Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
12 Therefore, my loved ones, just as you always obey me, not just when I am present but now even more while I am away, carry out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 God is the one who enables you both to want and to actually live out his good purposes. Philippians 2:12-13, CEB
Now we’re on to the maintenance steps. It’s so easy to get hung up here, isn’t it? I know many, many people who have maintained their sobriety for a long time. Many of those continue to work quite diligent programs with a sponsor and go through the steps regularly. Of course, many of them also don’t. They’ve learned and internalized the steps to the point where it’s a natural, second-nature-ish part of life. Neither way is more right than the other. They’re just two approaches.
The danger in the second approach is that we get complacent. When we get complacent we may miss key aspects of the steps that we need in order to stay “in recovery” and not just remain sober. It’s not easy to remain so diligent about taking inventories and admitting wrongs and such. Perhaps it’s okay to take breaks for periods of time to allow our minds a bit of a break. If we’re too rigid, then we’re likely to get exhausted and give up. So it’s all a balancing act.
In my opinion, it helps to have a really good friend in our lives who will pay attention to us, ask how we’re doing, and challenge us when we need it. Often, those kinds of relationships will draw the principles out of us naturally when we’re not working quite so diligently.
Is step 10 an ongoing practice for you that you consciously sit down to do? Does it flow more naturally than that? How does it work?