I love to think. I enjoy what-if scenarios, as well as extended dwellings. There’s nothing better than digging deep into the ins and outs of my whys and wherefores until actual action seems somewhat redundant and unnecessary. I’m so hyper-vigilant identifying circular thinking, that’s all I do.
It feels like I’m accomplishing something with all this thinking, normally because it takes place while I’m doing something else. I’m going over job-related resentments while driving to work. I’m angry about something internal and undefinable while putting off household chores. I’m either focused on the future or the past, out of fear and, thanks to years of wrong-headed thinking, habit.
Step 10: continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 10 is known as a maintenance step, an upkeep step; the bookend to what was (hopefully) started in the morning: the turning over of my will and my life to the care of God, as I understood Him. Step 10 is the tallying part – the settling of accounts for the day. It’s a day-at-a-time program, after all, and yet far too often I’m ready to get on with the next day, close my eyes and try again tomorrow, as if simply putting time behind me somehow magically moves me forward.
Full disclosure: the very concept of Step 10 was crazy to me. I mean, I’d been taking my personal inventory for years; it’s always been one of my favorite things to do, thinking about myself. And as for being wrong and promptly admitting it, I was always quick to apologize when I knocked something over. So Step 10 was just doing what I’ve always been doing, only now I’m to do it as I go to sleep? Easy enough.
So many wrong assumptions! The first revelation shown to me was that taking personal inventory isn’t the same as beating yourself up or grinding yourself down, which was my preferred way of taking stock. Secondly, having seen the program in action through working the earlier steps, I now have the opportunity to see my days in a new, more properly focused light. It doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable, nor does it bask in minor achievements. Both are noted and placed back on the shelf. How well did I do today, turning over my will and my life to the care of God, as I understood Him?
In the morning, I’m asking for my thoughts to remain right-sized, and my actions to be right-sized throughout the day. In the evening, I’m asking to remain right-sized while taking my personal inventory.
It’s good to have ground rules. It’s essential to understand them.