I often hear people talk about the morning and evening prayer being the 10th step. For a time I also thought that. The morning and evening devotion to improve our conscious contact with God is the 11th step which starts on page 86 of the big book.  I also hear people who have been in the program a long time talking about doing the 4th step on their current issues.  It has been my personal experience that sticking to the process of the 10th step is absolutely key to the emotional sobriety which is so important in our program.  There are 12 steps once we complete 4-9 we should never have to do them again as they are designed to clear up the wreckage of our past.  The 10th, 11th and 12th steps are where we need to be for stay sober and emotionally strong.  That is how the program is designed and laid out in our magic book.  So let’s take a look at the 10th step.

The 10th step is laid out on page 84 of the big book and is 6 parts.

  1. We continue to take personal inventory.  We do not go back to step 4 our process for taking inventory is laid out in the right here.
  2. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.  We do this right now in the situation we are currently in, not weeks later when the resentment has festered into a mountain of fear which can get us drunk.
  3. When these crop up we ask God to remove them at once.  Note at once not when we retire at night as is sometimes confused with the 11th step.
  4. We discuss them with someone ‘immediately’ (emphasis mine).  We do not leave it for a week.  Alcoholics do not have the luxury of sitting with resentments they keep us sick and will lead to drinking if we do not address them through our simple process.  If you are not in a position to call your sponsor, write it down, text them tell them you have been selfish, dishonest or afraid.
  5. We make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. The coworker, you were just rude to, the child you just screamed at, the husband you told go to hell.  Clear it up right away. Watch what happens.
  6. Then we resolutely turn out thoughts to someone we can help.  This is the most wonderful part of the step, get out of yourself right away, call another alcoholic, find somebody who needs help, do a random act of kindness.  Miracles happen when we get out of our heads.
There is nothing new here this is exactly how it is laid out in our book. However, it seems that through sponsorship, more emphasis on meetings than the steps we have watered down this vital part of the program.  I also find it useful to write the issue down in a 4 column inventory like the 4th step.  We know how to get out of hell when get there but strict adherence to the principals of the 10th step can help us avoid the journey in the first place.
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