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Step 10 and listening

A friend in Program says:

Perhaps more than anything else, Step 10 is about listening. If we listen to other people, we are automatically doing Step 10 ... provided, that is, that we are listening and not doing anything else.

But it is very rare that we listen -- only listen -- to others. Almost always, we listen and interpret, or we listen and judge, or we listen and project.

Suppose a friend says to us, "I find it hard to talk openly to other people." What do we hear? We hear, She's repressed -- that's why she finds it so hard. We hear, She doesn't trust me, and she's trying not to let me know that she doesn't trust me. We hear, She's trying to tell me that I find it hard to talk to other people -- she's criticizing me.

What does all of this have to do with Step 10?

Well, Step 10 is about taking personal inventory -- continually. (If this comes as a surprise to you, you may want to read the AA Big Book on Step 10.) And when we take inventory continually, we are aware -- aware of everything that is going on. And when people talk to us, we are aware of exactly what they are saying. And if our minds start to interpret, judge, or project, then we're aware of that too -- and we are able to stop it, and simply listen.

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement:
it is always one of letting go."

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