Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Personal Inventory

“Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” - the 10th Step

Practicing this 10th Step is a wonderful stress reducer – but what does it mean?

For me it’s simple: anytime I offend anyone, whether in thought or deed, I quickly apologize and move on through my day. If I successfully practice this step I’m not building resentments or carrying anger that might turn into something worse.

There’s nothing so powerful and disarming as when we do someone wrong and then apologize. My experience has always been – without exception – that the recipient of my apology is at first maybe a little surprised - but then grateful at my gesture. The response is always a smile and then quick forgiveness. And often there’s even a bonding and improved relationship because my apology is a statement that I’m more concerned about getting along than being right.

And how do I offend someone with my thoughts? This may be lofty, but if I think well of someone rather than think of them negatively then maybe my attitude will have a positive influence on our communication. If I change my thoughts and look upon someone positively it will show in my communication.

If I use the 12-Step program to guide my behavior I normally have a good day.