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II Facts about the Twelve Steps you might not know
 
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ix) Steps Ten and Eleven
It is important to know that Steps Ten and Eleven provide an unshakable
foundation for life!
 
 


1. Step Ten is where we continue the self-examination that we started in Steps Four through Nine.

2. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 38, in the fifth paragraph, the pioneers share:

"This thought brings us to step ten, which suggests you continue to take personal inventory and continue to set any new mistakes right as you go along. You vigorously commenced this way of life as you cleaned up your past. You have entered the world of Spirit. Your next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for your lifetime. Continue to watch yourself for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, ask God at once to remove them. Discuss them with someone immediately. Make amends quickly if you have harmed anyone. Then resolutely turn your thoughts to someone you can help. Love and tolerance of others is your code."

3. Step Eleven involves prayer and meditation. In it, we continue and reinforce the admission, realization, and decision called for in Steps One, Two and Three.

4. As Bill Wilson writes in his essay about Step Eleven on page 98 in A.A.'s 12&12:

"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But, when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life."

5. Therefore, Steps Ten and Eleven in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book are logically related to, and interwoven with, each other.

6. The "Daily Quiet Time" is the place the pioneers originally put these logically related, and interwoven, spiritual principles into daily practice.

7. You can find R.A.'s "Suggestions For The Daily Quiet Time" on page 6 of R.A.'s Newcomer Guide. For examples of how to follow these suggestions, please refer to "An Example Of The Daily Quiet Time" on page 8 of R.A.'s Newcomer Guide. R.A.'s Newcomer Guide is available on R.A.'s website: www.R-A.org

8. Even if you already devote a part of your day to religious observance, or to prayer and meditation, follow these additional suggestions from "The Daily Quiet Time."

9. Some people call the "Daily Quiet Time," the "Morning Quiet Time." However, experience has shown that the time of day you do it is not important. Some of us even split it into morning and evening sessions.

10. What is important is to fully work all Twelve Steps. This means to consistently make having a "Daily Quiet Time" a priority in your day.

11. The importance of the "Daily Quiet Time" is made clear in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. On page 150, starting with the third paragraph, it says:

"Morning quiet time continued to be an important part of the recovery program in 1938-39, as did the spiritual reading from which the early members derived a good deal of their inspiration.

" 'Here in Los Angeles, they now emphasize meetings,' said Duke P, who used to live in Toledo and was one of the pioneering members there. 'I guess that's because there are so many of them. When I started, they stressed morning quiet time, daily reading, and daily contact. They also told me I had to do something about my alcoholism every day.' Duke remembered taking a poll of 'slippers' in the early 1940's and finding that they had all stopped having their morning quiet time. 'Now, after 38 years, Katie and I still have our quiet time and morning reading,' he said."

12. All these "slippers" had "stopped having their morning quiet time" before they slipped. Therefore, while no one has to agree with us, in our opinion, it does not make sense for anyone who is having a "Daily Quiet Time" to take the risk of stopping it.

13. In R.A., we think it is vital for everyone to begin having a "Daily Quiet Time" as soon as they start working the program. Then, it is even more important for everyone to continue having a "Daily Quiet Time." This is a practice that "should continue for your lifetime."

14. In the early days of the program, it was common for newcomers to initially stay with more established members. Bill and his wife Lois had newcomers stay with them. So did Dr. Bob and his wife Anne. In addition, Wally and Annabelle G. would also take in newcomers.

15. However, they had very different results.

16. In DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, on page 178, starting with the third paragraph, it says:

"Bill found it odd that Wally and Annabelle G. helped sober up a lot of people and Lois and Anne didn't have that many successes. 'A few people sobered up in later years, but never while they were living in our house,' Bill said. 'And we had a good 20 of them.

" 'At the G.-- s', they did, and I don't know why. Maybe they just hit the right cases. There certainly wasn't any difference in the treatment. I think there may have been times when we attributed it to their morning hour of meditation,' Bill said. 'I sort of always felt that something was lost from AA when we stopped emphasizing the morning meditation.' (Bill and Lois themselves, however, continued this practice together until his death, in 1971.)"

17. This passage lets us know that there was a major difference in the treatment newcomers received at Wally and Annabelle G.'s, even though Bill discounted this possibility. Wally and Annabelle G. insisted that the newcomers who stayed with them start having a "Daily Quiet Time." Therefore, the people who stayed with them recovered.

18. Those who stayed elsewhere, and did not start having a "Daily Quiet Time," did not initially recover.

19. In R.A., we think this makes the importance of having a "Daily Quiet Time" crystal clear. If you are still not convinced of the importance of having a "Daily Quiet Time," we don't know what else we can share that will change your mind.

20. If you understand the importance of having a "Daily Quiet Time," but are still not willing to start having one, we suggest that you start praying for the willingness until it comes.

21. There are also promises that result from working the Tenth and Eleventh Steps. These are the so-called "Hidden Promises."

22. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 38, starting with the last sentence of the fifth paragraph, it says:

"Love and tolerance of others is your code.

"And you have ceased fighting anything or anyone—even alcohol. For by this time your sanity will have returned. You will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, you will recoil from it as you would from a hot flame. You will react sanely and normally. You will find this has happened automatically. You will see that your new attitude toward liquor has been given you without any thought or effort on your part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. You are not fighting it, neither are you avoiding temptation. You feel as though you had been placed in a position of neutrality. You feel safe and protected. You have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for you. You are neither cocky nor are you afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition. "

23. Many people ask why these promises are called "Hidden."

24. There are two answers to this question, one simple, the other slightly more complex.

25. The first answer has to do with the changes the pioneers made when they edited the text from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book into the current edition of the Big Book.

26. For example, let's look at two of these promises from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. They say:

"You will react sanely and normally. You will find this has happened automatically."

27. These statements are clearly promises.

28. However, these promises were reworded in later editions of the Big Book. In the current Big Book it says:

"We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically."

29. This makes them sound more like a story about the pioneers than a promise made to those working the program.

30. Similar changes were made to the wording of each of the promises in this paragraph. This has made them hard to see and find. Therefore, they became "hidden."

31. The second reason these promises became "hidden" has to do with the dramatic change in focus that the program, as practiced in other fellowships, has undergone.

32. The pioneers' original goal was for someone to have a spiritual awakening as the result of working all Twelve Steps. God could then permanently restore them to sanity in every area of their lives.

33. Today, in other fellowships, many meetings have a different goal. They simply want to stay sober, abstinent, or clean from drugs, one day at a time.

34. Therefore, even if someone finds and reads the "Hidden Promises," they have a hard time believing that these promises are possible, that they can really happen for them. So, they just ignore them, or think they only apply to the pioneers. They stay hidden.

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