Tuesday, March 5, 2013

12 Steppers, does anyone do the work yearly?



  1. In the middle of page 84 of the BB are the 5 Parts of the 10th.Step, that so many people in AA fail to comprehend. I will explain it as it was explained to me:

    The key words in the paragraph are in the first sentence which states "We continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along."

    This clearly implies that we use our Step process daily, IMO. The paragraph further says "our next function is to grow in understanding and effectivness. This is not an overnight matter, it should continue for a lifetime." Then it lists the 5 Parts of Step 10:

    Part 1.)Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment & fear. (We learned how to do this in Step 4)

    Part 2.) When these crop up we ask God to remove them at once (Steps 6 & 7)

    Part 3.) (If not removed, my words) "We discuss them with someone immediately" Does the word sponsor ring a bell ? (Step 5)

    4.) "If we have harmed anyone, we make amends quickly." (Steps 8 & 9)

    5.) If the issue is still not resolved "We resoutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help" - like a newcomer that we 12th Step with.

    So, by performing the 10th Maintenance Steps on a daily basis we are working Steps 4 thru 9 and the first half of Step 12 on a daily basis.

    When I hear someone at a meeting say things like "I need to go thru the steps again", it causes me to wonder maybe you need to re-read Step 10. What have you been doing all this time? Obviously you haven't been working the maintenance steps and now you wonder why you are in trouble or your serenity has turned to hell in a hand basket !

    If I work Steps 10, 11 & 12 on a regular basis there would be no reason to ever have to do 4 thru 9 again since I am working daily or better stated "Practicing these principles in all my affairs." Isn't it better to clean out my garbage regularly instead of letting it pile up and weigh me down as the load gets more and more heavy.

    I work a diligent program for the same reason I drank - I want to feel good ! When I drank I let the garbage accumulate for decades and ended up at the gates of "insanity & death." That is not what sobriety & sanity are about. Its about cleaning house every day and saying my morning and evening meditations (Step 11) to obtain knowledge of "God's will for me and the power to carry it out !"

  2. Nice. I understand where you are coming from. That is the best rationalization of "one time through" as I've heard anywhere.

    The only problem with it is that it's not my experience. I don't know what doing the work one time through and living the rest of my life in 10, 11, and 12 is like. If I did, I'd rap with you more about it.

    My view of "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."

    So, my view of that is that we clean up any new mistakes... resentments, amends, etc., as we go along... as we cleaned up the past.

    At some point, we finish cleaning up our past... aka finish making our amends. When we finish our amends, we're done with 4-9! Period! On to 10, 11, and 12!

    It's my opinion that if we spend more time in 11, there's less need in 10. I use 10 for when I'm doing my nightly review and lose my awareness to finding things to work on in "when we retire at night." I use step 10 as my from door knob to door knob living. In other words, I use 11 at night and on awakening, to set up my day and close my day. But once I leave the house and step into the world, I can use Watch Ask Discuss Turn and Carry during my day. Then with good awareness, I can recall how my day went in my Step 11 nightly review.

    But I don't sit around all year long in step 10 or step 4 inventory. Inventory should be taken at least once a year. What do I do the rest of the year? Well, I'm open for business of course!

    We in our group believe that doing the steps is a fact finding ego smashing experience. But the ego rebuilds. Our spiritual experience/awakening looses it's salt after a while. Look at the seasons. The trees grow their shape in the spring. They flourish in the summer. They ripen and bear fruit and beautiful colors in the fall. Then in the winter, they wither, die, blow away and disappear. Then we go back into the womb, rest, and start anew.

    Do a set of steps every year like I do sometime and we'll have that to talk about. You sound like you have no experience with it. All I could say about that is maybe don't knock it till you've tried it. Or as my buddy Lawrence would say, "What do ya got to lose?"