Like most of us I began my practice of self discovery reluctantly. I was afraid to look at myself because I knew deep down the image I had of myself was false. I was living a lie. I was not "a pretty nice guy who just drank a little too much." I was a liar, a cheat and a thief.

If I didn't have a disease that was going to kill me, I'm certain I would have left the door closed on the truth of what I had become forever. But because I wanted what you had, I found the courage to do what you did. Dutifully -- under half steam -- I listed my so-called sins and shared these embarrassing things with my sponsor. I did a couple of subsequent inventories this way, usually in the form of "annual house cleanings."

At about nine years sober my program shifted and so did my inventory process. One summer night I finally became sick and tired of constantly reacting in anger to the words and actions of the people around me. It became clear that for the better part of 50 years I had been giving away my serenity without any fight at all. I realized it wasn't what other people said or did that was the problem, it was something in me causing my fearful reactions. What was it? That evening I pledged to make peace of mind my number one goal, and when I did erupt in anger, to try and discover the source within.

Today my inventories are motivated more by curiosity than guilt. When I lose my peace today I don't beat myself up, I get quiet and try to discover the cause. I keep asking why.

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