In this program of the 12 Steps, I am encouraged to take stock of myself – a kind of personal inventory. Actually, it’s the fourth step: “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
And I did do the fourth step – examined all my resentments, my fears, and the hurts I have cause others in the process.
There’s another step that is a continuation of the fourth: Step Ten. “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
I still take a personal inventory. I do it on a daily basis. Sometimes hourly. I try to remain conscious of what I’m thinking about throughout the day. This has made an impact on how I behave – what I do and what I say to others.
But there’s more to the program than just examining all the crud.
I also have learned to give thanks for the good stuff. It’s a way of taking a personal inventory, but with more emphasis on the positive. Like giving thanks for the good things in my life: A roof over my head; a car to drive; my good health; steady employment; a loving wife and family; faithful friends that I’ve made in recovery…
I’m learning that what I dwell on will eventually show up in my life.
Dwelling on what I don’t have doesn’t serve me well; it leaves me feeling like crap. And if I feel like crap, my life turns into crap. Crap has a way of increasing when I dwell on it. It becomes my default setting, and I suffer as a result.
But I have a choice now. In recovery, I can choose how my day will go. Yes sir; I can decide what to think about – what to dwell on. But I can only do this as long as I remain conscious of what I’m thinking about.
If I don’t remain conscious (take personal inventory) my default setting is to dwell on the negative. It is sometimes hard work to stay positive, but it is next to impossible if I fail to do my personal inventory – continually.
When you take your inventory, don’t forget to give thanks for the good things in your life. What we dwell on, after all, is what shows up in our lives.