I have noticed that I have been slacking in my 10th and 11th steps for some time now (I have been slacking in my realizations of slacking too). Where once I was almost militant about doing a daily inventory, about stopping through the day to check myself, about asking for guidance when I was unsure, for meditating before retiring…well, that’s started to slip away. And I am not sure why.
Procrastination? Laziness? Complacency? Might be a bit of them all, but I feel that ego is telling me that I don’t need to do them as much, that I am “fine” without doing it. Shut up, ego.
The fact remains is that I need to continue to grow. Some people call Steps 10-12 “maintenance steps”. Horsefeathers. They are growth steps. Continuing to do personal inventory, telling someone about it, helping others, asking for His guidance in times of question, prayer and meditation…how is that just maintaining? I grow all the time in my effectiveness to God and others. I grow out of myself and look outward towards others and how I may serve them. I keep my resentments, fears, dishonesty and selfishness at bay. I learn to work through struggles and to share and pray about what is blocking me from the sunlight of the spirit.
Maintaining my lawn means I just cut it now and then and water it. Growing involved planting seeds, nurturing, expanding and making room for more grass and plants, tending to it daily. There is a difference, and if I start to procrastinate and put off what I need to do daily, my spiritual life starts to whither a little bit. It’s not as sound as it needs to be.
So knowing this, I still have been holding back, distracting myself with “important” things, and rationalizing my Step 10 and 11 away. But my being aware of this demands investigation. What I would tell a sponsee is what I am telling myself now (and we all know how well us alcoholics love to take our own advice) – it would be beneficial to sit in the unease and discomfort that comes from not distracting myself, or rationalizing…and see what comes up. Journal it. See why it is that I need to move away from the things that I get spiritual nourishment, why I deny myself what is crucial to my growth.
So there. I get to sit in it.
I did my meditation last night, after not allowing myself to do so the last two nights, and it felt like a huge weight off my shoulders and my heart was opened up so much more. I have decided that I will also make a list (I like lists) of what I need to do, as a reminder. And do it. I can’t be perfect, and don’t expect to be at all. But progress…that is all we do, and it’s a wonderful thing.