The Following is an excerpt from the chapter “Steps 10, 11 and 12 – The Maintenance Steps”
Steps 10, 11 and 12 are the “maintenance” steps, the steps we take or practice on a daily basis if we are truly “practicing these principles in all our affairs”. It is by continuing to take a daily inventory, continuing with a daily prayer and meditation practice and continuing to help other alcoholics, that we continue to grow along spiritual lines and keep ourselves fit to be of service to God and those about us. By practicing steps 10, 11 and 12 we are exercising our new-found spiritual muscles.
Many of us have heard the phrase “living in the first three steps”. What does this mean? It means that we have conceded that we were alcoholic, that we believe or are willing to believe in a higher power, that we have prayed to turn our will and our life over to the care of our higher power, and to act in accordance with our higher powers will for us.
Many alcoholics who practice only the first three steps drink again. They are only practicing 25% of the 12 steps and have never cleaned house or discovered what a higher power’s will means for them. Step 3 is nothing more than a decision to turn our will and our life over to a higher power. Once we do so, we need the remaining steps to know God’s will for us. Without a daily inventory, prayer and meditation, and being of service to others, we are simply stuck in a nebulous self-centered state with no clear path of recovery.
By practicing step 10, we will know where we are continuing to act selfishly, trying to live by our own will, and we will recognize when we are acting in accordance with our higher powers will for us. How do we know when we are acting in accordance to God’s will for us? How do we know when we are still acting out of self-will? To the extent that we are resentful, fearful, selfish, dishonest, prideful, jealous, envious or lazy. When we are forgiving, loving, honest, humble, trusting, content and taking actions based on these attributes, we can be certain that we are acting in accordance with a higher powers’ will for us.
By taking a daily inventory, our defects of character will become apparent. And via the act of continuing to practice step 11 we humbly ask our higher power to relieve us (of our defects) while we simultaneously strive to strengthen our character assets. This is essential in order to continue to grow along spiritual lines.
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