Step 10 Acid Test (page 88) – Can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions.
Benefits of Self-Searching & Examination (page 88) – More experienced people, in all times and places, have practiced unsparing self-survey and criticism. For the wise among us have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.
Emotional Hangover & Goal of Living in the Now (page 88) – Emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s excesses of negative emotion – anger, fear, jealousy, and the like. If we would live serenely today and tomorrow, we certainly need to eliminate these hangovers….It requires the admission and correction of errors now…When our inventory is carefully taken, and we have made peace with ourselves , the conviction follows that tomorrow’s challenges can be met as they come.
Types of Inventory (page 89) – Spot Check, Daily, In Depth Such As Semiannual and Annual
Accurate Self-Appraisal & Avoidance of Self Deception (page 89) – The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because a great many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate self-appraisal
Spiritual Axiom Regarding Disturbance (page 89) In Context of Spot Inventory – It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed , no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us….We have found the justifiable anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
Spot Inventory (page 90) – The quick inventory is aimed at our daily ups and downs, especially those where people or new events throw us off balance and tempt us to make mistakes
Spot Inventory Mini Steps (page 91) – 1. We need self-restraint, 2. Honest analysis of what is involved (which may involve our sponsor or trusted advisor), 3. A willingness to admit when the fault is ours , 4. An equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere
Progress (page 91) – We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not perfection.
Self-Restraint (page 91) – Our first objective will be the development of self-restraint. This carries a top priority rating…Nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen. We must avoid quick-tempered criticism and furious, power driven argument. The same goes for sulking or silent scorn. These are emotional booby traps baited with pride and vengefulness. Our first job is to sidestep the traps. When we are tempted by the bait, we should train ourselves to step back and think. For we can neither think nor act to good purpose until the habit of self-restraint has become automatic.
Self-Control Over Not Just Negative But Positive (page 92) – Blinded by prideful self-confidence, we were apt to play the big shot. Of course, people turned away from us, bored or hurt.
Humility (page 92) – We are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may have is far more His success than ours.
Acceptance & Tolerance (page 92) – Finally, we began to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up.
Realistic Expectations About Love & Tolerance (page 92) – Such a radical change in our outlook will take time , maybe a lot of time….Most of us must admit that we have loved but a few, that we have been quite indifferent to the many as long as none of them gave us trouble; and that for the remainder – well, we have really disliked or hated them. Although these attitudes are common enough, we A.A.’s need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can’t stand it if we hate deeply.
Mini – Steps – How Do We Grow In Love & Tolerance (page 93) – 1. We can stop making unreasonable demands upon those we love, 2. We can show kindness where we had shown none. 3. With those we dislike we can begin to practice justice and courtesy , perhaps going out of our way to understand and help them. 4. Prompt Admission Of Failures – Whenever we fail any of these people, we can promptly admit it – to ourselves always, and to them also, when the admission would be helpful.
Harmony With Others (page 93) – Courtesy, kindness, justice and love are the keynotes by which we come into harmony with practically anybody. When in doubt, we can always pause and ask ourselves “Not my will , but Thine, be done.”
Daily Inventory (page 93/94) – When evening comes, many of us draw up a balance sheet for the day. This is a good place to remember that inventory-taking is not always done in red ink … good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and have failed, we may chalk that up as one of the greatest credits of all. Under these conditions, the pain of failures are converted into assets. Out of them we receive the stimulation we need to go forward. Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain is the touchstone of all spiritual progress (Father Ed Dowling). How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him, for we know that the pains of drinking had to come before the sobriety, and emotional turmoil before serenity.
Identifying and Overcoming Rationalization (page 94, 95) – There are cases where our ancient enemy, rationalization, has stepped in and has justified conduct which was really wrong … we “constructively criticize” someone who needed it , when our real motive was to win a useless argument. We sometimes hurt those we love because they need to be “taught a lesson”, when we really want to punish…we complained we felt bad when in fact we were mainly asking for sympathy and attention … this perverse wish to hide a bad motive under a good one, permeates human affairs from top to bottom. Learning daily to spot , admit, and correct these flaws is the essence of character-building and good living.
Key Goals For Daily Inventory (95) – An honest regret for harms done, a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and a willingness to try for better things tomorrow will be the permanent assets we shall seek. Having so considered our day , not omitting to take due note of things well done , and having searched our hearts with neither fear nor favor, we can truly thank God for the blessings we have received and sleep in good conscience.