Summary: Step 10 focuses on the maintenance phase of the program.
Twelve Steps To Recovery Part 10
To date in this series we have discussed the first seven steps in the twelve steps to recovery process. We began by admitting that we were powerless over our dependencies and that there was a God greater than ourselves who could restore us to sanity. After reaching that point, in step three we made the decision to turn our lives over to the care of God, a conscious choice that was made freely. In steps four and five we took a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and came to the point of understanding our addictions and confessing them to ourselves, God and to another trusted individual. In step six, after recognizing our addictions for what they were, we came to the point where we were ready to have God remove them and in step seven we humbly asked God to do just that – remove all of our shortcomings. Step seven was the bridge from our focus on our inner self to our outward actions as we enter into step eight. Step eight involved our making a list of those persons that we have harmed through our addictions and work through our willingness to make amends to them when possible. In step nine we were to take action on the list we made in step eight, making direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. As we enter into step ten, we continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong, we promptly admit it.
I. Looking In The Mirror
There is not a day that goes by when many of us do not glance at ourselves in a mirror. Most of us do not only glance, but spend a significant amount of time in front of the mirror. What are we considering when we look in the mirror? In the morning when we first wake up, we use the mirror as a guide to getting cleaned up. We wash our face; brush our teeth, floss and comb our hair. If we did not have the mirror, we’d have to guess at what we looked like after we were finished, but with the mirror all of the guess work is removed. By utilizing the mirror, we are able to ensure that what other see is what we want them to see. While you think about this, consider what James wrote in James 1:21-25. “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
In the verses we read, James states that if we only hear God’s word and do not obey, it is like glancing at our face in a mirror and after we have walked away, forget what we looked like. Here is what James was saying, it is God’s word that is able to change our lives – but only if we do something with it. If we are only hearing the word and doing nothing with it, it will not affect any type of change within our lives. In order for the word to change us, we must act on it. For example, let’s go back to what James said about the mirror and I think I can make this clear. If you look into the mirror and you see that you have dried up sleep matter on your face (for those of you wondering, I am referring to the dried up drool that sometimes we see when we wake up in the morning), would you not make sure that you washed your face before you greeted the rest of your family? Would you not wash your face before you left the house? If you looked in the mirror and your hair was a mess, I am not talking what some would consider stylish, I mean a mess. Would you not take a comb and/or brush and comb your hair before you left your house? Why would you do this? Because you would not want to be seen in public with your face not washed or your hair not combed. This is so important that we seek feedback from others when we do not have access to a mirror? If you just had a salad for lunch, sometimes you ask your peers if there is any green “leftovers” stuck in your teeth. Or if you step outside and the wind is blowing hard, when you get back in doors you ask if your hair looks okay. All of these things we do because we want to look our best. This is what James was talking about when he referenced the mirror.