Step Ten: The Character Building Step

Step Ten: The Character Building StepStep 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step ten says that when we were wrong we promptly admitted it. It doesn’t say that when we were wrong we promptly made excuses for our behavior or that we readily blamed someone else.  That was our old way of doing things.  By the time we reach Step Ten, we have become familiar with inventory taking and amends making.   Step Ten is a continuance of that process on a day-to-day basis.

The key to step ten is to continue to take personal inventory.” The book Alcoholics Anonymous emphasizes the importance of continuing to take the steps. On page 84, we read:  “This…brings us to Step Ten, which suggests we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along. We vigorously commenced this way of living as we cleaned up the past. We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.”

The AA Twelve and Twelve, on page 90 makes our responsibility abundantly clear: “It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause there is something wrong with us.”  This sentence ends all judging, criticizing and blaming and puts the responsibility for building our character clearly on our shoulders.  It also ends victimhood.  This statement gives us power, the power to change and grow and the power to become responsible for our thoughts, words and actions.   With God’s help and the experience of the twelve steps, we can become the person we wish to be.

And the AA book tells us how to take the step, “Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.”  (Notice that we have a code.)  This is how we live each day.  We continue to take inventory, we continue to make amends and we continue to help others.  We have “entered the world of the spirit” and that is how we live in recovery.

3 thoughts on “Step Ten: The Character Building Step

  1. Thanks Kay and Michele

    I have not recognized Step Ten as “character building”. It places the actions we take on this step in new light, particularly as we practice it throughout each day.

    • Thank you for being open and willing to change your perspective on step 10, Gail! Being open minded helps us grow and develop.

  2. This should continue for my lifetime. It is about the wreckage of the present. It is about continuing to ask my Higher Power for help. There are some very beautiful promises here. We will stop fighting and be in a neutral place with all things.

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