twelve Steps


Each year I like to run through the 12 steps as written in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps were an adaptation of many works before them, and are a universal truth for all people who want to enjoy good mental Hygiene and an abundant life. They have been adopted by some 150 self-help groups, and in the words of my favourite forensic psychologist, are the best basis for mental health around IF worked and lived.


I am not a step guru, and like to keep things as simple as possible. In Step 10 we start lifetime maintenance. Step 10 says:


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


A new way of life had begun; practicing good mental hygiene had to become a life habit.


By this stage of my journey, I had begun to review my days both in my head and through journaling and sharing. I'd worked very hard to clean up the garbage of my past, and had no desire to accumulate more. The daily practice of Step 10 prevents accumulation.


An amazing discovery I had made; in MOST issues were conflict arose in my daily living, my hand was in there! In arguments that involved high emotion, I found quite often that I was not wrong in what I was saying, but often how I said it could have been much better. When things were said that negatively affected me, I had to learn to say "When you say". This is how I feel. There are oft times that I am wrong. Amazing!!


When I was WRONG, I learned how to take responsibility for MY role, and square it up through admission and/or amend as quickly as possible. I have become far more aware of the impact that my words or actions can have on others, and how those lovely "defects of character" can rear their ugly head. The little voice I stay tuned to inside lets me know when I'm wrong, and I'm far better at listening to it than I was.


This truly is a daily step. It is one that gets easier to do with vigilant practice. The garbage bin is fairly empty as I write this; I have serenity that allows me to be better at all aspects of my life and make better choices.


Daily, and with gratitude, I do recognize the many things I have done right. There is payoff in changing and I recognize that in myself with thanks.


-- keithb

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