When I was new I heard the lady pastor of a new age church say our prayer-life is important, but equally important is our life-prayer. Step Ten for me is paying attention to my life prayer — staying aware of the thoughts, words and deeds I put out into the universe as I go about my day. Every prayer is answered. I pray for misery if I consistently think judgmental, resentful, and negative thoughts and then turbo-charge these thoughts with unkind words and deeds. I pray for serenity when my thoughts are kind and I treat everyone in my life with love and, if not love, at least tolerance. If I want to continue to grow and change, I ought to watch myself like a hawk and when I screw up, I ought to muster the courage to admit it.
This step is challenging for me. I was spiritually asleep for the better part of fifty years before I began my journey in Alcoholics Anonymous. I went through life restless, irritable and discontented because I didn’t know there was any other way to live. Waking up to the truth — seeing myself as I really am — is no easy task. Part of me would much rather stay in my nice warm bed of illusion, believing my life will improve as soon as I learn to manage it better. Fortunately I’ve seen what happens to members who get stuck a comfort zone and stop growing. A dry drunk is not a pretty picture. I speak from experience.
Some members call steps ten through twelve the maintenance steps. If I am willing to take these three steps every day to the best of my ability, I maintain a fit spiritual condition, I continue to grow along spiritual lines and I am safe from that first drink. Of course I don’t do any of this perfectly. Usually it takes some discomfort for me to realize I’ve let up on my program of action.
My life prayer is much more positive than it was before I stumbled into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, Back then I’d sit in the bar and often say to anyone who would listen, “If you had my life, you’d drink too.” Today I say, “If you had my life you wouldn’t drink either.”