Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.
Step 10 Reading
So, here I am in step 10 now and as I said in this post, this is where we start speeding it up so we work all the steps every day immediately. It's where we start taking a daily inventory. Taking steps 4 and 5 every day for every day. It is no longer about looking back because we have already taken care of everything in the past and let it go. It's about now.
In step 10 we start watching ourselves carefully throughout every day, taking any negative thought or feeling to Heavenly Father immediately. Our desire has changed from holding on to the negative to desiring peace. The goal is to have an open heart and a mind focused on the Saviors teachings all the time.
I used to think that when I got to this point in the steps I would be fixed and no longer be making mistakes anymore, but that is not what step 10 is about.
It says in the reading "You will continue to make mistakes as you interact with others, but a commitment to step 10 is a commitment to take responsibility for mistakes."
I am not perfect and I am not going to be made perfect in this life. I will continue to mess up. I will make the same mistakes over and over because of my weaknesses. But the difference now is that I am more aware of my triggers and I am more aware of how to stop my mistakes from building up and becoming overwhelming. I can take responsibility immediately and regain peace.
An important part about daily inventories is journaling. Now, I still haven't bought a new journal, but I have began using a notebook because I have just. got. to. write. I'm sure I'll get a nice fancy one again sometime soon. For now I'm dealing with it.
Here's the plan:
Morning prayer consists of motives examined and a daily goal. Something like to keep my temper that day or to follow the spirit. Something like "today I will accomplish these tasks and maintain a positive attitude."
Then throughout the day, I am constantly checking myself. Am I maintaining balance? Do I still feel serenity in my day? Am I avoiding negativity? If I find a trigger, acknowledge it and immediately take a time out to apply the tools in the steps and regain my peace.
At the end of the day I have an evening prayer where I examine my day and hold a council with the Lord about where I've fallen short and what I have accomplished. What have I achieved? What can I do better at tomorrow?
If we take accountability like this daily, it no longer builds to threaten our abstinence. One question the reading presents that goes really well with this is here: "Am I true?" We must maintain complete honest with these questions and make self-corrections.
Another favorite part of the reading for me is this: "You will learn to value progress and to forgive imperfections in yourself and others."
Progress. This is most important. No one is expecting perfection. Just progress.
I had a conversation with my husband recently (Yay! He's progressing!) and we talked about how when we are making real progress we have a way to catch ourselves before the temptations can overpower us. As we have been working the steps, we are getting to know ourselves and our weaknesses enough to recognize our triggers. We can stop ourselves in the very thought process before temptation even begins. At that time, we can do whatever helps curb us from the negativity escalating, whether it be calling a sponsor, another support person or friend, or doing something to keep busy and productive in a positive way (jogging, writing, praying, cleaning, creating art, playing with kids, etc. etc.).
At this point is where we see how the steps really work! This is why we take the steps in the order we do. This is why we must be patient with the steps seemingly slow progress. Because in the end there IS hope. Incredibly, there is a way to someday be able to pin down those little incremental things that lead up to the slips or relapses. Now we can find hope in knowing there is another more healthy way to deal with triggers. It is possible. Don't give up.