The final three steps — 10, 11, and 12 — are referred to as the “maintenance steps”. Having made the honest effort to “clean up our side of the street” in the first nine steps, we enter the present and future of our lives in recovery.
What are we “maintaining” in these last steps? It is said we are maintaining a fit spiritual condition — an honesty used in the first 9 steps. That honesty will become almost second nature with every passing day. How do we know we are being honest daily?
Step 10 involves a daily reflection or mindfulness of what we are doing, especially in our interactions with others. If we are honest, we can’t help but have humility. We will have positive and negative interactions. Using what we learned in earlier steps helps us reflect on our contributions in those daily interactions. Knowing we are human we will have a need to make amends on occasion. The sooner we realize those needs for amends, and the sooner we make them, the better for us and others.
A couple of Step 10 variations from Roger C’s “The Little Book” include:
1. from the Buddhist 12 Steps — “We continued to remain mindful of our mental, verbal, and physical actions, and when we acted unskillfully, promptly admitted it.”
2. from the Native American 12 Steps — “We continue to think about our strengths and weaknesses, and when we are wrong, we say we are wrong.”