Step 10 - Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
I would rephrase this step as 'repeat the above as necessary'. It would be nice if, once our lives were cleaned up, they stayed cleaned up. However, life is not like that. We continue to face challenges, make mistakes, and unearth new character defects. So, we continue to need the process outlined by the 12 steps.
When I feel discontent in my spirit, or bursts of anger, or sudden sadness, I know it's time to revisit the steps. I admit I have problems I can't solve on my own. (1) I turn to the God who is able to heal me (2) and ask for His help (3). Then I look for where I have muddied the waters. Have I allowed fear or resentment to enter my life? Have I allowed old character defects to return? (4) I confess my sinful attitudes and actions to God, myself, and a trusted confidant. (5) I choose to let go of the ugliness that is marring my spirit. (6) I ask God to remove it. (7) Then I check to see who I have hurt in the process and make amends to them in whatever way seems best. (8-9)
Sometimes this process takes hours, sometimes just a few minutes. I know it is done when peace returns to my spirit.
Today I found myself feeling depressed and angry. I was growling at people and situations that really should have only been small irritations. I knew there was something amiss in my spirit. I didn't exactly go through the steps in order. First I sought counsel from a friend which is one of the 12 step tools. Then I cried out to God about something I felt was unjust. That is when I realized that I was mad because people and situations were not playing out the way I wanted them too. This is a reoccurring theme with me. My sponsor once pointed out that I seem to want to be in charge of the world and I selfishly try to put my will on others. Ouch. OK I did it again (with the best intentions for a good outcome, but still selfish). God spoke to my spirit that sometimes I need to wait for doors to open instead of banging against them. I humbly admitted that He is in charge, not me and I will wait for His timing. You see, I tend to rush - in life, at church, at school. I get an idea and run with it. God is teaching me to wait for Him to get other people ready too. That will be my living amends.
Step 10 is powerful because steps 1-9 are powerful and worth repeating often.