M(3), 3/20/2017: The Benefits of Self-Inventory
Woo Hoo! Enough said.
Today’s reading came from Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and focused on:
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
This was the first step where I realized these tools could be used for more than just staying sober… they were tools for a better way of life. It’s such a simple thing, self-inventory, but it brings truly powerful results. The kind of inventory this chapter talks about is a spot inventory, where you stop and consider what is going on, and your part in it, during times of distress. There are more in-depth inventories as well, but the Step 10 is one you perform on a daily basis.
Every part of this chapter is incredibly useful, but what stood out the most to me this morning is the idea of an emotional hangover:
But there is another kind of hangover which we all experience whether we are drinking or not. That is the emotional hangover, the direct result of yesterday’s and sometimes today’s excesses of negative emotion- anger, fear, jealousy and the like. -pg 88, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
I wrote last week of a variety of life issues that were causing me discontent. I predicted that they would all resolve by the same time the following week, though I doubted any of them would settle to my satisfaction. And I would say, by and large, that I was right on the money. It is one week later, and my part in those issues is done, none of them turned out the way I would have liked, and life is moving on.
When I was living in the throes of the negative emotions associated with the issues, I experienced emotional hangovers as a result. I did not sleep soundly, I was irritable, and I had a vague sense of discontent. But when I took the time to analyze the problem, figured out my part and acted accordingly, I felt better. Most important, at least most important for me, I determined where my part ends and I did my best to let it go. In taking the time to do this self-earching I more quickly move through the negative emotions, and am better able to let go of the resentments that develop as a result.
And since we all know that life issues rotate on a pretty regular basis, it helps to develop the practice of self-inventory. Like any ability, the more we practice, the better skilled we are!
Today’s meeting was a large one, close to 20 attendees, and everyone who shared agreed that this is one of the best steps for improving our daily lives. Here are some other great shares from this morning:
- Another great take-away from the reading this morning is the notion that every time we are disturbed, there is something wrong with us. This is a hard concept to grasp initially, but the more you ponder, the more sense it makes. If we are involved, then we play a part.
- Justifiable anger and justifiable resentments can be the downfall for many an alcoholic. We are best to leave the justifiable stuff to people who can handle it. Life becomes a lot simpler if we stop having to decide if a resentment is justifiable or not.
- The step does not say to make amends when we get around to it, it say to make amends promptly. When we take inventory and decide we’ve done wrong, we must make that amend as soon as possible. This practice leads to a greater sense of inner peace.
- The beauty of the 12 steps is in their simplicity. For a lot of us, the directions we’re given in early sobriety need to be as simple as possible for us to comprehend them. Luckily, there are wonderful people who have gone ahead of us who know how to tell us what to do in the simplest language possible. Keeping things simple is the key to success!
- This chapter emphasizes that learning the skills of effective self-inventory is a process, sometimes a lifelong one. The knowledge that we need not be perfect in figuring out our intentions and motives is a relief, and allows us to be gentle with ourselves as we learn.
- Another key point in the chapter is learning to restrain ourselves from impulsively taking the first action that occurs to us. Almost without fail our first response is not our best one, so cultivating the skill of restraint is incredibly important.
- Asking the very simple question, “Am I doing to others as I would have done to me?” is a simple and effective way to take self-inventory.
I hope everyone is enjoying this first day of Spring!
That my first day of Spring actually feels like Spring! After last week’s snow storm, I wasn’t sure it would ever warm up again!
Posted on March 20, 2017, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged 12 step program, 12 steps, Addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Meeting, miracles, Monday, personal inventory, Recovery, Resentment, Sobriety, step 10, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.