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.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Personal Inventory

"Continued to take personal inventory and when we wrong promptly admitted it."  from the Big Book.

The 10th step is a wonderful tool to help us remain in serenity. Our forefathers in the 12-step program realized we needed a simple device, a tool to help us through our day without accumulating a lot of garbage.

So they created the 10th step. But how do we apply this in our everyday life? It's easy.

It's as simple as this: did we cut someone off in the parking lot? Instead of engaging in a lot of finger waving or shouting, we instead smile and ask for forgiveness if the situation allows.

Instead of listening to what someone was telling us, were we instead planning our answer? So we apologize and admit that we were spacing out and ask them to repeat what they said.

Once in a while we get into a heated discussion on the phone. Instead of abruptly hanging up and fuming for the next 20 minutes, here's a simple tool a friend of mine uses: he simply says "I'm too upset to continue this conversation right now. Let me call you later." This is a wonderful way to show respect to the person with whom were talking. Plus, it allows us to calm down, marshal our thoughts, before we call back. His approach keeps things in perspective and shows respect for the other person.

The nice thing about being ready to instantly apologize and atone for a wrong, is that we can proceed through our day in peace. Not accumulating mental garbage. We take care of the mess before it became a heaping pile of smelly refuse, fermenting in our addict brains.

And another nice thing about going through our day and taking care of our transgressions is that others respect us.

Rather than diminishing ourselves by admitting we're wrong, we're instead elevated in the eyes of others because we're big enough to admit when we were wrong.