Those of us in recovery are famous for our inventory-taking. Step 4 of our 12 step program is all about a fearless, thorough inventory intending to clear out the many years of baggage accumulated in our hearts. Then Step 10 urges us to continue that process of inventorying on a daily basis. This process is a cornerstone of a content and joyous sober life.
Approaching a New Year is a great time to survey the past year recognizing achievements that stand out as highlights. It can also be a time to admit responsibility for the lesser moments when our character defects took center stage and attempted to recreate the chaos of our addictions. The good and the bad, when viewed together, will give us a healthy assessment of our previous year.
“We should make an accurate and really exhaustive survey of our past life as it has affected other people. In many instances we shall find that, thought the harm done others has not been great, we have nevertheless done ourselves considerable emotional damage.” Bill W. AS BILL SEES IT, pg 111
This passage leads to the realization that what I have done is usually of greater significance to my spiritual stability than that of another. Many years ago, in making amends, the person to whom I was apologizing profusely for a perceived unforgivable action responded with, “Really? When was that? I don’t remember it.”
Yes, the great “me” harbored this indiscretion for many years building it into an earth-shaking occurrence which nobody remembered. Therein lies a secret to living clean and serene. My inventorying, my amends, my spiritual program is all about making me more like the Higher Power which governs my life. In the process I will become a messenger calling out to the world’s darkness. When my slate is clean, that message turns into sobriety-driven action.
Happy New Year to all of you. Thanks for traveling with me in 2017 on this highway called life.