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The Beginning Steps Study Meeting

Taken from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, copyrighted by AA World Services Inc. and used with permission.

Step Ten

 “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”

http://e-aa.org/chat/eaa_chat_reading.php?ID=44/

Before we ask what a spot-check inventory is, let’s look at the kind of setting in which such an inventory can do its work.

It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.

Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our re­sentments were justified or not. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miser­ably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefi­nitely. These emotional “dry benders” often led straight to the bottle. Other kinds of disturbances—jealousy, envy, self-pity, or hurt pride—did the same thing.

A spot-check inventory taken in the midst of such dis­turbances can be of very great help in quieting stormy emotions. Today’s spot check finds its chief application to situations which arise in each day’s march. The considera­tion of long-standing difficulties had better be postponed, when possible, to times deliberately set aside for that pur­pose. 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.

In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. 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 for perfection.


End of Reading

updated 04/10/2014

I.A
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