Maintaining What we have Found
After presenting our fearless and thorough moral inventory in step five to our sponsor and the God of our understanding we start to see life through different eyes we have a new perspective on things and life takes on new meaning. Having made our personal inventory, what shall we do about it? We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relation with our creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. We have admitted certain defects; we have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; we have put our finger on the weak items in our personal inventory. Now these are about to be cast out. This requires action on our part, on being entirely ready to have the God of our understanding remove all these defects of character.
And on humbly asking God to remove our shortcomings we write a list of all those we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. All this time we continue to take personal inventory and set straight any new wrongs by promptly admitting them. We are then working the first of the maintenance steps – step ten continued to take personal inventory and promptly admitted it. By doing this we are keeping our side of the street clean praying for the health and happiness of the other etc remembering that it is our defects we have to take responsibility for.
As we sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out we start to receive the needed power to maintain the new order of things – this is step eleven the second of the maintenance steps.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs; practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. In my own short experience I have encountered certain trials and low spots, which we are promised as laid out in the basic text of AA. And on these encounters I kept close to my sponsor and followed his direction. I worked closely with new men and sought through prayer asking for guidance on the right course of action. Saying Thy Will be done, not mine, throughout.
On looking on what I had in my gratitude list and counting my blessings I commenced to get a feeling that everything was going to be all right. Also the Just for Today card and the actions on it grounded me in the here and now. Taking inventory and responsibility for my defects was very important and enabled me to forgive and have emotional sobriety throughout. I went to more meetings and carried the message of hope to the still-suffering alcoholic; we only keep what we get by giving away the entire product. For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world about us, and with him who presides over us all.
Gavin, Road to Recovery Group, Plymouth, March 2010