It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 90
I never truly understood the Tenth Step’s spiritual axiom until I had the following experience. I was sitting in my bedroom, reading into the wee hours, when suddenly I heard my dogs barking in the back yard. My neighbors frown on this kind of disturbance so, with mixed feelings of anger and shame, as well as fear of my neighbors’ disapproval, I immediately called in my dogs. Several weeks later the exact situation repeated itself but this time, because I was feeling more at peace with myself, I was able to accept the situation—dogs will bark—and I calmly called in the dogs. Both incidents taught me that when a person experiences nearly identical events and reacts two different ways, then it is not the event which is of prime importance, but the person’s spiritual condition. Feelings come from inside,not from outward circumstances. When my spiritual condition is positive, I react positively.